We consider all requests for filming (movie, television, or commercial, etc.) or photography. Please review these Location Guidelines. They spell out fees and procedures for these types of projects. Please also note that no permits will be issued for weekends from April 1 through October 23.
1. Permission. Long Island Aquarium is open to the public daily year-round (closed thanksgiving and Christmas days). Our visitors are entitled to experience the entire Aquarium with a minimum of distraction. Permission to film or photograph at the Aquarium is granted subject to certain conditions. The project must not only be consistent with the Aquarium's mission and image, but may not hinder daily operations. Permission can be obtained only from the Aquarium’s Communications department.
Please note that a Location Agreement must accompany all projects. Please also note that the Aquarium reserves the absolute right to grant or deny permission to shoot and to determine the terms under which shooting will be permitted.
2. Location Fees. Location fees are set by the Aquarium depending upon a variety of factors, such as the nature and purpose of the project, its intended market, its potential promotional value to the Aquarium, the potential disruption to the aquarium, the extent to which the Aquarium is required to support the project, and the extent to which the rights to the final product are shared with the aquarium.
The standard fee schedule is:
Photography: $1,000 (first two hours; two-hour minimum); $350 each additional hour; $2,800 (full day)
Film & Video:$1,500 (first two hours; two-hour minimum); $350 each additional hour; $3,300 (full day)
Additional fees may also apply if other staff, outside of the Communications department, is required.
For complex projects, the maximum daily location fee will be $6,000. Payment of all agreed fees must be made prior to shooting. Additional costs incurred during the project will be billed and must be paid at the end of the project. Any billing requirements must be discussed and approved prior to commencing filming on-site.
3. Advance Notice. At least two weeks’ advance notice is requested whenever possible. While the Aquarium will make every effort to accommodate LAST-MINUTE requests to shoot, requests with less than 24-hour notice cannot be accommodated under any circumstances.
4. Scheduling. Commercial filming is generally permitted only when the Aquarium is not open to the public and must be coordinated with other Aquarium events through public relations.
5. Impact on the Aquarium. If at any time the production company’s activities threaten to disrupt the Aquarium’s operations or the experiences of its visitors or pose a safety hazard to the visitors, the Aquarium reserves the right to require the company to reschedule its activities. As well, the company will be required to make any changes or to discontinue filming, if the Aquarium determines that exhibit life is being endangered or the potential for damage to the building or exhibits exists.
6. Script Review. The Aquarium reserves the right to review the scripts for all scenes involving the aquarium for consistency with its mission and image.
7. Filming in Tanks. Divers with equipment present a serious hazard to the exhibits and resident marine life. As a general rule, the Aquarium does not allow non-staff divers into exhibits. Exceptions are made, however, with the approval of the curator.
8. Site Tours. A site tour and review of on-site requirements must be scheduled between communications staff and members of the crew a minimum of five days in advance of the shoot. At this time, all shooting locations, building access, and parking needs must be addressed and agreed upon. In certain cases, an on-site tour may not be required, and the production company’s requirements may be reviewed by telephone.
Any behind-the-scenes shooting must be agreed upon during the site tour or prior to the shoot date. The size of crew, number of talent, and amount of equipment must be agreed upon at the site tour or prior to the shoot date.
9. Lighting and Electrical Needs. Power supplies are limited in certain areas. Power needs must be directed to the maintenance team in advance of the shoot. This may be addressed at the time of the site tour.
Lighting restrictions may also apply to certain areas, but in most areas, additional lighting is allowed. Aquarium staff must monitor the number of lights and placement.
10. Exhibits and Set Construction. Aquarium exhibits may not be altered or moved in any way. Any sets brought into the Aquarium must be approved ahead of time. Nothing may be attached to walls or other structures. Members of the crew must remove any materials brought into the building.
11. Storage. We regret that no storage of any kind can be provided on site prior to or between filming sessions.
12. Damages. The production company is fully responsible for all damages occurring during its use of the Aquarium and for paying for all repairs deemed necessary by the Aquarium.
13. Insurance. The production company must carry workers’ compensation insurance and a general liability policy with limits of at least $1 million. Depending upon the circumstances, the production company may be required to obtain additional coverage, to name the Aquarium as an additional insured, and to furnish a certificate of insurance.
15. Appearance Releases. The production company shall obtain appearance releases for Aquarium visitors and/or staff whenever necessary.
16. Trademarks. The Aquarium’s name and its logo are trademarks owned Long Island Aquarium. Permission is granted to use these trademarks in the company’s final product without alteration.
17. Ownership. Except as otherwise agreed, all film and photographs shot by the production company shall belong to it. The company shall provide a copy of the final product to the Aquarium for archival purposes.
18. Use of Film and Photographs. The production company may use film and photographs shot at the Aquarium only for the specific purpose stated in the Location Agreement. The company may sell its final product for broadcast by others but may not sell individual images shot at the Aquarium or provided by the Aquarium separate from its product. In addition, the company may not use images taken at or provided by the Aquarium in connection with productions that do not directly involve the Aquarium, without its prior written consent.
Under no circumstances may the production company use film and photographs shot at the Aquarium in a manner inconsistent with the its mission and image or in a defamatory, untrue, or censorable nature, and the company shall cease any such use upon demand by the Aquarium. The company shall ensure that its licensees and assignees fully comply with the provisions of this paragraph. Exceptions to these provisions require the prior written consent of the Aquarium.
19. Credit. The production company will acknowledge the Aquarium in its production only when requested by the Aquarium. The Aquarium makes no endorsement of the production company, its production, or any product featured therein.
20. Filming on Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat. Employees of the production company must sign an “Agreement to Waive and Release All Claims” before being granted permission to go on board the Atlantis Explorer for filming or any other purpose.
21. Smoking. No smoking is allowed anywhere inside the Aquarium, whether in front of or behind the scenes.
22. Noise. Please be aware we cannot guarantee a quiet environment during hours of operation.
23. Catering. The Long Island Aquarium Café offers full catering services. Additional private facilities may be reserved at an added cost.
24. Additional Information. For additional information on filming, please contact:
Director of Communications
631.208.9200, ext. 220