Ordinance amendments clear way for film productions

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – With the local upsurge in moviemaking in Michigan in light of recent state tax advantages, the City Council has enacted an ordinance aimed at governing production filming within the city.

The idea is to help the city be film-friendly while still protecting its limited budget resources.

A production filming request form spells out the conditions under which permits will be issued and producers’ responsibilities.

The new guidelines applies to motion picture, television, radio and photographic production, as well as staging or shooting activities for more than five consecutive minutes on public or private property, or in the public right of way.

The rules would not apply to news media, productions conducted by the city or its schools, government or agents, or production work that occurs within legally established studios.

Transmission of live performances on large screens are excluded from the ordinance, as are private events filmed or photographed for noncommercial purposes, such as weddings and private parties.

The City Clerk’s Office will collect all fees and administer permits, hold-harmless agreements and insurance certificates. Applicants will be asked to describe the kind, character and type of production, as well as the type of media. A description of production dates and hours and the number of people involved also will be requested on the permit application.

Fees will be collected to cover the cost of personnel needed to process and evaluate the permit requests. Fees may be waived for nonprofit groups. City cable television productions, student filming, and educational productions may also be fee exempt.

An explanation of the property to be used, the crew’s “base camp” and any needed traffic control plans will also be requested on permit applications, as will cleanup plans.

Production crews will be required to notify all affected residents and businesses that will be affected by the production activity, as directed by the city.

Obscene matter or performance, as defined by law, is not authorized by the issuance of a permit. The city will reserve the right to review all proposed scripts for any production filming activities.

Disorderly or unlawful conduct at a filming location also can be grounds for revoking a permit.

Applicants will be required pay in advance for any additional police, fire or other city services needed during the production activity. Applicants also will be required to clean up and restore any site they use.