Community Outreach

Before the Shoot During the Shoot After the Shoot Resources


The Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting welcomes you to New York City: the birthplace of filmmaking and home of the greatest film locations in the world. We want your film, TV, music video or commercial shoot to run as smoothly as possible. Your production company and our neighborhoods matter to us.

All productions are expected to adhere to our Code of Conduct, or Keys to the City, listed below or will face possible revocation of its film permit or other action. A copy of this directive must be distributed to all production personnel. But before going through our "Keys to the City", some general rules to follow before kicking off your production are available below.

Resident Notification
When filming in a residential neighborhood or business district, proper notification is to be provided to each merchant or neighbor who is directly affected by the company (this includes parking, base camps and meal areas) at least 48 hours prior to filming. The filming notice should include:
  • name of company
  • name of production/phone number of production
  • kind of production (e.g. feature film, TV pilot, commercial, etc.)
  • type of activity, and duration (i.e., times, dates and number of days, including prep and strike)
  • company contact (location manager, unit production manager) name and cell number


As part of our continuing efforts to balance the needs of the production industry with those of the residents of New York City, please use our sample resident notification letter as a template for a letter of your own. Be sure to include all of the specifics pertaining to your production as highlighted on the sample.

Letters need to be distributed to the community board as well as each resident and merchant at least 48 hours in advance of your shoot - it helps to ensure that your shoot runs as smoothly as possible.

To download a pdf version of our sample resident letter, click here.

Production Vehicles
Production vehicles arriving on location in or near a residential neighborhood shall not enter the area before the time stipulated on the permit, turning off engines as soon as possible. Engine idling is prohibited. Permits are never issued before 6am in residential areas unless filming occurs overnight. Do not park generator trucks or campers with running generators in front of residential buildings if possible. Crew parking on set is strictly prohibited.
Illegally holding parking on streets not requested on permit is strictly prohibited

Community Vehicles
Moving or towing of the public’s vehicles is prohibited without the express permission of the OFTB in conjunction the NYPD Vehicular Towing Unit.

Trash Clean-Up
Catered meals must be served and consumed at interior locations. Sit-down meals are not permitted to occur on city streets or sidewalks. All trash must be disposed of properly upon completion of meal. Production cannot use Dept. of Sanitation trash cans or leave trash bags at curbside among residential or business trash.

Aggressive Crew Behavior
Cast and crew, including parking P.A.s shall refrain from the use of aggressive or physically threatening behavior when interacting with the general public. Crews should be polite and respectful.

Tree Removal
Removing, trimming and/or cutting of vegetation or trees without proper authorization is prohibited.

Traffic Control
Intermittent holding or redirection of vehicular traffic for picture is to be performed by NYPD Movie and TV Unit officers or TIU traffic agents only. P.A.s cannot hold or redirect vehicular traffic. A 13.5 foot emergency traffic lane must be maintained at all times. All Oversized vehicles must have D.O.T. permits.

The company will comply at all times with the provisions of the filming permit. The NYPD has the authority to stop production for the day for violations of New York City and New York State laws and ordinances listed above.

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Before the Shoot...

  • Online permit requests should be submitted to the OFTB no later than 48 business hours before the shoot day.
  • Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood in which you're shooting. Be considerate of schools, churches, senior centers, funeral homes, etc.
  • Notify the community board, city council, block and merchant associations in which you are filming at least 48 hours in advance of your shoot.
  • Assure businesses that you will allow customer access and truck deliveries.
  • NO PARKING signs will be posted a minimum of 48 hours in advance. Parking may not be held more than 24 hours in advance.
  • When used, Vehicular Towing Unit (VTU) NO PARKING signs should be posted before the last legal time that someone could have parked.
  • Use elastic bands or string, NOT tape, when posting resident letters or parking signs on trees.
  • Provide blackout material to residents' windows for night exterior shoots.
  • All necessary permissions for government agency-run properties (i.e. Authorized parking, parks, MTA properties, bridges, courthouses, etc.) must be obtained.


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During the Shoot...

  • Locations departments and Parking PAs should be sensitive to neighborhood needs while holding parking in advance. Do not park production vehicles in bike lanes, bus stops, driveways, at fire hydrants, loading docks or in front of active theater marquees.
  • All crew members, including parking P.A.s, shall wear and display I.D. badges at all times.
  • Do not block building or business entrances. Keep equipment in front of buildings that are working directly with the shoot only. Do not trespass onto other neighbors' or merchants' private property, including stoops. Do not stage equipment in front of closed storefronts when you have an early call. Business and residents must be allowed to receive all deliveries.
  • Ensure safe pedestrian passage through and around your set at all times. Cover cables with mats, keep equipment curbside or in curb lanes, don't allow crew members to congregate in pedestrian passageways. When cameras are not rolling pedestrians must be allowed to walk along any city sidewalk and gain access to any building.
  • Find nearby lots to park non-essential vehicles if you are going to be at a location for multiple days.
  • Do not park catering trucks or honeywagons in front of active restaurants. Barbequing, use of propane or open flames is prohibited on location. Craft service tents are permitted in curb lanes only, not on sidewalks, unless specified on the filming permit.
  • Campers should be tied-in and powered from one source.
  • All generators must be baffled with fireproof/non-flammable material.
  • Have copies of the VTU relocation list on set at all times.
  • Productions that film prior to 8:00am and after 10:00pm must keep noise to a minimum. Filming of exterior gunshots must occur between the hours of 9:00am and 10:00pm in residential neighborhoods.
  • Non-domestic animals on set are required to have permits from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and be accompanied by handlers at all times.
  • Copies of all permits issued must be available on set for general public viewing.


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After the Shoot...

  • Clean up after your shoot. Make a clean sweep of the area to ensure that nothing is left behind, including equipment, garbage, all resident letters, NO PARKING signs and VTU signs (and tape, string) that your production posted.


Contact the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting for assistance at 212.489.6710 or by calling 311. After business hours please call a Supervisor of the NYPD Movie/TV Unit at 646-739-9900.

And don't forget: we appreciate your business, we welcome your feedback and we wish you the very best with your project! Come back to our City soon!

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Resources

Download the Code of Conduct and Keys to the City
Sample Resident Letter
MPAA Statement of Support
Find a Community Board
Find a City Council District
Find a Business Improvement District
NYC Street Closures Map
NYCityMap

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3 Steps to a Permit!

Step 1

When a Permit Is Required and Fee Info
Insurance Requirements
Optional Permit
Pre-Production

Step 2

Filming in a Park
Online Application

Step 3

Find a Community Board
Find a City Council District
Find a Business Improvement District
Sample Resident Letter

Step 4

Students
International Productions
Red Carpet Premire Permits
Calendar of Citywide Events
FAQs