Mpaa Criticizes New York Permit Fee
The Motion Picture Association of America is balking at new permit fees being charged by some government-owned buildings in New York City to film and TV companies for location shooting. Particularly affected are the the city's courthouses, used in numerous movies and TV shows, including NBC's Law & Order. As reported by today's (Monday) New York Times , city officials maintain that the $3,200 charge is justified by the costs of processing the permits and providing staff to the production. However, MPAA exec Vans Stevenson told the newspaper, "Our concern is that this could start a domino effect among other city agencies, which could make filming in New York cost-prohibitive. ... What's to stop the parks and sanitation departments or police stations or hospitals from instituting similar fees? We are living in a time when production costs and budgets are very tight, and these kinds of charges can make a difference in terms of the decision process [to film in New York]." John Johnston, executive director of the New York Production Alliance, said that the fee is likely to pose a serious obstacle for independent film producers trying to film in New York on a shoestring budget. "This is a highly mobile industry," he told the Times, "and history has shown that when it's more advantageous to move to adjacent states, that's what happens."