Thursday, August 9, 2007

Filmmaking Permitting Concerns: Update

As some of you may have heard, NYC officials had planned to set some guidelines regarding amateur filmmaking and photography on city property, proposing limits on the amount of time someone could shoot before having to get permits to do so. This produced an outcry in the arts community and prompted a petition to defeat the plan, which was signed by thousands of concerned residents and supporters. Here is an update, as reported by One on One NYC's BizBuzz:

After a city-wide outcry that included everything from letters and petitions to a rap music video, the city has agreed to re-work their proposal to vastly limit photography and filming in the city. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting said they would redraft the rules to address complaints that that they could be too broadly applied. Maybe those birdwatchers in Central Park won’t have to have insurance to take a photo of those birds, after all.

Katherine Oliver, the film office commissioner, said in a statement, “We appreciate the feedback and collaboration of the production community in the city and look forward to revising our proposal.”

In addition to the web petition circulated here on BizBuzz, there were some less traditional forms of protest in response to the legislation. Comedy troupe Olde English produced a rap music video and then submitted it as public comment to the film office and the civil liberties union. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

'Proposin’ new rules to try to get rid of me/A million in insurance just to cover liabilities!/From Little Italy all the way to Harlem/Bloomberg’s jealous ’cause our movies won’t star him.'

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