In the Film Industry, LA's Loss is NY's Gain

Monday, March 03, 2014

Law & Order Filming on an NYC Street Law & Order Filming on an NYC Street (smenzel/flickr)

Kevin Klowden, director of the California Center and Managing Economist at the Milken Institute talks about his new report that explains how California has lost thousands of film production jobs over the past several years while New York has gained more than 10,000 in film and TV. What has New York done to encourage production?


Kevin Klowden

Comments [15]

Film maker from NYC

the numbers are not accurate from the Gov film office. It's a patronage mill where you got a failed actress who's hubby is a big donor to Andrew Cuomo and is now the Executive Director.

Mar. 08 2014 11:51 AM
Lew Sadler

The people talking about the loss of tax revenue are idiots. Most of these productions would not come here without the tax credit. Isn't 15% of $300 million better than 40% of $40 million. Before the tax credits, a movie was made about Rudy Giuliani and 9/11. It was shot entirely in Toronto! So, don't fool yourself into thinking that they NEED to come here to film anything.

Mar. 08 2014 11:33 AM
Michael from Manhattan

For several years Connecticut sponsored a job training program for any resident who wanted to participate for two weeks in June. I participated as an instructor with other very talented craft professionals and in the time alloted, we shot a short film where the students operated as crew. This was done in an effort to save costs for film companies drawn by tax incentives by not having to bring crew from New York or Boston for films and TV shows shot in CT. The program was very successful. Unfortunately, the funding was cut by the state and the program discontinued.

I'm glad Erica Suzanne Scott wrote in with the link to the very excellent training program offered through the Mayor's Office for Film. Many young New Yorkers have graduated and benefited from this training by getting a foot in the door of many productions filming in The City. As a former coordinator, I interviewed many young people I could not hire because they had no experience and we didn't have the time to train them. Now the Mayor's Office for Film provides this service and makes it so much easier for aspiring professionals to find a production assistant position in a film or TV show.

Mar. 03 2014 12:56 PM

Also, those of you in neighborhoods with no Citibike stations will only endure a greater proportion of production in the coming months; my location scout friends have all been talking about the difficulties of avoiding Citi branding in shoots.

Mar. 03 2014 12:08 PM

The last caller had an excellent point regarding the local worker pool. Every time we're trying to get to work or home and are inconvenienced by a neighborhood shoot, someone makes a vague defensive reference to "the economy." However, if a resident can't sleep at 2am because an indie movie's generator truck is roaring outside, how does this resident benefit if she can't function at work the next day? Additionally, a call to 311 is unhelpful, since they direct all film noise complaints to the Mayor's Office (phone hours are 9-5).

To be fair, TV series tend to be more successful than movies with courtesy and appropriate wrap times.

Give the neighborhood residents immediate and tangible benefits, and they'll be more cooperative. Be kind, and they might even resist the urge to replace their window objects every hour so as not to mess with continuity. ;)

Mar. 03 2014 12:05 PM
Erica Suzanne Scott from nyc

There is in fact an apprentice program, specifically for low income/minority peoples, in NYC and has been in existence for quite some time.

Mar. 03 2014 12:01 PM
rz from Hamilton Heights

a way for young people to get started in the film industry. I know several young people of black and latino origin who went through the program and now have paying work in the film business.

Mar. 03 2014 12:01 PM
Dan Edelstein from Greenwich

Business is booming, and most of the credit FOR the tax credit goes to the New York Post Prod Alliance, a group of local film businesses, unions and individuals who lobbied Albany FOR YEARS to pass this great tax credit - even one specifically for POST production, the first of its kind in the country.

Mar. 03 2014 11:58 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

Agree with all that mentioned tax breaks for multi million $ companies.

But on a day-to-day basis I object to the TV and movie people because they're so VERY obnoxious. They own the streets and you have no right to anything.

Mar. 03 2014 11:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

As with every industry, a company needs workers who know what to do from day one. The most important thing is to have available talent in every field that they need expertise from. But this takes time to build up in any given location. In the US, the movie business started on the East Coast, and was moved to the West Coast by the early movie moguls due to the brilliant weather. And nearby deserts made good backdrops for the ubiquitous westerns.
However, NYC has its iconic backdrops familiar to many people around the world, and there is no shortage of talent and expertise.

Mar. 03 2014 11:54 AM
Jack from Manhattan


Please stop being so naive. If you ever met a movie producer, and I have, of course tax incentives are sought out. With tens of millions of dollars on the line with most film productions and little guarantee of financial success, these people will get blood from a stone to minimize their overall costs.

Mar. 03 2014 11:53 AM

WHy should my one man shop subsidize these big very profitable companies? It is unfair to me! It should be unconstitutional.

Mar. 03 2014 11:51 AM
Roy from Queens

@H. Baum from Manhattan
Adds temporary jobs and sucks badly needed tax money away from the city.
NYC helps subsidize multi-billion dollar corporations. What a sick joke.

Then what's your solution to handle unemployment in this city? Sure, no one's star-struck, and skilled jobs are needed here, but this is a good thing in the long run.

I worked in lowly temp jobs before, only having a BA in English, and there was no where to go while being in them. The economic downturn comes along, and I decided to be a background actor. I've been at this for five years, while writing a bunch of screenplays. Anyone can be a background actor (as long as they follow the rules).

Hell, there's a Workplace for anyone who wants to an production assistant.

Mar. 03 2014 11:24 AM
H. Baum from Manhattan

Adds temporary jobs and sucks badly needed tax money away from the city.
NYC helps subsidize multi-billion dollar corporations. What a sick joke.

Mar. 03 2014 10:42 AM
cc from nyc

could you address the excessive tax breaks these production co. receive?
There are those who are critical of just how 'welcoming' ny has been, at times at a cost to the tax payer.

Mar. 03 2014 10:19 AM

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