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Researched and written by Lauren Folden
New York City is undoubtedly the most iconic city in American film history, its landmarks emblazoned into the imaginations of film viewers everywhere. What people might not be aware of, on the other hand, is just how easy and cost effective it is to film in New York City, and the state in general. With free permits, free police assistance, and multiple tax credit options, it’s no wonder so many productions choose New York.
When considering NYC for location options, the choices are limitless, from its expansive, gleaming skyline, to the Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler Building, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Fifth Avenue. It is comprised of the famous five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Brooklyn, of course is home to Coney Island, Manhattan to most of the cities skyscrapers, Central Park, Broadway, Greenwich Village, and Madison Square Garden, while the borough Staten Island give the best views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Upstate New York is home to the Catskill and Adirondack mountains, while the Great Lakes lie to the west of the state. For those seeking to film on a set, the city has over 900,000 square feet in sound stages ready and waiting.
New York filming permits are free. To download one, visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/permits/permit_download.shtml 
To film in a city park, see Parks Film Shoot Request Form. After submitting the form you will be directed to an individual park manager.
Police assistance in New York is free. To acquire the necessary assistance, contact the New York Film Office. The NYPD film unit is necessary in situations in which filming will block traffic as well as for other safety needs.
To qualify for a Motion Picture or Television Permit, you must present to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting AN ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE which is signed in ink by the Broker’s Authorized Representative and which includes:
1. The name and address of the insured person or production company.
2. The Description of Operations on the certificate must read as follows: “The City of New York is named as additional insured pursuant to, or with coverage at least as broad as, ISO Form CG 20 12 (07/98 ed.).”
3. That the policy provides at least One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) [usually listed as 1,000 thousands] in US currency or its equivalent of Comprehensive General Liability for each instance of claim.
4. The name of the insurance company and of the broker, with the broker’s phone number.
5. The policy number.
6. The dates for which the policy is in effect, including both the start and expiration dates.
7. That the policy may not be modified or canceled without seven days prior written notification to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.
Film and television production that complete at least 75% of their filming in new York are eligible for a 30% refundable tax credit from NY State and a 5% refundable tax credit from NY City. New York also has a marketing credit and a “Made In NY” discount card for purchasing production needs.