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in Filmmaking
on Aug 3, 2007

Great news for those who have been concerned about the proposed new rules regulating film shooting and photography on the streets of New York. The Mayors Office of Film and Television has announced that they will be redrafting these regulations following feedback from the community.

You can read their announcement here.

Here’s a key passage from the press release:

Among other things, the re-drafting phase will focus on meaningfully addressing concerns that sections (b)(ii) and (b)(iii) affected individuals who were not engaged in the type of activities traditionally regulated by MOFTB. These are the sections of the proposed rules that defined the conduct which triggered the requirement for a permit from MOFTB and included such considerations as the number of people involved and the duration of the activity. The redrafted proposed rules will then be published, a new 30-day comment period will be provided, and a public hearing will be held to consider the new proposal.

“We are dedicated to fulfilling our obligation to create film permitting rules as mandated by the City Charter,” said Commissioner Oliver. “We appreciate the feedback and collaboration of the production community in the City, and look forward to revising our proposal. Our office remains committed to providing our customers with expedited coordination of their film location work in the safest manner possible, so that the City’s film and television industry can continue to flourish, free speech is protected and all parties can continue to film, photograph and enjoy the greatest City in the world.”

Picture New York, the grass roots organization that organized the protest against the rules, has more.

This is really a great move by the Mayor’s Office. Those of us in the production community have felt a little weird during this whole episode because, in truth, the New York City Mayors Office of Film and Television has historically been supremely helpful and sensitive to the needs of independent filmmakers (most of whom, by the way, get permits and buy insurance and thus wouldn’t have been affected by the proposed rules). What we’ve all been advocating for during this process is actually the right of street photographers, artists, tourists, amateur filmmakers and others to engage in a more informal filmmaking practice that is equally valuable and relevant but which, I think, doesn’t need to be regulated by this office.

Apparently new rules will be drafted and there will be another 30 day review period. In the meantime, though, thanks to the Mayors Office for listening to the people on this one.

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