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Old January 13th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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Permit - Filming in New York City

I was wondering if anyone knows if it's acceptable to use a boompole and tripod while filming in NYC? I am heading down there later this week to cover the International Motorcycle Show and the crew and I plan on doing some city coverage also.

I know NYC has recently stepped back it's policy on required permits and insurance for independent shoots, but I can't seem to find any real detail on what's OK and what would put us in a cell for the night :)
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:57 PM   #2
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You may want to contact the office to be sure (the phone number is on this MOFTB page), but from the sound of the language on page three of the rules (about halfway down, the first item in Definitions under Processing of Permit Applications), boompoles would qualify as "equipment", being so-called microphone devices, and would require a permit. Maybe. I don't know for sure. I'd call if I were you, see if you can't get in touch with someone who can speak with authority.

Tripods by themselves are also mentioned in that document, as they are in this simplified Q&A regarding production regulations. Assuming you don't require a permit for other reasons, the tripod itself shouldn't be a problem as long as it's not blocking pedestrian traffic, or "asserting exclusive use of city property" to use their language. In the case of sidewalks, you have to leave eight feet or half the sidewalk's width, whichever is greater, open for unobstructed pedestrian passage.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 12:28 AM   #3
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Thanks Robert,

That really kind of sums up what I was thinking, it seems the city although they have reversed their previous stance on filming; are not being very forthcoming about what is acceptable and what constitutes a violation. They should probably have some clear cut definitions available.

boompole (yes / no)
camera mounted mic (yes / no)
camera mounted lighting (yes / no)
crane (yes / no) :)


etc... I will call them tomorrow and post my findings ~
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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Filming in the city is a hit or miss thing. You can always try without the permit, the worst case scenario, you'll be asked to leave.

I've shot the music video in the NYC on Dec 15th and we used tripod all the time in 6 different locations. Only at one place we're asked to leave.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #5
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We did the film shoot in NYC covering the International Motorcycle show, Filmed a lot in times square and other location in the city, we had tripod, boompole and cables. I called the mayors office and they said that any "hand held" equipment is OK.

We even shot footage of cops walking right up to the camera and past it in the street. Only 1 cop told us to get off some platform steps in Times Square.

Over all I would say everyone including cops is used to media and indie film makers, we were there filming at the time of the plane crash in the hudson but could not get close enough to shoot anything :) - Cops were everywhere blocking stuff off.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 11:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Perry View Post
We did the film shoot in NYC covering the International Motorcycle show, Filmed a lot in times square and other location in the city, we had tripod, boompole and cables. I called the mayors office and they said that any "hand held" equipment is OK.

We even shot footage of cops walking right up to the camera and past it in the street. Only 1 cop told us to get off some platform steps in Times Square.

Over all I would say everyone including cops is used to media and indie film makers, we were there filming at the time of the plane crash in the hudson but could not get close enough to shoot anything :) - Cops were everywhere blocking stuff off.
Great to hear that. Where we will be able to see your footage?

The only good place to see the plane was at NJ side in Weehawken - but it was full of news crews anyway.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 07:44 AM   #7
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That's good news; I was hoping boompoles would count as "handheld", but the definitions in those rule documents were a bit confusing.

Thanks for the follow up!
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