Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Don't Let NYC Destroy Local DIY Filmmaking

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik July 13, 2007 at 5:24AM

Don't Let NYC Destroy Local DIY Filmmaking
3

Filmmaker Jem Cohen ("Chain") sent an email around this morning, alerting friends to the fact that the New York Mayor's Office of Theater, Film, and Broadcasting wants to severely restrict the ability of amateur photographers and filmmakers to operate in New York City. The proposed rules include requiring any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour (including setup and breakdown time) to get a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance.

This completely goes against the creative process for Cohen and many others. As he writes, "Being a street photographer often means standing in a random location and waiting: for the right activity, the right light, the break in the traffic; the countless other unpredictable factors that need to fall into place to make a shot worthwhile... "

"The fact is that we simply CANNOT predict where, when, and how long we are going to film or photograph; we CANNOT afford expensive liability insurance policies; we occasionally NEED to work with other people or to use tripods to support our gear. (The regulations would, for example, effectively rule out a great deal of time-lapse photography which depends on tripods and cannot possibly be done with time limitations of 10 to 30 minutes, as well as the use of large format still cameras and long lenses)."

If the New York Mayor's Office of Film and TV really cares about New York as a vital indie filmmaking center, they need to stop putting in effect procedures that help Hollywood productions and cripple the low-budget mavens that once made this city the artistic capital of the world.

Furthermore, as Cohen writes, new laws would not only hamper creativity but increase police harrassment. "If these regulations go through, it would invite if not require police to harass or shut down both professional artists and amateurs," he writes.

Cohen continues: "I believe that we must see the proposed regulations not only as a blow against New York as a city that welcomes and inspires art-making (and historical documentation), but as part of a continuum of broader attacks against civil liberties and free expression."

To voice your concerns about the proposed laws, write letters and make calls to:

Julianne Cho
Associate Commissioner
Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting
1697 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
jcho@film.nyc.gov
ph: 212.489.6710
fax: 212.307.6237

You may also wish to contact the Mayor’s office. The office is accepting public feedback until August 3, and the rules could go into effect this summer.

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Ahmed Aslam: I support president Nasheed! He has been jailed and tortured several times over the last 25 years fighting for democracy and human rights

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 4:38am

By Ahmed Iyaz: President Mohamed Nasheed is the only President who gave Maldivians freedom of expression. I'm totally against of unlawful arrest of him and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 3:58am

By Eugene Jarecki: I lend my voice passionately to this cause. It is of the utmost importance.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 3:03am

By Ahmed: Former President Nasheeds regime was a disaster to Maldives. A real dictator. Forcefuly arrested the Chief Judge at midnight while sleeping…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 2:06am

By Mohamed Salih Hassan: Former President Mohamed Nasheed should get fair trial. Call current govt of Maldives to hear majority of people's voice.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 2:01am

By Mohamed Shareef: my Dear HEP Yamin. Please Release Ex- HEP Mohamed Nasheed from Custody, Because PG& You create & Make This case Against him He…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 11:27pm

By Umar Fairooz: From the very beginning President Nasheed's court case appears to be one of farcical in nature, too many gloomy, shady happenings behind clos…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 11:21pm

By Eena Naseem: Calling for the release of my President Mohamed Nasheed, calling the current govt. of Maldives to hear the majority's voice.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 11:17pm

By Julia Pacetti: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 10:59pm

By Michael O'Connor: Free all political prisoners!

Documentary Community Rallies Around Arrested "Island President"

Mar 4th, 2015 9:56am