For thousands of years, the majestic beauty and humbling power of Niagara Falls has fostered a sense of awe and wonder in millions of visitors from around the world. Niagara Falls, one of the most iconic locations in the world, is indeed a sought after and first class shooting destination.
Just 20 minutes from Buffalo, Niagara Falls State Park is home to the famous cataracts, rushing rapids, lush walking trails and parkland, scenic overlooks and the world famous Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds attractions
A few interesting facts about Niagara Falls:
- Niagara Falls is actually three falls: The American Falls, The Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe or Canadian Falls.
- Niagara Falls State Park is made up of several areas. Prospect Point is on the mainland and overlooks the American Falls. Goat Island is home to Terrapin Point, which provides access to the Horseshoe Falls as well as the American Falls via Luna Island. Three Sisters Islands, also on Goat Island, is a romantic wooded series of islands that juts out in the river just upstream from the brink.
- Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States of America, established in 1885 as the Niagara Reservation, the first of several such Reservations that eventually became the cornerstones to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
- Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect of Niagara Falls State Park, also designed Central Park in New York City.
- 3,160 tons of water flow over the falls every second. This accounts for 75,750 gallons of water per second over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls.
- The water falls at 32 feet per second over the falls, hitting the base of the falls with 280 tons of force at the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 2,509 tons of force at the Horseshoe Falls.
- The Falls are capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, which is shared by the United States and Canada.
- Four of the five Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River, (Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie) before flowing over the Falls and emptying into Lake Ontario.
High Resolution Map Click: (here)
Filming at Niagara Falls is easy if you are prepared and mindful of a few things:
- Wind conditions determine the amount of mist generated at any time. There is no way to know from minute to minute what conditions will be. Be prepared with waterproof equipment.
- Certain areas of the park are sensitive to the weight of film equipment. Park staff will work with filmmakers regarding where those areas are.
- Millions of people from around the world plan vacations to the Falls and their only time to see the Falls may be when you are shooting. Please be mindful at all times that their experience is the priority of the Park.
- Shooting at the Falls in the winter is amazing. But very cold. Temps at the Falls are typically about 10 degrees colder than reported local weather conditions.
- Whenever possible, it is suggested that productions build in a prior scout to best familiarize themselves with all of the possibilities.
- Catering is provided by Delaware North Company in Niagara Falls State Park. They have exclusive rights within the park boundaries.
- The Maid of the Mist boat launch is on the American side of the Falls. Arrangements must be made directly with them if planning to shoot on their boats. In addition, Maid of the Mist controls shooting on the Observation Tower, which overlooks the three falls.
- Niagara Falls State Park is home to the New York State Park Police who will provide security if necessary.
- Niagara Falls State Park strives to make shooting budget friendly. Cost recovery fees and a location fee may be assessed. Cost recovery includes any fees that may be charged based on park labor costs, parking fees or charges that are actually incurred by the park during the course of assisting in a project. A flat location fee may also be assessed.This amount will vary depending on the size and complexity of your permit. Park staff will work with filmmakers on a case-by-case basis.
Permit & Insurance Requirements
All commercial filming activities taking place within Niagara Falls State Park require a permit and insurance. Commercial filming includes capturing a moving image on film and video as well as sound recordings.