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Gianaris pressures city to expand film incentives

State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria) joined film industry representatives last week to call on the city to help bring post−production jobs to the city by expanding its film and television tax credit.

Much of the city’s indoor shooting and stage work are completed at Long Island City’s Silvercup Studios and Kaufman Astoria Studios.

Gianaris joined elected officials representing other boroughs as well as members of the city’s film and television industry, including actors Bobby Cannavale (“Will & Grace”) and Matt Servitto (“The Sopranos”), last week on the steps of City Hall, where they pleaded with the City Council to enhance city film tax incentives.

“New York’s film tax credit is the single most successful economic development program in recent history,” Gianaris said. “New York City can maximize the economic benefits for our region at a time when the economy is struggling. Increased tax credits would ensure that the recent growth in New York’s film production business continues and that our economy receives a much−needed boost at a sensitive time.”

Gianaris, who will be introducing a bill that would authorize the expansion of the production credit, said the city should attempt to draw television and film post−production work to New York.

The city and state tax credits are eligible for films and television shows that complete at least 75 percent of their production in New York. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting said the incentives have significantly raised the number of productions shooting in the city during the past several years.

Gianaris said filming in the state has gone up 84 percent after the state recently tripled its tax credit. He said an estimated 6,000 new jobs have been created and $600 million in revenue has been generated for the city’s economy since it initiated its own tax credit.

He said the city should enact its own post−production credit that would be available for any film editing, musical scoring, sound editing or digital effects completed in the city. He said an estimated 95 percent of post−production is completed in Los Angeles.

“Although post−production work is predominately based in Los Angeles, New York has a longer history of editing than Hollywood and has a high−skilled post−production workforce that holds a national reputation for excellence,” said Paul Moore, of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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