Bayonne council allows waiver of municipal filmmaking fees for students

Fees can range from $50 to $1,000 per day depending on location

Bayonne has passed a measure allowing the waiver of filming fees for students.

The City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance authorizing the changes at its August meeting after it was introduced in July. The ordinance amends the general ordinances of the city relating to the licensing, registration, and business regulations for filming.

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The existing fee for a basic filming permit cost a minimum of $500 per day. There is an additional fee for filming in public buildings, public parks, and or other public facilities of a minimum of a $1,000 per day.

Filming on private property is set at a fee of a minimum of $50 per day. While those are the required minimums, the actual fees are determined by an impact review conducted by the city’s Law Division.

The ordinance adds a new paragraph allowing the fees to be waived by “the Mayor or his or her designee when filming is done by a student in grade school, high school, college, university or other bona fide educational institution upon receipt by the Mayor or his or her designee of a written certification from a teacher or administrator at the school attended by the student stating that the filming is for educational purposes only and is not intended for commercial use.”

Embracing young filmmakers

After the meeting, Law Director Jay Coffey said the move aims to provide relief to student filmmakers from municipal fees intended for major productions. Schools nearby are expanding film making programs, with students seeking to film locally in Bayonne.

“There’s Bayonne High School, and St. Peter’s University that are getting more adept at filming stuff,” Coffey told the Bayonne Community News. “The fees were getting in the way. So we don’t want to burden students and treat them the same as commercial entities.” 

The move to allow the option to make filming free for students in Bayonne follows the approval of a planned major motion picture studio, which the redevelopers have indicated would offer apprenticeships to local students. However, Coffey said this had nothing to do with the planned 17-building studio which is estimated to be constructed by 2025.

Meanwhile, more and more movies and television shows are shooting in Bayonne. With the city set to be a “Hollywood on the Kill van Kull,” Bayonne is allowing local youth to also make their movie dreams a reality without the burden of municipal fees.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at

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