According to data from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, 32 film permits have been issued in Bushwick zip codes so far in 2021. Of these permits, which are needed for shooting footage under certain circumstances, 19 were listed as being for television, six for films and five for commercial uses.

Not all filming requires a permit, however. Handheld equipment or cameras on tripods, for instance, don’t warrant the $300 fee that comes when you add in boom mics or stunts. The conditions for when shooting permits are required can be found here.

Last year, a total of 65 shooting permits were issued in Bushwick. The number of permits was typically much higher before the pandemic, with 178 and 209 issued in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

This trend is true across the city. Last year, studios had to learn to adapt to pandemic regulations and frequently had to pause production altogether.

The New York Times noted that the number of film permits issued for outdoor filming in the city began to increase last September, when relaxed regulations allowed socially distanced crews of up to 100. However, to this day, film and television shooting on the streets of New York City is way down.

The total number of film permits in all five boroughs throughout 2020 was just 2,559, as compared to 9,010 in 2018. Approximately halfway through 2021, there have been 1,693, indicating a slight increase from last year but no return to normal levels.

Other cities have also seen fluctuations in permit applications due to the pandemic. In Los Angeles, for instance, permit applications began to increase throughout the summer and fall of 2020 but dropped sharply in December, when the city faced a coronavirus surge.


Photo by Lê Minh from Pexels.

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