2,275 permits have been issued in the last 3 years but ONLY 11 citations. Ratio of permits to valid complaints is about 1/2 of 1 %.
Last year 968 film and print permits were issued for location filming, filling 22,209 hotel rooms, spending $87,070,838 dollars all in Miami Beach.
The residential location at the center of this attack to our industry had only 13 permits issued, for a total of 19 production days, in a 7 month time frame, for an average of 2.71 days per month. The neighbor's complaint, who proposed restrictions to the film guidelines, has compared this activity to "living in Time Square".
During an economy, in such dire straights, it would be wrong to cause severe negative effect to an industry that brings jobs to all sectors of our community.
There is no permitting problem on Miami Beach.
Because of Burn Notice, CSI, Dexter, Magic City and countless commercials and advertisements, the entire nation, if not the world, is exposed to our sparkling beaches and sunny skies almost every night of the week.
If we get the reputation as being “film unfriendly” another Florida city will grab these productions, and their money, as quick as you can say recession. Companies want to film here and they adhere to rules. If we have to change guidelines, we should be extremely cautious as to how much we take away.
After 9/11, the Print & Film Industry in South Florida died. Small businesses went bankrupted. Homes were lost. Friends and family moved away to find work. My husband was one of those people, he moved to New York. Separated for 3 years was more than difficult - it was a disaster. I had to stay here taking care of my mother. It was only God’s grace that kept us married.
Unable to sleep last night, I tossed and turned. My mind replayed the days our sunny beaches went dark. I worry it will happen again. It can, if we are not wise.
The person at the center of these attacks has accused the the film community of using scare tactics to protect their industry. This is not a scare tacit. This is scary.
Please, don't let this happen. Don’t let one man cripple a healthy industry and destroy lives.
Most respectfully yours,
Noreen Legault Mendoza