Film Shoots Permitting for Public Space
New York City is a major hotspot for media and entertainment production.
For the last several years, mainstream film and television productions have expanded in the city.The number of movies filmed in the city has been growing steadily.
While the film industry plays an important role in the New York City economy, film and television productions can negatively impact New Yorkers’ quality of life.
Residents have complained of sound pollution from generator trucks, bright lights, and being prevented from walking on their streets during film shoots
While the film shoots may benefit small businesses, since film staff purchase food, drinks, and materials from local businesses, large film shoots can disrupt daily business operations.
Top Locations for Film Permits, 2018
Film Permits Issued, 2018
Permits Issued Over Time
For the last several years, mainstream film and television productions have also expanded in the city.
For example, in 2012, 162 movies were filmed in New York City; in 2018, that number rose to over 330.
The number of episodic television series filmed in New York City has also continued to grow.
While the City is home to approximately 118 different production studios and stages, production studios and stage infrastructure have grown to accommodate the rise of film and television content.
Permits Issued by Year
2012, 2015, 2018
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (“MOME”) serves as a liaison between the film industry and New York City (NYC) government. MOME encompasses the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting (“MOFTB”) and NYC Media.
Under the current system, producers are required to seek a permit from MOFTB for a variety of reasons including: parking privileges, use of City property, stunts, use of prop weapons, use of prop vehicles, or if actors will appear in police uniform.
Such permits have a $300 application fee and an insurance requirement.
These permits also provide productions with free police assistance, free parking privileges and access to most exterior locations, including City parks, without charge, although some locations may require additional permission from controlling entities.
Hours of Permitted Filming
By Month, 2018
Note: Total number of hours alloted for permitted filming per month in 2018.
Lack of Complaint Data
Generally speaking, it is difficult to obtain data regarding complaints about the film industry.
While residents affected by the expansion of the film industry have raised concerns both in online groups and to 311, the 311 data on the Open Data Portal has no distinct category for complaints related to the film industry.
Without a separate category of data, it is difficult to take a deeper look into the nature of 311 complaints related to the film industry, as there is no way to identify common issues across 311 complaints.
The gaps in the data complicate the ability for interested parties, including good government groups, to conduct oversight on MOME.
On September 26, 2019, the Committee on Technology, chaired by Council Member Robert Holden, and the Committee on Small Business, chaired by Council Member Mark Gjonaj, held a joint oversight hearing on the expansion and economic impact of the film and television industries on New York City and the following bills:
- Updating the fees for permits to film on city property Read the Bill: Int 158
- Requiring film companies to provide residents with at least 72 hours’ notice when film shoots will disrupt parking. Read the Bill: Int 937
- Creating a local community and media bill of rights addressing the issues that communities face during film and television production. Read the Bill: Int 1495
- Requiring a task force to review and consider impacts and benefits from the film and television production industry. Read the Bill: Int 1515
- 14-day notification requirement for movie-making, telecasting and photography permit applications when special parking requests are required. Read the Bill: Int 1700
- Requiring that certain applicants for film and television production permits pay a fee of $800 and providing that such permits expire 30 days after the date of issue. Read the Bill: Int 1722
For feedback, comments, and questions please email Data@council.nyc.gov.
Created by the NYC Council Data Team.