Contact:  Jennifer Lyon

Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. (TJF or the Foundation), which owns and operates Monticello, wishes to extend every consideration to media working on assignment who wish to film, tape, or photograph Monticello and its grounds. The Foundation reserves the right to reject requests that, in the Foundation's opinion, are not compatible with its mission, would interfere with the visitor's experience, or put undue burden on Foundation property or staff. Preference is given to documentary, news, and educational projects.

To limit demands on the house and grounds, Monticello prefers to provide photography and footage whenever possible. So that on-site filming and photography activities will neither interfere with normal operations nor compromise the safety of the building, the museum's collections, and the grounds, production companies and photographers must adhere to the following guidelines:

I. Advance Arrangements
Arrangements for filming, taping, recording, or photographing at Monticello must be approved in advance by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. The Foundation requires an official written request describing the proposed project prior to granting permission for use of Foundation property. The Foundation must be fully informed of all production requirements in order to make arrangements. Specific rights needed for the proposed footage, audiotape, or photography must also be included in this request. The Foundation reserves the right to require and review a script, where applicable. Allow two weeks from receipt for your proposal to be considered. While every effort will be made to accommodate filming requests that align with our mission, short-notice requests (defined as less than four weeks’ advance notice of requested shooting date) may not be possible to accommodate due to staff resources and scheduling. We are unable to accommodate same-day filming requests.

II. Fees
The Foundation cannot underwrite the costs of a production by providing services without charge. The Foundation charges a location fee for one-time broadcast use of footage or audiotape, or one-time, one-edition use of still photography. In addition, the Foundation charges basic direct costs covering staff assistance during the shoot. Any additional, subsequent, or different use of footage, audiotape, or photography (for example, redistribution in additional formats or media, such as CD-ROM or home videos) constitutes a reuse, must be applied for and approved in writing and is subject to additional fees. All fees must be paid in advance of filming, taping, recording, or photographing by check or money order to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Fees for reuse must be paid prior to the subsequent use.

Descriptions of Fees Costs
Location Fees

One-time rights for broadcast distribution of footage or audiotape, or
one-time rights for one-edition publication of photography



Per Day

$500/half day



Basic Direct Cost Fees

Staff Coordinator (required during exterior shooting)
Curatorial Assistant (required during interior shooting)
Electrician or Technical Support



Per Hour




Additional Fees

Script Review/Research Assistance
Staff Interviews



Per Hour


All fees are subject to change without notice.

III. Location Contract
The Foundation requires a completed, signed "On-Site Filming, Taping, and Photography Permission Request and Acknowledgement of Agreements" prior to the project's start. The production company or photographer agrees to use the footage, audiotape, or images shot on Monticello property only for the purpose listed on the agreement form.

IV. Insurance
The Foundation requires a Certificate of Insurance for the amount of $1 million from those wishing to film, tape, or photograph Monticello and/or its property. The insurance certificate is evidence of proper insurance coverage and adequate limits of coverage for property damage and personal injury incurred on location. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., must be named as an additional insured with respect to the work being done at Monticello. Likewise, the producer or photographer must provide a waiver exempting the Foundation from damages or suit in case of property damage, personal injury, or other suit arising out of the production while at Monticello. Send the certificate and waiver to Accounting Department, Monticello, P.O. Box 316, Charlottesville, VA 22902 (Fax: 434-984-2398) at least one week prior to the start of on-site filming, taping, or photography.

V. Restrictions
For film, video, or audio projects, one-time, non-transferable editorial rights for North American, English-language, broadcast distribution are authorized by the signed Agreement. For photography projects, one-time, non-transferable editorial rights for North American, English language, one-edition distribution are authorized by the Agreement. Any additional, subsequent, or different use (for example, CD-ROM or home videos) constitutes a reuse and must be applied for and approved in writing.

The Foundation does not permit its name or the name and any images of Monticello to be used for non-Foundation advertising. In addition, it does not permit photography of Monticello, the museum's collections, or the Foundation's property for use in a stock collection.

VI. Logistics

Monticello Staff Assistance: Photographers, videographers, producers, writers, and other technicians must be accompanied at all times by a Monticello film coordinator. The crew is subject to approvals and conditions set forth by the film coordinator.

Interviews and Recorded Tours: Tours may not be recorded nor staff interviewed without prior permission.

Exterior Photography: Approved exterior photographic projects may be shot during normal business hours. The Foundation's primary concern is for our visitors. Shoots may not interfere with normal visitor traffic. Special arrangements must be made at least 30 days in advance for shooting and taping before or after the normal hours of operation. Crews shooting exterior photography are prohibited from using tripods, lighting stands, special effects, dollies, and other equipment without the express advance consent of the film coordinator.

Aerial Photography: Aerial photography of Monticello is rarely permitted because of the risk to the house and grounds and a Federal Aviation Administration no-fly zone over the property extending one mile in all directions. Permission must be specially granted. All requests must go through the Monticello Communications Officer and must further be approved by the Director of Operations and the President. Unauthorized operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) on Foundation property is strictly prohibited. 

Interior Photography: Approved interior photographic projects may be shot before or after normal business hours only. Advance explicit approval of the Curator, coordinated by Monticello's Communications Officer, is required for all interior photography. Photographers, videographers, and technicians working inside the house must be accompanied at all times by a member of the Curatorial staff. The museum's collections and the house itself are precious. The Foundation requires that exceptional care be taken not to lean on walls or doors or to touch furnishings. Furnishings and other works of art have been arranged in a historically accurate fashion and cannot be moved.

Interior Lighting: Electrical power is limited. The type and amount of electricity must be determined in advance with the consultation of the Director of Buildings and Curator. If the demand for electricity exceeds 90 amps, a licensed electrician, approved by the Foundation, must be present. The Foundation can, with advance notice, provide one at your expense. Either strobe or electronic flash lights should be used; flash bulbs or guns are not permitted. Rubber tips must be used on all tripods inside Monticello. Dollies are prohibited. Light-filtering window film covers all windows and cannot be removed for filming or photography. If additional lighting is needed inside the house, HMI lights are preferred, and all equipment must be approved by Communications and the Curator.

Equipment: Photographers and technicians are to take full responsibility for all of their equipment. Damage and theft thereof are not the responsibility of the Foundation. Museum quality equipment is required and must be approved by Communications and the Curator.

Vehicles: Vehicles have limited access on the Monticello grounds. Parking arrangements must be made in advance of shooting for all production vehicles.

Costumes: Persons in costume are not permitted to be photographed or filmed at Monticello at any time, either inside or outside of the house.

Termination of Project: The Foundation reserves the right to terminate production in the event that the photographer or production crew fails to abide by the conditions set forth. In such cases, the producer forfeits all fees.

VII. Credit and Copies to Monticello
Monticello and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation must be credited. The form of credit must be approved in advance, in writing. The Foundation requires that at least one complimentary copy of the completed film, slides, still photographs, book, article, audio, or videotape be sent at the completion of the project to the Monticello Communications Officer for use by the Foundation.