Should Antigua Guatemala charge for filming within the city or municipality?

Rudy Giron: &emdash; Camera! Ready?! Action!

I wonder if the Municipalidad de Antigua Guatemala, city hall or the municipal government, should charge for filming within the city. I know that photographers already have to pay to use the ruins as backdrop for photo sessions. Also, I know other cities such as Los Angeles or New York City also charge for filming on the streets. What are your thoughts about this issue?

© 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • El Canche

    You mean they don’t charge already? I think there is a full justification for charging for commercial filming. Antigua seems to be a magnet for providing backdrops and the natural beauty, classical history and glorious architecture could be considered the city’s patrimony, if not intellectual property. Much of the city’s upkeep cost is due to the dilapidations caused by tourists, visitors and commercial users, so a reasonable charge would not seem unjustified to me. Similarly, charges could be made for bus tours etc if this is not already done. It is not just any old city!!

  • NYChapin

    I’m surprised too that they don’t charge already. Why the difference with photographers? I would say yes if the funds collected are channeled properly to the upkeep of the city that El Canche mentions, as well as security and possibly to promote/educate local filmmakers. Does the Muni have a Cultural office/ director?

    • Hi NYChapin, they don’t charge photographers for doing session on the streets, only when they use the ruins under the administration of the Consejo de Conservación.

      El 30/07/2013, a las 15:03, Disqus escribió:

  • Depends on for how long, and where they will be filming I guess. And if the city needs to close off the area for everyone else.

    • Good points Stefan.

      El 30/07/2013, a las 17:09, Disqus escribió:

  • Eric

    To echo all 3 responses already, yes, they should DEFINITELY charge. Maintenance of La Antigua is not free. And the beautiful vistas in and around La Antigua did not just drop out of the sky, to be used by whomever happens along; people live there, and deserve to be compensated for the use of their city.

    • Well, they should, but I believe they don’t so far.

      El 31/07/2013, a las 07:43, Disqus escribió:

  • Willy

    Hey Rudy, just saw a couple of your photos at the CFA exibition. Good stuff! A lot of talent in Antigua capturing world-class images of a most beautiful city. Regarding a tariff or tax on film crews, would the money really be used to improve the city? I was speaking with a friend here last night who commented on the car/truck/bus tax imposed for coming into the city. His impression was that little of that money is spent to impove roads and Antigua’s infrastructure. Might another tax just make some fat cats even fatter?

    • Hi Willy, many people who only live in down town Antigua Guatemala do not realize how much work is put into the aldeas, villages. Remember Antigua Guatemala is more than a city, it is municipality.
      El 31/07/2013, a las 12:37, “Disqus” escribió:

      • El Canche

        Yes, you have given us some great photos of regeneration of outlying villages, like 30/12/12 video of Ciudad Vieja, which does demonstrate that the municipality is trying to spread the money around. Likewise, after the floods, I imagine much of the restorative work was carried out in the outlying villages. On one level, it makes sense to invest in the villages, which have their own encanto and will also have growth in the future, as LAG reaches the limits of its finite capacity, becoming increasingly expensive to live in for ordinary people.
        My perception (which is second-hand) is that the Administration of LAG is one of the more honest and transparent, not only in Guatemala, but in the wider region, so paying taxes there is probably one of the better investments, even if things are not perfect.

        • Hi Canche, a few clarifications are in order.

          1. Ciudad Vieja is another municipality so any works there are funded and executed by the Municipalidad de Ciudad Vieja. 2. The administration of LAG was so corrupt that the mayor and several council people are in jail awaiting to be trialed. So, far from being honest and transparent. 3. In my opinion, still believe we pay not enough taxes.

          El 2/08/2013, a las 00:47, Disqus escribió:

          • El Canche

            Well, just shows how wrong one can be! At least if they are in jail (I had read about that episode), there is some hope that there is a justice system with a little life in it still…. I guess no fiscal culture can develop among people unless trust can be established in government. I won’t hold my breath. I remember saying a while back that we needed you as Mayor….I wasn’t kidding!

  • mawoyou

    Antigua should make a deal… pay some fees or have a percentage of your crew be nationals. I believe that only paying a fee is not enough. Try to develop the film industry in Guatemala