NYC Filming Permits Drop 53% in August, First Full Month of Dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA Strikes

New York City filming permits declined 53% year over year in August, which marked the first full month of the year during which both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) were on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Per the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MoME), 364 permits were issued to 157 projects from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31. Comparatively, 773 permits were granted to 202 projects in August 2022, when the writers and actors guilds were not on strike against the Hollywood studios.

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It should be noted that these permits do not cover all TV and film production occurring in NYC, as only productions that shoot in public areas need the city’s approval before rolling.

The WGA went pencils down on May 2. SAG-AFTRA joined them on the picket line with their own strike July 14.

Up until now, filming permits have been steadily falling in NYC since the start of the WGA’s strike: 662 shooting permits for 187 projects were issued in April, 549 permits for 181 projects in May, 471 permits for 184 projects in June, and 260 permits for 125 projects in July. But in August, the permits rose to 364 and projects went up to 157.

The increase by more than 100 permits granted in August compared to July can likely be attributed to July being a slower month for film production in NYC in general: Last year, 757 permits were handed out for 173 projects in July vs. the above-mentioned 773 permits for 202 projects a month later in August.

MoME does not have data regarding how many of this year’s August permits were issued to AMPTP-produced projects and how many for indie projects, some of which have been requesting interim agreements from SAG-AFTRA to adhere to the guild’s demands and continue shooting amid the strike.

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