Town lowers fees to attract movie filming

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The Town of North Hempstead is letting Hollywood know it is ready for its close-up – beginning with a reduction in charges for film crews to use town locations for their shoots

The town board voted last week to reduce permit rates for film crews to encourage more movie and TV productions to use North Hempstead locations. The board also voted to extend the number of shooting days for each permit it issues.

“We’re trying to make it more film-friendly, to increase from a maximum of three days to two weeks,” Town Clerk Leslie Gross said. “We’re trying to make it easier for film companies to come to one place.”

The permit rates for crews shooting in town locations had been $500 per day. Now the rates are $500 for the first three days, $400 per day for the next four days and $300 per day for the second week.

“We want to make it easier for the film companies, which seem to be very interested in filming here,” said Town North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman.

Kaiman said the Discovery Channel is planning to shoot an episode for one of its series soon that will extoll the quality of life in the town.

He said the town had raised rates several years ago with the result that fewer production companies were interested in shooting there. Kaiman said lowering the rates and extending the permit span is intended to reverse that trend, spark new interest and boost resulting revenues. 

Maxine Moss, a member of Gross’s staff who handles the permits, said the crew of a major motion picture will be filming scenes in North Hempstead next month and NBC will be filming an episode of a new fall series in the town.

“It was onerous to charge the full $500 a day,” she said.

In the past several months, an episode of the TV series “Gossip Girl” was shot in North Hempstead and The Food Network shot an episode of its “Restaurant Stakeout” series at Hill Haven Barbecue in Port Washington. A&E recently wrapped up shooting in several locations for upcoming episodes of its “Parking Wars” series. And an independent film, “Jack Heart Jump” was also recently shot in town locations.

“We’re working with them to make it happen,” Moss said.

Moss said while the town works to improve its media profile, it will also try to minimize the disruption that film crews can cause.     

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