New York State Wednesday issued guidelines for film and TV production to restart in Phase Four of its regional reopening — as New York City entered Phase Two this week, allowing for principal photography with no more than ten people on a shoot, in-office pre and post-production work, location scouting and construction.
The city also began accepting film permit applications for the first time since COVID-19 hit for work starting after June 30 limited to a cast and crew of no more than ten with a series of other restrictions.
New York City is the former national epicenter of the global pandemic but has seen its infection rate drop even as the virus surges elsewhere around the country, including California.
Permit restrictions include:
-No reserved parking.
-No more than five of the following vehicles in any combination. passenger vans holding no more than 15 people, cube-style trucks, and cargo vans.
-No street closures or intermittent holding of vehicles.
-No pyrotechnics or potentially dangerous activity (e.g., stunts, use of police uniforms, real or simulated firearms).
-With the exception of equipment that is handheld for the duration of the Film Permit and sound equipment, the maximum equipment allowed is (1) up to two cameras (handheld or affixed to a tripod) and (2) three lights on stands.
-No locations that may interfere with COVID-19 response, such as hospitals, mobile COVID-19 testing centers, and makeshift morgues. (This limitation does not apply to news media.)
-No locations within 16 feet of an establishment participating in the NYC Open Restaurants program without written consent of the establishment. (This limitation does not apply to news media.)
Production using a handheld camera, camera on tripod, hand-held props and/or hand-held equipment, not asserting exclusive use of city property, not using prop weapons, prop vehicles, stunts, actors in police uniform and not requesting parking privileges for production vehicles do not need a permit and was allowed started June 22, when the city entered Phase 2.
New York City entered Phase 1 on June 8. Moving from one Phase to the next is based on meeting parameters including number of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. The state noted Wednesday that the precise timing of when regions will enter Phase Four hasn’t yet been determined. But the industry-specific guidelines it issued will give producers a template. They includes a short checklist of mandatory and recommended measures and a longer, 14-page detailed discussion of protocols that productions must formally click on to agree to.
The state and city rules overlap with protocols outlined by the guilds and unions as planning and production slowy moves foward.
MOME said The New York State Department of Health Interim Guidance for Office-Based Activities during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency applies to pre- and postproduction work performed in an office. State guidance on real estate services applies to scouting, and general construction guidelines apply to set construction.