Town May Revisit Fees for Filming Locally

location scout nyc filming print
Photo credit: Peter Walden Sr. | Paul Giamatti is seen here at the Port Washington train station filming his next movie "Win Win." (April 7, 2010)

By Emily C. Dooley
 In August, Hunt's ketchup scouted Long Island for a place to shoot a Crash Kitchen Tour commercial. In August, Hunt's ketchup scouted Long Island for a place to shoot a Crash Kitchen Tour commercial.

The first choice was the Roslyn Highlands firehouse, but the company ended up filming at the Glen Cove Fire Department, said Debbie Regan, an Old Westbury location scout who worked with Hunt's.

The reason? Permit fees charged by the Town of North Hempstead were much higher than those charged by the city of Glen Cove. "That permit turned them off to North Hempstead," Regan said.

Sensing the fees may be driving film companies away, the Town Council has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday night that aims to modify a fee and permit structure enacted in May.

The law set the daily fee for filming at a town-owned or maintained facility at $1,000 an hour plus a daily fee of $500, which covers two filming vehicles and three crew members. Each additional vehicle adds $100 and each person another $50 to the bill.
At the time, Councilman Fred Pollack said the permit and fees were ways to ensure the town and public safety agencies knew about filming in the town. But it may have had unintended consequences.

"My scouts called me and said no way they're going back," said Debra Markowitz, director of the Nassau County Film Office.
Since the permit and fee code was enacted, three permits have been taken out: two for commercials and one for a Paul Giamatti movie called "Win Win," said deputy town clerk Lou DeRosa.

"We've gotten dozens of calls from production companies that have decided not to film in the town," DeRosa said. "Production companies are sort of deterred from filming because of the fees."

Also on the agenda for the 7:30 p.m. meeting at Town Hall Tuesday night is a ruling on residential fence height restrictions and a public hearing about a housing authority plan to develop affordable senior housing in Port Washington.



























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