Cedar­town OKs new film or­di­nance

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Kevin Myrick SJ Edi­tor

A cru­cial in­stru­ment in Cedar­town’s tool­box for work­ing with the film in­dus­try is now in place af­ter Com­mis­sion­ers gave their ap­proval to new lan­guage gov­ern­ing how pro­duc­tions are han­dled within the city lim­its.

Cedar­town com­mis­sion­ers gave unan­i­mous ap­proval dur­ing their April ses­sion to im­ple­ment re­vised lan­guage into the city’s code for how film com­pa­nies will ap­ply for use of city spa­ces — such as streets and side­walks, for in­stance — to com­plete pro­duc­tions large and small.

Ad­di­tion­ally, a new reg­is­tra­tion form is now in place as well, along with a sched­ule of fees for the use of cer­tain ser­vices, such as po­lice for traffic con­trol or wa­ter for spe­cial ef­fects, such as cre­at­ing rain.

The film or­di­nance is the first within the county to be im­ple­mented and came about through Cedar­town’s ex­pe­ri­ence with past pro­duc­tions, com­pleted on a project-by-project ba­sis.

Now af­ter the work of months, clear guide­lines are in place for what the city will ex­pect from com­pa­nies seek­ing to use the city for a set­ting, along with gov­ern­ing the use of pri­vate prop­erty as well.

Specif­i­cally, Sec­tion 22-382 of the new or­di­nance will now require that any­one who is con­duct­ing film­ing on pub­lic or pri­vate prop­erty for com­mer­cial pur­poses — such as a movie, tele­vi­sion show or even mu­sic video — now must ob­tain a per­mit from the city, along with any re­quired by the In­ter­na­tional Fire Code or other pro­vi­sions within the city code, ei­ther cur­rent or fu­ture.

When ap­proved, a lo­ca­tion agree­ment will be drafted with the city, and will gov­ern the use specif­i­cally of city prop­erty. Those seek­ing to use pri­vate prop­erty will have to draft in­di­vid­ual agree­ments with those own­ers.

Fol­low­ing the city com­mis­sion’s de­ci­sion to move for­ward with the “Brook­lyn” project be­ing pro­posed by Peachy Clean Pro­duc­tions, the new rules will go into ef­fect that an ap­pli­ca­tion to film needs to be sought, with a three-page form drafted seek­ing in­for­ma­tion from ap­pli­cants be­fore given ap­proval.

A re­quest must be put in no less than five days be­fore film­ing, but no more than 180 days be­fore a pro­duc­tion seeks to come to town.

Per­mits won’t be re­quired by news me­dia, for per­sonal or fam­ily videos, in­door stu­dio film pro­duc­tions, stu­dent film pro­duc­tions or any­thing con­sid­ered low-im­pact, such as any videos be­ing made that have a crew of 10 or less, takes three or fewer days, and is en­tirely con­ducted on pri­vate prop­erty with­out the use of city re­sources.

Fees are also es­tab­lished in the or­di­nance, with a base per­mit cost­ing $100 per day, with an ad­di­tional $200 a day charged for any need for road clo­sures.

Any ad­di­tional po­lice fees are sep­a­rate and require con­tact with the Cedar­town Po­lice Depart­ment in­di­vid­u­ally on a case-by-case ba­sis to de­ter­mine staffing needs for any law en­force­ment use.

The city also is charg­ing daily use for fa­cil­i­ties be­ing used. Gen­eral fees are $500 for say rent­ing out a city-owned prop- erty gen­er­ally, and an ad­di­tional $1,000 per day for the au­di­to­rium.

A $1 mil­lion li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance pol­icy is re­quired for large pro­duc­tions as well to be cer­ti­fied by the city be­fore film­ing can oc­cur, as well as other agree­ments for le­gal pur­poses to be com­pleted be­fore any pro­duc­tion can move for­ward.

The city will also require a se­cu­rity de­posit for some pro­duc­tions who might have higher im­pact on the city for cleanup pur­poses af­ter if ev­ery­thing isn’t re­stored to the way it was be­fore.

City man­ager Bill Fann said in Novem­ber 2017 that it was an on­go­ing process of learn­ing what works and doesn’t, and said that pol­icy would con­tinue for Cedar­town’s new or­di­nance as well be­fore the com­mis­sion gave it final ap­proval.

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