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Monday, July 28, 2008

Another call to arms: Fresno City Council set to vote on filmmaker friendly ordinance tomorrow morning

This was the email sent out by Ray Arthur earlier today (I apologize for it's lateness): 

Dear Friends,
It's been a long journey but the City of Fresno Film Ordinance will be brought to the Fresno City Council on Tuesday, July 29th. It is scheduled as a timed item for 9:30 AM. That means it will be heard at or after 9:30 AM.

The Film Ordinance and Staff Report can be viewed on the City of Fresno website here.

Following is a portion from the Staff Report that notes the changes in the Film Ordinance from its previous version presented in February:

On February 26, 2008, the Fresno Film & Entertainment Commission (FFEC) presented the Fresno City Council with a previous version of this Film Ordinance. Council, at that time, expressed concerns in the areas of required insurance for student and small independent film productions.
With the assistance of the City Attorneys Office, this revised version of the Film Ordinance responds to Council's concerns by incorporating the following changes:

Student Filmmaking will be exempt from both the film permitting process and insurance requirements.

The "Rule of Three" has been expanded to the "Rule of 15." This revision greatly broadens the previous "Rule of Three" to include all productions of 15 people or fewer, providing they use handheld equipment and do not interfere with the general flow of the citizenry.

Two additional definitions, for "hand held devices" and "obstruction," have been added to the definition section of the ordinance to clarify elements of the "Rule of 15."

With the inclusion of these additional revisions the FFEC feels these steps meet the interests expressed by all parties.


How dope is that?! Freakin' Rule of 15?! That's just plain bananas and I'm goddamn excited! This is it right here: this is going to give local filmmakers a lot of room to go out and not worry too much about all the legal mumbo jumbo when your doing a  just for fun project. Hopefully, Fresnans will take advantage of it, too. But for now, we need the Council to come through again on this little ordinance and make this law! If your free tomorrow morning, grab a friend, make signs (alright, maybe no signs), swing by City Hall and help support this lil' gem of an ordinance as well as the growth of our local filmmaker community!

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