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Silvercup execs say Cut! to tax on film production

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Silvercup CEO Alan Suna and Stuart Match Suna, the studio's president, said they would like the state Legislature to help move forward a provision by Spitzer in his recent state budget proposal that would increase tax credit allocation from the current 10 percent to 15 percent for all film and television productions shot in the state. The governor's proposal also would expand the program to make productions with higher production costs eligible for tax breaks."It's about job retention and creation," Alan Suna said. "While the industry has rebounded for a period, it has hit a wall with increased competition from other states. We believe that [the state] credit, combined with New York's talent pool, locations, studio facilities and technical and support services will encourage producers to continue to increase working in New York." There is currently little production taking place at Queens' two major studios - Silvercup and Kaufman Astoria Studios - following the Writers Guild Strike, which went into effect more than three months ago. The union is trying to secure a minimum basic agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, demanding that producers give writers 2.5 percent of all revenue earned through new media sales, including movies and television shows that can be viewed on the Internet or downloaded onto portable media players.A spokeswoman for the city's Office of Film said seven films have recently been in production in the five boroughs, including "Doubt," an adaptation of the Tony-winning play, and "The Reader," which stars Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet. But most shows that are filmed at the borough's studios are currently on hiatus for the strike."Cashmere Mafia," which shoots at Silvercup, will show its last four episodes and end on Feb. 13, while "New Amsterdam," which also uses the Long Island City studio's lots, will premiere in March. But two of the studio's shows - "30 Rock" and "Gossip Girl" - are now showing re-runs as the strike continues, a studio spokesman said.One film - "Julie and Julia," which stars Meryl Streep - is in production at Silvercup, a spokesman said.But Stuart Match Suna said the governor's increased tax incentives would also retain a number of productions in the city and state. The Empire State Production Credit, created in 2004, and a similar city credit created in 2005 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg have helped draw film and television productions back to New York from historically cheaper locations in the United States and Canada."The [state] plan for tax credits will allow for film and TV productions to continue being shot in New York City and sends a clear message to Hollywood producers that film and television shows about New York should be filmed in New York."Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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