Since 1966, the Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting (OFTB) has been the one-stop shop for all production needs in the City. The local entertainment industry provides 130,000 New Yorkers with employment and generates almost $9 billion dollars annually. This office is an advocate for all kinds of productions, from major feature films and television series to commercials, music videos, documentaries and student films. We provide permits and services to assist your project, and we look forward to working with you. We have a reputation for finding a way to say yes.
The permit we issue to your production provides access to public locations and street parking for essential production vehicles throughout 300 square miles of public settings in the city’s five boroughs, including 27,000 acres of city parks.
When your project is shooting at an exterior location which requires traffic control, or has a scene with prop firearms, weapons or actors in police uniforms, you must request that the NYPD Movie and TV Unit be assigned to your location. The police unit will assign its officers at no charge to you.
All decisions about what is permitted are made by the Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, working in close consultation with the NYPD Movie & TV Unit, and other key city agencies. We have the experience and resources to facilitate your production requests.
*Filming in city parks, interiors within city buildings, bridges, subways or tunnels will require additional permissions from the controlling entities. Please contact our office to obtain specific contact information.*
In order for you or your organization to be eligible for a Motion Picture or Television Permit, Liability Insurance is required. A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE must be provided to the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting 48 hours in advance of your online permit application submission. For details on what insurance information you should provide and for a listing of insurance brokers, click here.
A pre-production meeting with the Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting is required for all feature films, television movies, series or specials, elaborate exterior commercial shoots and music videos shooting exteriors with celebrities, or multiple locations. It is recommended that this meeting be scheduled with our office three weeks before shooting, but must be scheduled no later than five business days before the actual shoot begins.
The purpose of this meeting is to review shooting plans and production schedules. Participants generally include the Production Manager and Location Manager, as well as representatives from our office and other relevant agencies. Immediately following this main pre-production meeting at our office, you are ready to apply for a permit detailing the location activities.
Permits can be issued within 48 Business hours of application. The deadline for permit applications is 2 Business days before your scheduled shoot.
More complex productions require special consideration by the NYPD Movie & TV Unit, therefore applications must be submitted three to four days prior to the shoot date.
This agency is as flexible as possible when emergencies require a schedule change on the day before a shoot, but emergency changes should always be called into both the Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting and the NYPD Movie & TV Unit as the first priority.
Our permit provides special parking privileges at locations for vehicles essential to your shoot. These vehicles include equipment trucks, lifts, cranes, campers and honeywagons. Crew or personal cars are not covered by the permit.
You must supply each vehicle’s make, model and plate number with state. A copy of the permit must be displayed on the dashboard of each vehicle.
An oversized vehicle permit is required for any single vehicle exceeding 35’ length (bumper to bumper), 8’ width or 13’6” height and for tractor/trailer vehicles exceeding 55' length, 8' width or 13'6". Click here for the oversized vehicle permit procedure.
Any child under the age of 18 years must, by New York State law, have a permit to work in a film or television production. The New York State Department of Labor administers Child Performer Permits. Located at 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014, this office can be reached by phone at 212-775-3880. Further information is also available on the Department of Labor's web site at labor.state.ny.us.
Pyrotechnics, fire effects and explosions, including simulated and other smoke effects, require a prior inspection, permit and supervision by the NYC Fire Department.
Exceptional requests (i.e. removing a lamppost, changing a street sign, etc.) may require additional permits. The Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting will provide the municipal contacts to expedite this.
Locations that require prior approval from other city agencies, private organizations or conservancies (Examples: MTA, Parks Department, Tishman Speyer, Hudson River Conservancy) must have that information (contact name, organization name and phone number) indicated on the permit application request.
There are a few frequently requested locations within the city which are under the jurisdiction of other governmental bodies and are NOT available on our permit, and require special permits. Here are two major exceptions:
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) arranges shoots involving the use of subway stations, trains or buses. You must make arrangements well in advance, from one to three weeks or more, with the MTA. The Transit Authority’s Special Events Unit will provide you with an estimated cost for your request.
The Port Authority arranges all shoots at all airports, the PATH trains, and certain piers, bridges and tunnels.
For any location sites not directly available through our permit, the OFTB production unit has extensive contacts and will support your requests. This includes the MTA, the Port Authority, government buildings, parks and landmarks under state or federal jurisdiction, as well as many, key privately owned locations such as Rockefeller Center and most non-profit institutions which have relationships to city government such as the American Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center. Please call our office to obtain specific contact information.
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. That's why we created the Code of Conduct for productions to follow when on location. To read our Code of Conduct, click here. For the accessible/large-print version of the Code of Conduct, click here.
This FDNY brochure summarizes key fire safety requirements for film/TV production activity on locations in New York City. If you have questions about fire safety, please call 311 and ask for FDNY Business Support or visit www.nyc.gov/fdny.