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TV and Film production in New York at an all time high

Thanks to its myriad of unique locations and ethnic diversity, a variety of the most popular feature films and television shows have called New York City (and the state) home. However, the cost to do business has traditionally been high.

Today, with new tax incentives and support from the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, production and post activity at an all-time high, in terms of the number of producers and postproduction companies working there.

A Super Session at this year’s Content and Communications World (CCW) Showon November 13-14 in New York, will look at the benefits and drawbacks of such increased activity for both the city, state and residents who live there. The panel discussion, “NY TV & Film at All Time High - Is It a Good Thing?,” will be moderated by Mike Jackman Co-Chair, New York Production Alliance, and Executive Vice President of Post Production at production company FilmNation Entertainment. Jackman is also Senior Vice President, at Brevity Ventures and a filmmaker with over 25 years of experience in various aspects of the business.

“We want to point out the great value that film and TV production brings to the community, the city and the state of New York,” Jackman said. “I think it’s not too much of a good thing; it’s growing and adding valuable, high-paying jobs for blue collar workers [carpenters , electricians, grips, makeup artists, etc.].”

Part of the reason for the renewed interest in shooting in New York has been a number of new tax incentive initiatives that have been instituted by the city and state governments; which has stimulated producers to work in New York.

“However, with this windfall for the city has come some resistance form local residents who are often inconvenienced by productions that shut down streets and take away valuable parking spaces, sometimes for days at a time,” Jackman said. “Those are legitimate concerns, but the local communities have to remember that people are working, not collecting unemployment checks.”

In his role as co-chairman of the NYPA, Jackman has worked hard to create, promote and sustain jobs in New York. He has lobbied for the tax incentives and said that the state has developed a multi-million program in tax breaks for production companies that has resulted in up to two times that in new revenue for local businesses and the city itself.

“What’s attracting all of this interest in producing programs and films in new York is the significant cost savings that produces can benefit from by working here,” Jackman said, adding that production companies can now save 30 percent in taxes by working in New York City and up to 40 percent when working on location in upstate New York.

“There is a huge crew and talent base in New York, but it’s also very expensive to work here,” he said. “But when you put the tax incentives into play, it’s becomes much more attractive for producers to work here. With this session, we’re going to show producers how to take advantages of these programs so that they ask themselves, not ‘where can I afford to shoot,’ but ‘where do I want to shoot?’ And New York is now looking more and more as the best option.”

The session (Thursday, November 14, at 1:30pm) will explore the options for where and when to shoot and post produce projects most cost-effectively. It will also focus on how to deal with the local unions and neighborhoods.

Panelists for this session include: Lyndsey Lostritto Laverty, Gold Coast Studios; Debra Markowitz, Director, Nassau County Film Office; Jerome Stoeffhaas, Deputy Director, The New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development; and Stuart Match Suna, Co-Owner & President, Silvercup Studios.