The film and TV production industry in New York City faced a significant setback in June as the number of filming permits issued declined. This decline was not only compared to previous months but also showed a sharp drop from the previous year.
The situation was exacerbated by a strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and ongoing uncertainty surrounding the contract negotiations of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
Moreover, rhe actors’ contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expired on June 30, with no deal reached, although talks were extended until June 12.
Labor Tensions Impact NYC Film & TV Industry: Permits Fall in June
Film and TV production permits in New York City saw a significant drop in June, with only 471 permits issued for 184 projects, down from 549 permits in May. This marked a sharp drop of over 40% from the previous year when 834 permits were issued for 254 projects.
The industry experienced cautious scheduling due to the contract deadlines of both SAG-AFTRA and the DGA. The decline comes as NYC’s film and TV industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic, with production serving as a major economic driver for the city, supporting jobs and contributing to substantial economic output.
Uncertainty for NYC Productions: Talks Stalled and Productions at Risk
Negotiations between the WGA and production studios have stalled since the strike began, causing widespread disruptions. Picket lines and strike actions have halted productions, with potential ramifications if actors join the strike.
SAG-AFTRA offers interim agreements to independent productions, but details on timing and effectiveness remain unclear. Meanwhile, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) supports affected individuals and businesses through webinars.
Despite labor challenges, the recent New York State budget enhances tax incentives to attract production, presenting a contrasting landscape.