Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner Kenneth Adams released new data yesterday that shows that the postproduction business is booming in New York State one year after introducing strengthened postproduction tax credits. The data, compiled by the Post New York Alliance, shows postproduction hiring is up by 25 percent, on average with 173 new hires since this time last year. It is estimated that the uptick in new postproduction business will generate nearly $70 million in new spending in the state. In the last year alone, postproduction companies reported spending nearly $18 million to expand and purchase new equipment to accommodate the increase in business demand.
The strengthened legislation, which New York Governor Andrew Cuomo championed and signed into law last July, was designed to help the State compete for postproduction business. The law boosted the available postproduction tax credit from 10 percent to 30 percent for postproduction work in the New York metropolitan commuter region, and from 10 percent to 35 percent for postproduction work done Upstate.
“Last July, the state sent a clear message that we wanted to attract the good-paying jobs this fast-growing industry provides,” said Adams. “A year later, from Buffalo to New York City, postproduction business is booming.”
“In the last twelve months, the Post New York Alliance has witnessed an expansion of the film and television postproduction industry that has surpassed our greatest expectations,” said Yana Collins Lehman, managing director of Trevanna Post and executive board member of the Post New York Alliance. “We have seen consistent hiring and revenue increases across the board since the post incentive was improved last July. So much so that a new visual effects company, Empire Visual Effects, is now doing business in Buffalo, the first of many partnerships between upstate and downstate private business and public education.”
Since taking effect 61 productions have applied for the New York City tax credit – more than triple the number of applications received during a two-year period under the previous tax credit. Seven postproduction companies have established new operations, including three in Upstate New York and at least two New York postproduction companies have significantly expanded their operations.
Productions consistently cite the enhanced credit as key to their decision to bring their postproduction work to New York.
Pam Williams, producer of soon-to-be-released Lee Daniels’ The Butler, said the enhanced credit made it possible for her to finish the film in New York State instead of Louisiana.
“We always knew we wanted to do our postproduction in New York because of the great people and facilities here, but we weren’t sure we could make the numbers work,” Williams said. “So when Gov. Cuomo signed the law increasing the postproduction tax credit to 30 percent last July, it made it possible for us to be where we really wanted to be.”
Revenue has increased, on average, by 31 percent for participating postproduction companies.
“Our plans for creating local jobs during the first year were modest,” said Eric Robertson, co-founder of Mr. X Gotham. “We wanted to create a full service studio with 3D and 2D capabilities, but on a boutique scale so that our overhead was minimal during the start up. We didn’t anticipate the enormous demand that came immediately. Instead of creating 15-20 jobs over the first 12 months, we skyrocketed to over 30 artists in under nine months – and we’re still hiring.”
According to Dominic Rom, general manager of Deluxe NY, “[We are] experiencing a remarkable increase in business and it is a direct result of the tax incentives championed by Governor Cuomo. We anticipate further growth as news of the incentive spreads…”
“The credit has enabled Post FactoryNY to accelerate its growth by attracting new film and television clients that have come to New York because of the credit,” said Alex Halperin, founder and CEO of Post Factory. “We have grown our staff, expanded our facility and improved our technology.”