Is Washington, D.C., the Hardest Place to Shoot Movies in America?


Even though the film industry pours millions of dollars into Washington, D.C.'s local economy on an annual basis, the Washington Times is reporting that strict laws regarding film permits are giving the city a reputation as the most difficult place to shoot in the United States. Apparently, even shooting simple exterior shoots of Capitol Hill and the headquarters of the FBI is an enormous ordeal, thanks to overzealous local authorities who seem to feel that a camera crew shooting a building façade regularly seen in postcards and tourist snapshots amounts to disclosing major State secrets. According to State of Play director Kevin MacDonald, the blame mostly rests with the federal authorities, as opposed to the district's generally helpful film commission, while former West Wing producer Michael Fountain claims that the city is a terrific place to shoot, thanks mainly to his connections with the Secret Service, who were fans of his show. Ultimately, since some estimates indicate that the District is the third-largest film economy in the country, after Los Angeles and New York City, it seems pretty unlikely that the authorities are going to change their rules in the interest of attracting more filmmakers. Lame!

D.C. rules make filmmaking a tough sell [Washington Times]