A bill before the New York City Council this afternoon would require the timely posting of film and television production locations and times, in a searchable format, to the city's website.
The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment currently requires productions to distribute letters notifying local residents and merchants at least 48 hours in advance of a shoot, an agency spokesperson said in an email. Productions are also obliged to post "No Parking" signs with a contact number 48 hours before a shoot begins, and residents are encouraged to contact the Mayor's Office with their concerns immediately via 311.
But bill sponsors Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer and Council member Ben Kallos think these measures aren't giving residents enough warning. The proposed legislation is one part of Kallos and Brewer's larger effort to make more public data freely available online and the city government more transparent.
“I think most often people know there’s a production because they see a sign saying 'No Parking,’ or when they go to find their car, it’s no longer there because it’s been moved for a film production," Kallos said. (According to the city's website, production companies pay to tow cars the night before or morning of a shoot, and they are expected to keep a list of the spots where relocated vehicles are parked.)
Brewer told Capital she has fielded hundreds of complaints and inquiries by telephone, citing the after-hours posting of signs as a particular concern.
"It’s 6 o’clock in the evening, and there’s nobody to call in the city of New York, so if it was up on the web, that would be a perfect example of how to use the information," she said.