Location Scout Resource – New York City, NY Film Office Pages Links
Contained herein are links to some of the more-often used pages on the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcast (MOFTB) website. On the MOFTB website is a cornucopia of info (as well as live forms and instructions) that you need when dealing with New York City MOFTB media production permits.
A number of changes have come about at MOFTB since this post was originally written. I have attempted to make revisions to reflect some of the current practices and policies involved in dealing with MOFTB.
Whereas there used to be still photography permits required for shooting on NYC property, including NYC Parks, currently, insofar as generally, if equipment, i.e. cameras, lights are handheld – photo (and filming / video) permits are now “optional”.
- If light(s), cable(s) and / or other equipment to be used for any image capturing purpose, whether it be photography, video or filming are to be placed directly anywhere on city property i.e. public sidewalks, curb spaces, in NYC Parks or on / in other city property, then a filming permit is likely to be required. A filming permit may be required for large outdoor shoots with more than a couple of people to take place on city property as well, even if the shoot employs only handheld equipment. A permit is also required for shooting *inside* any city property, i.e. a Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) property, i.e. courtroom, vacant office, etc. Official MOFTB policies regarding permit requirements and other pertinent information can be reviewed here: City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Adoption of Rules Relating to Permits Issued by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting. If you believe there is any possibility your shoot may require a filming permit, best practice would be to call the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcast (MOFTB) at (212) 489-6710, ask for a permit coordinator to discuss your project to determine if a permit is required.
You should note that:
- Altho waivers may be available for special circumstances, i.e. student films, generally, there is a $300 project application fee if filming permits are required. Note this is a project fee, covering multiple permits for the same project whether it be a one day, one location photo shoot or a movie production with many locations over an extended period of time.
- Commercial liability insurance (COI) is required for any project application and an approved COI must be on file with MOFTB before any project application will be considered for review. The initial COI approval process requires 24-48 hours. Once approved, MOFTB will keep your COI on file for up to one year; the approval procedure need not be repeated during that time.
- Approval of your COI and payment of the project application fee enables you to make permit and parking requests. The project application review process itself, which includes review of initial permit / parking request(s) requires an additional 48 hours minimum. Permit requests involving NYC Parks or requiring MOFTB interaction with other city government departments requires 72 hours minimum. As an aside regarding filming in NYC Parks; altho the very bottom line is that filming in Parks is generally free, a donation to NYC Parks is strongly suggested if your production makes use of Parks facilities, especially if accommodating your project would require a significant investment of time and resources on your project’s behalf. NYC Parks is a valuable resource and a very worthy investment of monies.
- All project applications and permit/ parking requests are now processed online and a credit card is needed for fee payment. Payment by corporate check or personal check is also accepted but, of course that requires you mailing (or personally delivering) a check, said check clearing and MOFTB manually approving the payment part of your project application. Got a couple of weeks worth of time to kill?
Most of what you need to get going
- City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Adoption of Rules Relating to Permits Issued by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting
- NYC MOFTB Online Permit Application.
Welcome to the online permit application. We require all applicants to create an account with our office. You will be required to create a project and enter production information and insurance information. If you have already created an account, or have an existing account with the Street Activity Permit Office or Department of Parks, please login.
Other useful links
Many New York City area location scouts and location managers are familiar with and are qualified to complete MOFTB project and permit applications. Hire one TODAY!
Location Scout Resource: New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater & Broadcast (MOFTB) Location Photo Gallery –
NYC.gov | FILM | Photo Gallery | Hot Shots Photo Gallery
Welcome to the online photo library of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Use this tool to cast locations throughout the most cinematic city in the world.
- Google Search: NYC.gov – FILM – Photo Gallery
- The MOFTB Hot Shots Photo Gallery is a VASTLY underutilized location scouting resource offered by New York City and MOFTB.
Location Scout Spotlight: Lipstick Jungle Filming New York City
I was walking down Varick Street in Manhattan and noticed NBC-TV’s Lipstick Jungle’s trucks, indicating they were shooting on location nearby. I know it was Lipstick Jungle because they had a New York Mayor’s Office of Film Theatre & Broadcasting filming permit and had posted MOFTB / NYPD “no parking” signs around the area. The name of the production filming is always on the “no parking” signs.
Location Scout Resource: New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcast (MOFTB) publishes a monthly newsletter
which features news about the film office as well as other news of interest to the film and tv production communities.
I particularly like the regular Location of the Month section of each month’s newsletter, in which a city-owned property (such as perhaps a building) or park or New York City neighborhood which may be available as a filming location is highlighted.
The City of New York makes many properties available for filming at no or nominal cost in the interest of promoting filmmaking and economic development for the city.
Use of the various properties is often directly administrated through specific city government agencies depending on the property(s) in question, however, the film office can be quite helpful in directing filmmakers to the appropriate agency.
The current newsletter may be read online by following the link above; free subscriptions via email are offered as well.
- Other MOFTB news / multimedia items are available here.
… – Canada NewsWire (press release)
The Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting (MOFTB) is also actively recruiting the production of Indian films to New York City. …
- NYC to set up 18th global office in India Economic Times
- US film honcho invites city directors to shoot in NYC Times of India
- New York City looks to woo Indian film industry Business of Cinema
- all 6 news articles
Location Scout Jobs: MOFTB | Reel Jobs NYC
Reel Jobs NYC (formerly known as the ‘techlist’) is a downloadable PDF document, it is updated on our site on Mondays. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view it on your computer.
It can also be picked up directly from our office Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00 PM.
Location Scout Resource: Your GMap MOFTB
Google Maps with Your Locations!
Location Scout Book: Scenes From the City
In the Fall of 2006, MOFTB celebrated its 40th Anniversary with publication, in partnership with Rizzoli (NYC), of a hardcover book, Scenes From The City – Filmmaking in New York, edited by James Sanders, Contribution by Martin Scorsese and Nora Ephron.
MOFTB has a way kewl interactive area on its website to accompany the book which includes peeks inside the book and interactive map with locations of scenes from movies and tv referenced by Film Television, Notable Filmmakers, Scene Type, Time Period, Neighborhood and All Locations – a location scout’s treasure for sure! Many other production-job-titled folks and general lovers of movies and New York City will find this book enjoyable and useful as well.
At this writing the book is available at Rizzoli’s stores and online from Amazon.
- New York City Govt pages | www.nyc.gov
- NYC Mayors Office of Film Theater and Broadcasting (MOFTB)
- …lots of general New York City resources
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