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Gov. Cuomo announces post-production gains creating economic opportunity in New York

by jmaloni

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Tue, Feb 11th 2014 03:00 pm

10 firms established new operations in the state, including three upstate

More than 240 new jobs and nearly $100 million in spending since Cuomo strengthened the post-production tax credit program

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week released new data showing post-production business is booming in New York state as the industry continues to experience significant growth one-and-a-half years after the strengthened and expanded post-production tax credit program was signed into law.

The data, compiled by the Post New York Alliance, shows a major increase in new, permanent post-production jobs since July 2012, resulting in the creation of more than 240 new jobs - with more than 70 jobs created in the past six months alone. This new post-production business is expected to lead to nearly $100 million in new spending in the state. Since July 2012, post-production companies have reported spending nearly $25 million to expand or lease additional space to accommodate the increased business demand.

"The state's film and television post-production industry is taking off - bringing more businesses, investments and new jobs to New York than ever before," Cuomo said. "Over the last 18 months, we have achieved record-breaking post-production investment and employment gains, including tens of millions in investment and more than 240 new jobs for New Yorkers. As we continue to create new economic opportunities for communities across the state, and promote New York as the top destination for businesses to locate and grow, these figures make it clear that the Empire State has become the place to be for the film and television industry."

The legislation to strengthen the post-production tax credit program, which Cuomo championed and signed into law in July 2012, was designed to help New York compete for post-production business and jobs, a fast-growing segment of the motion picture and television industry. The law boosted the available post-production tax credit from 10 percent to 30 percent (for post-production work in the New York metropolitan commuter region), and from 10 percent to 35 percent (for post-production work done upstate.)

Since taking effect:

•Nearly 100 productions have applied for post-production work in New York - almost six times the number of applications received during a two-year period under the previous tax credit;

•10 post-production companies have established new operations, including three upstate: Empire Visual Effects in Buffalo, Edgeworx Studios in Kingston, and Crazy Horse Effects in New Paltz; and

•At least five New York-based post-production companies have undertaken major expansions, including one company that built and will operate an onsite post-production facility at Broadway Stages in Brooklyn, and had also overhauled a screening room at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, creating the largest digital intermediate color correction theater on the East Coast.

Post-production includes all of the editing after filming is complete, such as visual effects, color correction, sound editing and mixing. The industry also sustains thousands of other jobs, from engineers and messengers to creative and support staff. The strengthened law was designed to expand state support by specifically focusing on attracting post-production work to communities in all corners of the state. At a time when other states are experiencing production flight, New York's strengthened credit supports a robust industry cluster that has become a major source of direct and indirect employment and economic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people.

Yana Collins Lehman, managing director of Trevanna Post, and executive board member of the Post New York Alliance, said, "The New York post-production industry has never been busier than it is at this moment. The tax incentive has driven film and television projects to the state at the exact rate we hoped it would. The incentive is also successfully emboldening companies to expand all over the state. The Post New York Alliance can't thank Gov. Cuomo enough for letting the world know, 'New York is open for business.' "

Paul Moore, eastern executive director of The Motion Picture Editors Guild, said, "Thanks to Gov. Cuomo's support of the post-production tax incentive program, members of the Motion Picture Editors Guild Local 700, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have experienced a 30 percent increase in hours worked with more than 94,000 additional hours in 2013 than 2012."

Benjamin Porcari, industry director, The ICEA at Daemen College, said, "Empire Visual Effects is off to an amazing start and has brought a new level of digital production to the upstate New York region. The growth of New York-based opportunities due to the post-production tax credits has led to a rapid growth of staff as we continue to provide advanced paint, roto and compositing services. Recent projects for New York visual effects and post companies include supporting work for both a major feature film and the Pepsi Grammy's halftime show. We are looking forward to the rest of 2014!"

Production staffs consistently cite the enhanced credit as key to their decision to bring their post-production work to New York instead of another state.

Todd London, senior vice president of VFX and post-production for The Walt Disney Studios, said, "We are very pleased that the New York State Post-Production Credit Program has made it possible for us to bring our post-production work on 'Into the Woods' back to New York. It's exciting to come full-circle and finish this film in the same place where 'Into the Woods' first found success."

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