The postproduction industry in New York is making its impact on the state economy known. Postproduction work for film and TV generates $128 million a year in state tax revenue and is responsible for 23,310 jobs, according to the Post New York Alliance.
The alliance—a trade group made up of 65 companies that work in the film and television postproduction industry in New York—just released its first-ever commissioned study to show the economic impact of the industry.
Postproduction refers to tasks executed after shooting has taken place, such as the editing of raw footage, working with voice and sound actors, and dubbing.
The report comes as the local film and television production industry anxiously awaits the approval of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget. The budget calls for a three-year extension of the state’s lucrative $420 million annual tax credit on filming, which would take the credit through 2022. In 2013 the state allocated $25 million of the annual tax credit to the creation of a 30% credit on postproduction work done in the city and a 35% credit on work done upstate—even if the movie or TV show was filmed elsewhere. Since then more than 300 applications have been submitted for the postproduction credit.
“Before the postproduction tax credit, our part of the industry was flailing,” said Yana Collins Lehman, president of Trevanna Post, a postproduction accounting firm, and chair of the Post New York Alliance. “Now visual-effects companies are expanding and moving here from all over.”
Trevanna Post raised its number of employees to 13 from six in the past four years. It moved its office from a 900-square-foot location in SoHo to 4,000 square feet in Midtown.
There are now 430 postproduction companies in the state, up from 250 firms in 2004.
Jonathan Hoffman and Pete Conlin founded Sixteen19, a full-service postproduction facility, in 2009 and expanded its Chelsea facility in 2015, investing $1.5 million in equipment and the build-out. In 2013 the firm invested $1 million to build a 5,000-square-foot visual-effects facility in Buffalo. The company also has offices in London and Los Angeles, but Hoffman and Conlin said New York is its “fastest-growing and highest-revenue-generating location.”
Santa Monica, Calif.–based Shade VFX opened a 4,000-square-foot office in Manhattan in 2014 to take advantage of the postproduction tax credit. It does the visual effects for shows Jessica Jones and Daredevil, based on Marvel characters.
Indeed, 11,260 people now work in the state’s postproduction industry, a 35% increase from 2004, when the initial film and television production tax-credit program was launched, according to the Post New York Alliance report. Since the postproduction allocation in the tax credit was established, 2,630 new jobs were added.
HR&A Advisors, the firm that conducted the study, found that, using economic multipliers, the postproduction industry is responsible for 23,310 jobs, $1.87 billion in income and $7.06 billion in economic output for the state.