NYC, Now In Phase 4, Expands & Updates Guidelines On Outdoor Filming; 50-Person Limit, No Blocking Streets

As New York City enters Phase 4 today, allowing production to ramp up, the Mayor’s Office of Film and Television (MOME) issued what it called a “plain language” guide to remaining restrictions on outdoor shoots on public property which are now limited to 50 people (up from 25), can’t interfere with hospitals or COVID-19 testing centers, can’t block streets and can’t be close to restaraunts with outdoor seating without the eateries’ permssion.

The regulations are for permits effective July 27 and are expected to run for three months, or through October 31, MOME said, when it will issue a new set of updated guidelines.

On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the transition to Phase 4, with New York City the last region of the state to get there. In an abundance of caution, fanless sports and low risk — read outdoor — cultural institutions can open but movie theaters, malls gyms and indoor dining remains off limits. Looser production restrictions increase the number of cast and crew who can be on a set at any one time to 50% of total capacity, from 25% in Phase 3.

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Film Commissioner Anne del Castillo has said she anticipates filming in the city will start up again in earnest in August.

Below are the exterior location permit guidelines updated Monday:

Cast and crew: No more than 50 cast and crew at exterior locations on public property, beginning July 27, 2020. (Up to 25 cast and crew allowed at exterior locations on public property before July 27, 2020.)

Affirmation: Film permit applicants must submit the New York Forward Safety Affirmation before they submit a permit application. That’s on the state website.

Safety Plan: Film permittees must conspicuously post their COVID-19 Reopening Safety Plan on the location and make it available to authorities, including NYPD and MOME field representatives. If it is not practicable to conspicuously post the plan on location, the permittee must provide the plan to all cast and crew by email or in hard copy in advance of the permit date and make a hard copy of the plan available to authorities on demand at
the location.

Street Closures: No street closures or intermittent vehicular traffic control.

Dangerous Activity: No pyrotechnics or potentially dangerous activity (e.g., stunts, use of police uniforms, real or simulated firearms).

Limits on Locations (not applicable to news media): No locations (1) that may interfere with COVID-19 response, such as hospitals, mobile COVID-19 testing centers, and makeshift morgues; (2) within 21 feet of an establishment participating in the NYC Open Restaurants program without written consent of the establishment; (3) that may infringe upon or conflict with the flow of traffic in the surrounding area or the use of any part of a street that is in the Open Streets program, as per the Department of Transportation website.

Equipment (at exterior locations on public property): July 27 to October 31, 2020: The maximum equipment allowed is up to (1) two cameras (handheld or affixed to a tripod) and (2) three stands to be used for any combination of lights/silks/reflectors. In addition, sound equipment and other equipment that is handheld (besides cameras) for the duration of the film permit may also be used. After October 31, 2020: An approved equipment list will be published on MOME’s website.

Vehicles: July 27 to October 31, 2020: Up to five of the following vehicles in any combination allowed: passenger vans holding no more than 15 people, cubestyle trucks, cargo vans, and a two- or three-toilet trailer connected to the delivery vehicle. After October 31, 2020: To be listed on MOME’s website.

Parking: July 27 to October 31, 2020: No reserved parking, except that reserved parking may be allowed on a roadway adjacent to a film production facility. After October 31, 2020: Film permits may provide for up to two blocks of reserved parking on one side of each approved block. This limit does not apply to a roadway adjacent to a film production facility.

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