Moviemakers and the de Blasio administration gave thumbs down Wednesday to a City Council bill meant to let the public know more about the productions that take over their neighborhoods.
The legislation, sponsored by Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn), would require the city to post monthly reports of information such as where a film shoot occurred, how long the filming lasted, whether the public lost on-street parking and, if so, how much.
Under the current system, there is no central place for the public to find such information, meaning critics must rely on anecdotes when complaining their neighborhoods are overburdened by productions.
A more controversial provision of the legislation seeks more from the industry such as how many people the industry employs, their salaries, and other demographic information about workers like age, race, sex and borough of residence.
"It's very small-minded. No offense. But it's really about local people's parking concerns," Stuart Match Suna, president of Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, said in testimony at the end of the nearly three-hour-long hearing.
Officials from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment said the disclosure requirements were particularly onerous by requiring producers to disclosure information they consider proprietary, like their costs of doing business. Such red tape, the officials said, could encourage makers of television shows, movies and commercials to go elsewhere.
Supporters of the bill want a tool to show when neighborhoods are chosen for film shoots, reflecting a common complaint that some locations favored by filmmakers face far more frequent such disruption than others. Advocates also say the data disclosure would help show how beneficial the industry is or isn't to the city.
They would be SO offended at having to provide this info that they would give up their million dollar tax breaks and instead film in Toronto? Really?