The New York Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development recently piloted the New York Loves Film Production Roadshow at the Woodstock Film Festival. The event featured two 60-minute face-to-face conversations with filmmakers, festival officials and New York State government representatives to gather and discuss film production practices and issues across New York State. Unlike standard panels and Q&A sessions, the dais, podium and microphones were removed to enable participants to engage in a genuine free-flowing exchange of ideas relating to filmmaking in New York State.
“The New York Loves Film Production Roadshow is the latest effort by Governor Cuomo and the entire team here to promote film and television in New York State,” Empire State development president, CEO and commissioner Kenneth Adams said. “We’ve decided to take the show on the road so that filmmakers can meet our team who can help them learn everything about film production in our state from location scouting to postproduction to incentives available to them. Our commitment to the industry is very strong and we hope all participants benefit greatly from these workshops.”
“This new interactive approach illustrates the level of commitment New York State has for film projects, both large and small,” said Gigi Semone, executive director of the Governor’s office for motion picture and television development. “Our goal is to not only strengthen the connection between the state and filmmakers, but to streamline the filmmaking process and encourage individualized attention. Every project has different needs and challenges and we want to emphasize the accessibility and resources available to all.”
“The New York Loves Film Roadshow was so popular that we had to add a second session soon after we put it on the schedule,” festival co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein said. “Producers really want the kind of direct, personal connection these workshops offer them with the team from the Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development. We’re very pleased that Woodstock hosted the initial launch of this great idea.”
Workshop attendees ranged from first-time filmmakers to veteran producers and the participants’ reception was enormously positive.
“I didn’t know what I was walking into when I signed up, but it far exceeded my expectations,” said Alex Smith, the writer, producer, and director of Winter in the Blood, which premiered at the festival. “I’ve never shot in New York State and wasn’t aware of how extensive the incentive was and how involved the state film office is in assisting productions. I definitely will explore bringing my next project here.”
“I have a working knowledge of the incentive and filming in the state, but it proved invaluable to speak at a roundtable directly with the film office team,” said Brent Kunkle, who has produced numerous pictures in New York State. “You realize quickly the state film office is a great ally and that there is much I didn’t know about shooting in the state. I learned a lot.”
The New York Loves Film Roadshow will continue across the state, including at film schools, expos and other festivals.