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New York Postproduction Tax Credit Attracting Record Number of Applicants

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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that applications to New York State for postproduction work have soared as a result of legislation signed into law last year, which strengthened incentives to attract postproduction activity to the state. Since the law took effect, 34 productions have applied for postproduction work in New York – double the number of applications received during a two-year period under the previous tax credit – helping to create jobs and spur new spending in the state.

“Last July, the State sent a clear message with a new law that we welcome and support producers, editors and directors to come to New York for postproduction work,” Governor Cuomo said. “In just a matter of months, the State has received a record number of applications to do postproduction here – evidence that we are making smart investments to attract businesses, create jobs and generate economic activity. Let this progress be an invitation for other productions to come to the Empire State, the future television and film capital of the world.”

Signed by Governor Cuomo in July 2012, the new law boosted the available postproduction credit from 10 to 30 percent in the New York metropolitan commuter region, including New York City and Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties. For postproduction work in Upstate New York, 35 percent in tax credits were made available to encourage additional investment and construction of new facilities in the region.

So far, applications have been submitted by projects shooting in states including Louisiana, Georgia, Idaho and Massachusetts, and from as far away as Jordan. It is estimated that this work will generate $23 million in new spending in New York.

“Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the state’s television and film incentives program is attracting new productions that are resulting in more investment in New York and more jobs for New Yorkers,” said Empire State Development president, CEO & commissioner Kenneth Adams. “It is clear that New York is becoming the place to be for the film and television industry.”

Among the new applicants for the credit is Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage, an upcoming feature film from Benaroya Pictures. The film stars Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce, and is directed by Liza Johnson from a script written by Mark Jude Poirier, based on a short story by Alice Munro.

“The New York State post production credit was a game changer in getting this film made,” said Jamin O’Brien, a producer on the film. “Prior to the post credit, we may not have been able to make the film, as the 30% credit on New York expenditures became part of our finance plan. There are very few states that offer a post only credit and New York being one of them will allow a lot more films to get made by allowing films to post where the directors and producers are based.”

“New York is a wonderful place to edit a film,” said Electric City Entertainment’s Jamie Patricof, producer of Random, which filmed in New Orleans, but did postproduction in New York. “With the amazing facilities and large talent pool you have unlimited options. Thanks to the new incentives we will now be able to bring the films there to finish that we aren’t able to shoot in the state.”

Postproduction includes all of the editing after filming is complete and includes visual effects, color correction, sound editing and mixing. The industry also includes 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 postproduction 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 which has become a major source of direct and indirect employment and economic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people.

“We are thrilled to hear that the incentive program is attracting so many projects to New York State,” said Yana Collins Lehman, managing director of Trevanna Post and executive board member of the Post New York Alliance. “The partnerships forming between New York City and upstate postproduction companies and new postproduction programs beginning in Universities upstate are a direct result of the Governor extending and expanding the post incentive program. Our facilities and talent have never been busier. It’s an incredibly exciting time for our industry and our state.”

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