July 10, 2017

NY State Post-Production Tax Credit Program Inspires Growth

Confidence in the New York State Post-Production Tax Credit Program Inspires Growth

NYs Love Film
Published on June 29, 2017

In the five years since the New York State Film Tax Credit Program’s post-production credit was tripled – from 10 percent to 30 percent—the state’s post-production industry has skyrocketed, with more jobs being created and sustained as post-production facilities continue to broaden their space, technical capacities and workforce.

Industry leaders say the investment in expansion not only provides the ability to take on the growing number of  projects that are drawn  by the incentive, but it also raises the bar on the level of post-production that can confidently be accomplished in New York.

The following is a roundup of reaction to the changing landscape of post-production in New York State:

  • Zak Tucker, President of Harbor Picture Company, a New York full-service production and post-production studio, emphasized that “the New York State post-production tax credit has led post-production companies, like Harbor, to invest in next generation infrastructure and technology at enterprise scale to successfully attract tent-pole productions to execute their post-production in New York rather than in Los Angeles. Since the post-production credit was increased in 2012, the result has been a sea change in the number and tier of productions making New York their home for post-production.”
  • Pete Conlin, Managing Partner of  Sixteen19, a boutique post-production house, said, “The 30 percent tax credit is 100 percent  responsible for the huge growth in post-production since it has made the industry in New York strong enough and stable enough to now tackle the volume of episodic television and major tent-pole movies, and gives companies such as Sixteen19 confidence to expand their workforce and their investment in the Empire State.”  Sixteen19 recently expanded their Manhattan-based facility by adding an entire floor of editorial and finishing suites to accommodate the ever increasing long-term jobs that are a result of the bourgeoning work coming into the State.
  • Rob DeMartin, COO/President of Technicolor PostWorks said, “We have experienced a huge influx in new projects since the tax incentive increase was announced, especially in the world of television. While many TV clients used to shoot in New York and return to Los Angeles for finishing, we’ve seen more projects opting to stay in the area for post-production. Television budgets are higher than ever, and with the tax incentive being renewed and increased in a timely manner, it’s given our TV clients the confidence to choose to remain in New York for future seasons. We’ve also been thrilled to see growth in small budget indie films shooting and posting locally. While New York was always a desirable spot for resident filmmakers to base their productions, we are now attracting directors and producers from all over the world thanks to our thriving local film industry and the economic incentives provided by the state.”
  • Vivian Connolly is the CEO of Phosphene, another one of New York’s premier visual effects and design companies. Phosphene began with two employees in 2010 and currently will increase to 22 full-time employees in July, with an added pool of 30 freelancers as needed. Their infrastructure has expanded dramatically from a few tiny offices in 2010 to a 5,000- square-foot studio in the financial district in 2016. “The growth we have experienced is without a doubt directly related to the post-production tax incentives. The tax incentives have provided the economic stability required to provide well paying full-time jobs with benefits, something that is necessary to maintain, and in some cases relocate the best talent to New York. In addition, the credit has provided the financial stability required to invest in the ever-expanding and changing technology landscape which is a must for staying afloat in the visual effects industry.”
  • Last year, when The Molecule, a premier creative facility, announced their expansion, Co-Founder/CFO Andrew Bly said, “We’re confident that as long as the tax incentives continue to be supported in NY, our industry will continue to grow. It’s an exciting time to be in post-production in New York State.” At that time, their expansion included doubling the size of their New York headquarters and their team. Since then, their virtual reality business has seen a major increase, and VFX for episodic series continues to be a pillar of their business, though features also round out their portfolio.
  • Post Factory NY prides itself for growing from a small operation to one of the most unique post-production houses in NYC and confidently just signed a 20-year lease on a three-story building.
  • As the film industry’s premier post-production accounting firm, Trevanna Post is perfectly poised to advise productions on the value of doing post-production in New York.  Besides being involved with a production from the time shooting ends to the finish of a project, they are also involved with productions during prep—when post and VFX decisions are being made. Yana Collins Lehman, President of Trevanna as well as Chair and one of the founders of the Post New York Alliance (PNYA), added: “Since tax credits are a consideration where a production will go for post, the conversation begins early and we can show how the incentive will work within their budget, making New York the right choice. We also encourage them to do all post in New York, so they don’t have to look elsewhere.”