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Tarrytown Trustees Consider Film Permit Changes

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — A few village merchants weren’t star-struck when the movie Predisposed filmed in Tarrytown after a day of filming in front of their stores left problems for customers.

The Board of Trustees received a letter from the Merchants’ Council detailing the issues and asking the board to change their filming permit policies.

The current law states that filmmakers must file for a filming permit 21 days in advance, according to Village Administrator Michael Blau. But it doesn’t mean that the village has to issue a permit within a certain number of days.

This was one of problems that the Merchants’ Council has with the current law; it allowed Predisposed to film in front of stores without adequate time for notification.

“The changes that were made caught the affected merchants by surprise,” Mayor Drew Fixell said. “The merchants had no ability to deal with it.”

Blau noted that the company had filed a filming permit application within the 21 day period, but that they had changed plans just before filming. This, he said, is common.

“When they come to see me, it will change five or six times before [the permit] is approved,” he said, noting that it never made sense to expand the period between application and filming because there are so many people involved in the process that it will inevitably change as first the location scout picks one location and then various producers find other spots they prefer.

When trustees asked Blau whether that was because the village or the film company didn't do their job properly, Blau answered.  “It’s because they’re not doing their job,” he said, and the village shared no blame in any snafus.

Trustees wondered whether the village could impose a set deadline, such as 14 days before filming, where any changes would have to be made. After the deadline, no changes would be allowed.

The idea was met with enthusiasm from the board. A suggestion was also made to put a note in permits that any violation of the permit could result in the revocation of the permit.

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