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RED BANK LOOKING TO TIGHTEN THE REEL

sawicki1Kevin Sawicki and Chris Bacarella of Holmdel shooting a short film downtown last week. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Seems like there’s been a spate of film crews wielding tripods and cameras around Red Bank lately, doesn’t it?

The borough council has taken notice, too.

Rather than letting the tape — er, memory cards — roll free, the council is considering a new ordinance that would require filmmakers and video production companies to register and obtain a permit from borough hall to capture scenes in Red Bank.

That, of course, would require a fee.

How much? To be determined, although Mayor Pasquale Menna says “not draconian.” The main purpose of the ordinance, if it’s written and passed, would be to keep track of who’s filming in town and to make sure they’re following local laws.

The registration fee, he said, would be to cover administrative costs and any extra services from the borough.

“We just want to make sure that the borough’s expenses are paid for by these guys, because the applicant makes money off it,” Menna said, adding that those costs shouldn’t be made up with taxpayer dollars.

sawicki2Sawicki trains his lens on Matt Strickland for a scene from their unnamed film. (Click to enlarge)

Other towns have these types of regulations in place, said Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, so, really, a film ordinance in Red Bank would be like “playing catch-up.”

“It’s not foreign to people in the industry,” he said. “They come looking to get a permit.”

Menna said there would be exemptions for educational institutions.

The council discussed this type of ordinance last year, but it fell through the cracks. As it appears to be a busy time for people to shoot scenes around town, though, Menna doesn’t want to let the same thing happen with this potential ordinance.

“We really want to introduce as quickly as possible,” he said.

The council meets again at 6:30p Monday at borough hall.

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