Can you afford added production bling?
A Christmas-timed message from the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting (MOFTB) may dismay those keeping tight watch on production budgets: there’s now a non-refundable fee of $3,200 for a required permit for filming or photography in DCAS properties and facilities.
The DCAS (Department of Citywide Administrative Services) “allows and supports” film production on properties and within facilities under its jurisdiction, which include various City buildings, such as the Manhattan and Brooklyn Municipal Buildings, all Borough Halls, and City and State Courts.
Who doesn’t need more money these days is a too constant refrain, although NYC’s budget gap for next year is expected to be smaller than projected last June because “the impact of the recession has not been as severe as first feared” says State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in a report released earlier this month.
(While Wall Street recovered much faster than expected, the City may still lose more than 200,000 jobs, while added cuts to the budget are expected in the new year according to DiNapoli’s report.)
Marybeth Ihle, MOFTB spokeswoman, said the fee was introduced to cover more costs related to film production, noting in comparison that private locations can charge some $10,000 a day.
NBC Universal’s “Law & Order” is among the heaviest users of courthouses and other city buildings; the production couldn’t be reached over the holidays for comment.
According to an AP report, John Johnston, executive director of the New York Production Alliance, spoke out against the fees at a public hearing earlier this year, fearing that this would set a dangerous precedent that may cause other city agencies to also impose fees that collectively would cause productions to look elsewhere to film.
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