NASA Film and Documentary Guidelines:
NASA participates in scores of documentaries annually and a number of feature films as well. Participation ranges from providing imagery and footage to permitting on-site filming. Below describes the process of working with NASA on documentary and film projects.
The NASA Insignia, Logotype, identifiers, and imagery are not in the public domain. The use of the Insignia, Logotype and NASA identifiers is protected by law, and imagery is made available for use consistent with Media Usage Guidelines.
NASA works only on projects which have funding and an recognized outlet ( broadcaster, streamer, etc.) in place. Projects must be beyond speculative phase. Once a project has an outlet and funding, NASA’s Office of Communications must then review a treatment to determine NASA involvement and the scope of participation. Treatments can be submitted directly to directly to email@example.com.
NASA does not accommodate sizzle reel productions.
NASA does provide publicly available film footage and imagery regardless of involvement in a particular production. This use is subject to these Media Usage Guidelines and the Advertising Guidelines.
NASA does not fund external documentary projects.
For interviews for documentaries, a release form is not required.
Feature film and fictional film projects
NASA participates only in projects which have funding and distribution in place.
A formal agreement is often required when there is a need to lay out what is expected of both parties in terms of shoots, clearances, protection of NASA’s appearance in a fictional storyline, etc. An agreement may also be needed when the parties plan for an on-going collaboration for education or outreach activities beyond routine appearances or interviews.
After providing a signed NASA Acknowledgment of Non-Disclosure, if necessary, NASA then reviews a script to assess participation in a project. In cases where NASA participation is approved, other items may need to be addressed, including: review and clearance for use of the NASA Insignia and other identifiers, footage, still imagery and other NASA assets; details of any filming on NASA property; post assistance; and when appropriate, outreach leading to release of the film.
NASA does provide publicly available film footage and imagery regardless of any direct NASA involvement in a particular production. This use is subject to these Media Usage Guidelines and Advertising Guidelines.
Commercial and promotional shoots
NASA does not permit shooting of promotional content such as television spots, commercials, etc. at NASA facilities. In some cases, filming can take place at an outside NASA visitor center run by a commercial entity. Please refer to NASA’s Advertising Guidelines for more information.
In addition to TV/film collaborations, NASA’s Office of Communications sometimes enters into partnerships with organizations to support external projects that help tell NASA’s story or inspire interest in space and STEM careers. NASA generally supports projects that have the ability to reach large numbers of the public or non-traditional audiences, expanding our efforts beyond of the aerospace community.
Treatments as well as commercial and promotional requests, can be submitted directly to directly to:
Top image: Ryan Gosling visiting the Johnson Space Center while preparing for his role as Neil Armstrong in First Man. Photo: NASA
Middle image: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae visiting the Kennedy Space Center discussing Hidden Figures. Photo: NASA.
Front thumbnail image: Michael Bay directing Transformers Dark of the Moon at the Kennedy Space Center. Photo: Courtesy of Paramount