In the wake of the January terrorist attacks in Paris, the French police authorities have introduced new restrictions on filming action sequences in the capital.
Police commander Sylvie Barnaud said that the Prefecture de Paris, for a temporary period at least, will not issue permits for action sequences.
There’s a problem with these action-type scenes, as the actors in uniform could be targets for terrorists,” she said. Action scenes might even lead members of the public to believe that an attack is underway. The use of fake weaponry and pyrotechnic effects on film shoots in Paris has also been prohibited.
Just what impact the ban may have is another question. No major action sequences are planned in Paris in the near future. Olivier-Rene Veillon, prexy of the Ile de France Film Commission, said that he was unperturbed by the ban and did not expect it to have any long-term effect.
Franck Priot, COO of Film France, also emphasized to Variety that Paris continues to be an extremely safe place to shoot and that the city’s agencies are fully committed to making miracles happen in terms of foreign productions.
For the time being the measure seems to have had a primarily public relations dimension and will be adapted once a genuine issue is posed in terms of the need to shoot an action sequence in Paris.
France is keen to attract big budget productions to the capital and recently approved a hike from 20% to 30% in its Trip international tax rebate scheme, effective from Jan 1, 2016.
The country also has a specific film agency, Film France, which provides assistance to foreign producers aiming to film in Gaul.
Filming in Paris has always involved logistical problems, given that it’s one of the world’s busiest capital cities and has a maze of labyrinthine streets that can be a nightmare for equipment trucks and coordinating complex shoots.
Producers need two permits to film in Paris, one from the City Hall and the other from the Prefecture de Paris, but both have developed “film-friendly” policies in recognition of the financial and publicity-related advantages associated to attracting major feature films to the Paris region. Recent productions in 2014 included “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” “Bastille Day” and “Lucy”.