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Tax Incentives Fuel New York Postproduction Boom


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released new data showing postproduction business is booming in the Empire State one-and-a-half years after the strengthened and expanded postproduction tax credit program was signed into law. The data, compiled by the Post New York Alliance, shows a major increase in new permanent postproduction jobs since July 2012, resulting in the creation of more than 240 new jobs – with more than 70 jobs created in the last six months. This new postproduction business is expected to lead to nearly $100 million in new spending in the state. Since July 2012, postproduction 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 postproduction industry is taking off – bringing more businesses, investments and new jobs to New York than ever before,” said Cuomo. “Over the last 18 months, we have achieved record-breaking postproduction 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 postproduction tax credit program, which Cuomo signed into law in July 2012, 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 post work done Upstate.

Since taking effect nearly 100 productions have applied for postproduction work in New York – almost six times the number of applications received during a two-year period under the previous tax credit. Ten post houses have established new operations, including three Upstate – Empire Visual Effects in Buffalo, Edgeworx Studios in Kingston and Crazy Horse Effects in New Paltz.

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

“The New York post production industry has never been busier than it is at this moment,” said Yana Collins Lehman, managing director of Trevanna Post and executive board member of the Post New York Alliance. “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.”

Paul Moore, eastern executive director of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s support of the postproduction tax incentive program, members of the Motion Picture Editors Guild Local 700, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have experienced a 30 percent increase in hours worked with more than 94,000 additional hours in 2013 than 2012.”

“We are very pleased that the New York State Post Production Credit Program has made it possible for us to bring our postproduction work on Into the Woods back to New York,” said Todd London, senior vice president, VFX and postproduction, The Walt Disney Studios. “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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