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Film Permit Rules in NYC Still a Nagging Issue

Film Permit Rules in NYC Still a Nagging Issue

I’m sure this is the last thing people want to hear about as the holidays, Sundance, and all these great new films loom (THERE WILL BE BLOOD being one of them) but sadly the New York Film office permit issue is still a problem.

While the MOFTB has revised the rules and clarified their intent to allow photographers and “low impact” independent filmmakers to shoot in New York without a permit, the language they are using in the new proposed regulations is needlessly confusing:

For purposes of this subdivision (b), “obstruction” shall mean the assertion of exclusive control with respect to the use or occupancy of such space, and “unobstructed sidewalk use” shall mean, with respect to filming or photography occurring on a sidewalk or other public pedestrian passageway, the use of such space that is not an “obstruction.”

Okay, what the hell does that mean exactly? I get it but jeez, clarification please.

Why not just say:

“‘Obstruction’ means that people are actually prevented from reasonably using the sidewalk – that is, the person filming has asserted exclusive control with respect to the use of such space.

So filmmakers out there as well as anyone else concerned about getting arrested the next time you are taking pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge or shooting your doc about gentrification in Park Slope, please get your comments out they readdress this language and clarify the issue so there’s no more confusion.

To read more and to link to the MOFTB regulations, go to:
www.pictureny.org/

Comments to MOFTB need to go (ASAP!) to:
message@film.nyc.gov

The comment deadline is Dec. 13, 2007!

(Thanks to Jem Cohen and the folks at Picture New York who continue to get the word out about this…)

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