2006-12-14 / Front Page

Movie studio gives $5k to town, $2k to school

By Dotti Farrington

After shooting a feature movie in Jamestown since September, Disney filmmakers have offered a $5,000 donation to the town in lieu of a hosting fee. The money is to be used at the town’s discretion Town Administrator Bruce Keiser told the Town Council Monday.

“We are all grateful for the donation,” he said, although he noted that he was still “getting guidance” about usual fee or donation arrangements from other communities that host professional moviemakers. Keiser noted that the filmmakers donated $2,000 to the town school department in return for using the Melrose Avenue School as a location for filming some scenes.

Keiser also reported that the filmmakers have asked to have exclusive use of East Ferry, including all parking, from Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 18-20. He said businesses at or near East Ferry have agreed to the arrangements even though it occurs during the commercially busy holiday season. He said that that police patrols would be scheduled to help with traffic and parking control during the filming.

Disney workers have constructed a temporary “book store” to be added to the shops at East Ferry. The bookstore will serve for a primary film sequence.

In late October, the council delegated Keiser to develop more information about his suggestions that the town consider a policy that would provide for fees for use of the town as a movie location.

Keiser said that industry sources told him that there are no set or standard agreements about costs for publicly-owned film locations, although there is widespread knowledge that fees are negotiated with owners of private properties used as movie locations. Keiser suggested that a hosting fee schedule would be in addition to assessment of costs for municipal services, such as police assignments. The policy would have no impact on or authority over payments to private entities, he said.

The councilors said they want the policy to specify a town contact worker so that film companies are not inundated with people looking for donations for use of publiclyowned locations.

During the open forum part of the meeting this week, Clayton Carlisle, of West Passage Drive, told the council that five or six Disney trailers were permanently parked for several weeks at a West Reach Drive cul de sac. He suggested that if Jamestown is asked to be a film location again that it review the arrangements for consideration of impacts on neighborhoods. “The impact was severe on our neighborhood,” he said. He said that he was not against filmmaking, but he believed better arrangements could have been made.

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