Jersey Shore’s Hoboken filming request denied, Mayor Zimmer says informal "verbal agreements" were made involving payments to individuals for"unauthorized filming"

Jersey Shore’s Hoboken filming request denied, Mayor Zimmer says informal "verbal agreements" were made involving payments to individuals for "unauthorized filming"

January 31, 2012 – Ed Mecka –

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer advised the “Jersey Shore” production company that their request for their Hoboken filming permit has been denied.  Zimmer wrote;

“After careful deliberation, the members of the Film Commission, including representatives from Health & Human Services, Environmental Services, and the Administration, with input from our public safety officials, have determined that in the interest of public safety and quality of life, the permit application for 495 Productions/MTV's production of the Jersey Shore spin-off has been denied.”


Zimmer went on to say that the production company, by their own admission, had already filmed in public areas without the required permits based on informal “verbal agreements” involving payments to individuals.

“We were extremely surprised to learn during our meeting with you that 495 Productions filmed in public areas without a required film permit in one location. You explicitly stated that the permit was not granted and instead informal "verbal agreements" were made involving payments to individuals.”

“As the mayor of a community that has experienced significant corruption in the recent past, I write to put you, 495 Productions,  MTV, and Viacom on formal notice that there will be zero tolerance  for this kind of approach  in the City of Hoboken. Any attempts to film in a manner that is not permitted without a permit will be dealt with immediately and aggressively by the City of Hoboken.”

“Please be advised that no City official or City employee has the authority to provide any verbal authorizations to film in public areas. The offering or acceptance of any payments or compensation of any kind by such employees or officials is a criminal offense.”


January 31, 2012

TO:        495 Productions, Inc. Burbank Blvd. Burbank, CA
FROM:    City of Hoboken Local Film Commission
RE:         Permit  to Film Application: 495 Productions

We are writing to advise  you of our decision to deny the film permit application dated january 4th, 2012 received from Amy Griggs representing 495 Productions, Inc., Burbank Blvd. Burbank, CA.

On Tuesday, january 24th, 2012, a meeting of the Hoboken  Local Film Commission was held at the Mayor's Conference Room in Hoboken City Hall to discuss a proposed production by 495 Productions of an untitled television series. The meeting was attended by members of the Hoboken  Film Commission: Mayor Dawn Zimmer, as a representative of the Administration, Director  Leo Pellegrini from the Department of Health and Human Services, and Maritza Emanuelli from the Department of Environmental Services  along with representatives of 495  Productions (Mr. jim Bianco, 4222 Burbank Boulevard, Burbank, California). The purpose of this meeting was to gather information regarding the  proposed production and to assess if granting the permit would  be in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the community.

The Commission heard Mr. Bianco of 495 Productions describe the production concept including the general organizational themes and logistical  structures.  He explained that this  is a "reality based" series of programs that  would  require about  700 hours  of film to produce a  single hour of broadcast programming.   The production would require that filming both interior and exterior locations take place  on  an  "ad  hoc"  or unscripted and unpredictable  basis and would follow the daily activities of two well-known reality television celebrities through the City of Hoboken. It would include  an apartment where the two would reside, and  crews would  follow  and  film  them throughout the  day  and evening.  The proposed 24-hour filming  permit would  violate the provisions of Hoboken  97-3  sec.  E. which  prohibits filming after 11:00pm in a residential area, virtually all of the City of Hoboken.

Mr. Bianco explained that  his company had  prior  experience in New jersey, Miami and  in Italy  and that local  authorities had expressed reservations about the production within their  cities at each place.

Hoboken Chief of Police Anthony Falco also  was  present at the  meeting.  Chief Falco has personal and professional experience with  film production management and  spoke  with insight  and  authority on this  subject.  The  Chief cited  a litany  of potential public  safety problems associated with  such  an unstructured  production as was  proposed.  While  film production generally is well  organized in advance and  film locations and  sites carefully selected and  prepared well  in  advance of filming,  there would  be  little  to  no  such  site control  in this instance. This factor alone makes  public safety planning almost impossible.

Hoboken  is geographically a very small  city, which  makes  it very easy to get to any location quickly.  Onlookers and  fans would  find it very  easy  to follow the  production through the streets of Hoboken. Furthermore, in this age of instant communication, the whereabouts of  the  film crew  and  cast  would be known   by the  public  on  a virtual minute-by-minute basis,  making  crowd  and  traffic  control impossible.  The density of our  city does  not lend itself to 24-hour activity as would  be experienced by our citizens.

All the  locations considered for filming  are  located in the  midst  of residential properties, apartments, condos and  townhouses. The commercial production of this scale would  take place  on  the  very  doorsteps and   beneath  the  windows  of  our  citizens,   unnecessarily degrading their  quality of life.

Finally, based  on the  Commissions' collective  experience and knowledge of the  very active nightlife  scene   in  Hoboken,   the  constant  presence of  such  a  production  would   be  an attractive  nuisance causing crowds  to  assemble  at  every   hour   of  the  day  and   night, additional traffic  congestion, the  attendant noise  associated with  large  public  gatherings and unacceptable lessening of the quality of life for the local residents and businesses.

Based on all the evidence provided by the production company and Chief Falco, the Commission unanimously agreed to deny the application based  on the negative impact  it would  have on the health, safety and welfare  of our community.

Under the film permit process, 495 Productions/MTV has the right to appeal this decision directly to the Hoboken City Council.

Jersey Shore Denial Letters - PDF


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