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It's a wrap! 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' turns out the lights on production in Buffalo

by jmaloni


Tue, May 19th 2015 06:10 pm

Sequel to last summer's blockbuster spent two weeks, $7 million filming in upstate's Queen City

Empire State Development announced Tuesday filming in Buffalo for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" has officially ended.

Before production commenced, the sequel to last summer's blockbuster hit, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," projected spending an estimated $7 million filming in Buffalo, while investing extensively in local businesses and resources. Statewide, the film is estimated to spend $70 million, resulting in more than 1,000 New York jobs.

"After two weeks of car chases, explosions and wild helicopter rides, the Turtles' exciting shoot in Buffalo has officially wrapped," Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said. "Thanks to the film production tax credit program, and the 10 percent expansion on labor expenses for upstate productions, 'TMNT 2' has contributed millions of dollars to New York state's economy. In just two short weeks, next summer's blockbuster provided a tangible boost to Buffalo's businesses and raised the city's profile as a great place to shoot a major action movie."

Many film productions have touted New York's film production tax credit program as a major factor when choosing the Empire State as the location to film. In 2014 alone, 194 film and television projects applied for the program and are projected to spend approximately $2.6 billion while hiring tens of thousands of individuals in New York. As a result of provisions designed to enhance the program and drive more productions to upstate New York, the program now offers an additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor costs for films that shoot or do post-production in upstate counties.

When coming to a city like Buffalo, major productions like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" generate a significant boost for many local businesses; in particular, downtown hotels and restaurants.

"The Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, located in downtown Buffalo, truly appreciates the partnership with Paramount Pictures, the state and the Buffalo Niagara Film Office during the filming of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2,' " said Wendy B. Clubine, director of Buffalo market area sales, Buffalo Lodging Associates LLC. "Our property hosted thousands of room nights and the production filled the hotel to full capacity! While we are no stranger to hosting the entertainment industry, this production was the largest, and the economic impact to neighboring restaurants and business was staggering. The last few weeks have been a wonderful experience!"

Additionally, while "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" filmed along Buffalo's Kensington Expressway, it hired crewmembers from both Buffalo and the larger Western New York region. When a major production comes to a city, its crewmembers spend thousands of dollars at local establishments, generating a significant boost to the business community at large. To maximize the economic impact these crewmembers had during their time in the community, ESD partnered with Visit Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Niagara Film Office to offer all crewmembers discounts at local restaurants and shops.

The discount card effort proved to be a great success. With 18 Buffalo businesses offering discounts - from 10 percent off all purchases to complimentary items with certain orders - owners and managers reported a tangible uptick in business from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" employees presenting their discount cards or credentials. The success of the discount card program demonstrated how far-reaching the economic impact of filming can be in a city and community, extending beyond jobs and wages.

"We received a lot of business from 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' crew members. My staff and I saw quite a few of those discount cards," said Jay Manno, owner of Soho Burger Bar, which participated in the discount program. "It really shows the positive effect film production can have on a locally owned business like mine. We were happy to give them a taste of the great food and service Buffalo is known for. Visit Buffalo Niagara and everyone involved did a great job of bringing business to downtown."

"Without question, 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' was good for business," said Kelly DiDomenico of Century Grill. "It was great to see the crew exploring Buffalo and spending money at local restaurants - ours included. I was proud to be a part of it."

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" is directed by David Green. Michael Bay is producing alongside his Platinum Dunes partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, with Galen Walker and Scott Mednick also producing. The screenplay is by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec, who also executive produce with Denis L. Stewart, Grant Curtis, Eric Crown and Napoleon Smith III. The film is based on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

Paramount Pictures will release the film June 3, 2016.

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