Posted on April 28, 2010
Film and TV crews are a common sight in New York City, as a slew of TV shows, commercials, and movies are regularly shot all across the five boroughs. Until now, however, the right to film here has largely been free. That’s right--access to city-owned parks, streets and other locales have been there for the taking to TV and movie producers and even students making independent films or music videos. Budget cuts, however, are forcing the city to come up with new ways to make up the lost revenue, and film permits may now be subject to a $300 fee. If the fee is approved, TV producers would have to pay the amount once per season, while filmmakers would pay the fee once for the duration of shooting--no matter if it’s an NYU production or the sequel to a major zillion-dollar blockbuster. While the fee may seem surprisingly low, it’s meant to make it easier for smaller producers and directors to be able to come up with the money and not look elsewhere to film. Some exceptions would apply: Films using hand-held cameras or taking up a tiny amount of space wouldn’t have to pay the fee, and producers can apply for an exemption based on financial hardship. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting had to cut $155,000 from its $2 million budget this year. Most city agencies were ordered last month to cut 7.2 percent of their budgets TV Shows like “Gossip Girl” and big-budget films such as “Sex and The City” regularly film in New York.