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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg And Governor George E. Pataki Announce New Incentive Programs To Promote Film And Television Production In New York

September 28, 2004

Mel Brooks' "The Producers: The Movie Musical," One of the First Films to Take Advantage of the New Incentive Program, to Start Filming this Fall at the Newly Open Steiner Studios

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor George E. Pataki along with Steiner Studios Chairman Douglas C. Steiner today announced an operating agreement with Mel Brooks' production company Brooksworks, LLC, to bring the production of Brooks' latest film, The Producers: The Movie Musical to Steiner Studios this fall.  Produced by Mel Brooks and directed by Susan Stroman, The Producers will star Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.  The film, which begins shooting at Steiner Studios in late Fall 2004, is one of the first in New York to take advantage of the new incentive program designed to attract more film and television production to New York State. At the event, Governor Pataki signed into law the "Empire State Film Production Credit Program," to provide tax incentives to feature films and episodic television shows that do a majority of their filming on qualified soundstages across New York State.  The legislation authorizes New York City to be able to offer additional tax incentives to help boost the film industry in the five boroughs, and Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the "Made in New York Incentive Program," featuring a combination of tax and marketing credits, along with expanded customer services for productions in New York City.

"Every year, hundreds of films and television shows use our City as a backdrop, and these productions play a huge part in our local economy generating $5 billion a year as well as 100,000 jobs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Our Administration is committed to expanding our share of this important industry; that's why we invested about $28 million in infrastructure improvements at the Navy Yard to spur development of Steiner Studios. And that's why in January during the State of the City, I pledged to deliver a package of incentives that would support and attract film and television productions. Nine months later, we have made good on that promise with the 'Made in New York Incentive Program', so that projects completing 75% of their production in New York City will be eligible for significant tax and marketing breaks.  I'm proud that Mel Brooks' The Producers is one of the first productions to participate in the program, and I want to thank Governor Pataki, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno for their support."

"So many producers and directors already want to make films and television shows in New York, and thanks to this new program we're going to make even more 'show business' possible in our State," Governor Pataki said. "This new incentive program will encourage new films and television shows to choose New York, bringing with them thousands of new jobs for our film and television community.  New York's film industry already generates billions in economic impact every year which is why we are offering a program that will continue to grow this important business.  I want to congratulate Mayor Bloomberg for adding additional incentives to this program in New York City and thank Mel Brooks for choosing New York to make his latest film, The Producers."

As part of the "Empire State Film Production Credit Program," which the Governor signed into law today, New York State will provide a tax credit of 10% for qualified production costs to feature films and episodic television shows while filming in qualified New York State production facility.  A production must meet major thresholds to receive the program benefit.  A qualified production must spend 75% or more of its facility related expenses at a qualifying New York State facility, defined as a facility containing a soundstage 7,000 square feet or larger.  If the costs associated with the qualified facility work are less than $3 million, the production must shoot at least 75% of the film's location days in New York State in order receive the credit on qualified production costs.

Qualified production costs will include most "below the line activity" for pre-production, production and post production if performed in New York State.  However, costs for the story or script and wages or salary for writers, directors, including music directors, producers and performers (other than background actors with no scripted lines) are not included.  There will be a $25 million cap for each calendar year.  However, if the $25 million cap is met for any taxable year, the Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, can allocate credits for the subsequent calendar year.  Empire State Development and the Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development currently are working on regulations for the incentive program, which will be finalized by the end of next month.  The application form will be available online at

In addition, the "Made in New York Incentive Program" launched today by Mayor Bloomberg includes tax and marketing credits along with a specialized concierge services for entertainment production.  The Mayor expressed his support for the local New York City opt-in, which provides an additional 5% tax credit with a cap of $12.5 million for each calendar year up to four years.  The "Made in New York Incentive Program" includes:

  • Tax Credit:  A 5% refundable tax credit on qualifying projects that work on a New York stage, a complement to the 10% tax credit enacted as part of the State budget.  Eligibility for the credit requires that 75% of a project's stage work occurs on a New York stage.

  • Marketing Credit:  The program offers outdoor media which is equal in value to 1% of a production's total costs.  Qualifying productions can make use of city-owned bus shelters, phone kiosks and street banners for co-branded advertising related to the Made in NY production.  This credit is extended to productions that do 75% of their total production for a project in New York City.

  • Cultural Benefit: In conjunction with the marketing credit, this benefit allows productions to make a cultural donation equal to .1% of their production costs, to a not-for-profit cultural institution of their choice, in exchange for the marketing credit. The donation would be made in the name of talent or an executive associated with the project, and is intended to support the theatrical, film, writing, and other local arts institutions that nurture upcoming talent and strengthen the City's creative community.

  • Made In NY Logo:  This "Mark of Distinction," is awarded to projects where at least 75% of the overall production was made in New York City and is used in the credits of all shows participating in the program.

  • Concierge Service:  The program offers assistance with story development, scouting assistance, budget analysis, and discounts on participating vendors including hotels and car rentals, among other services.  The Concierge Service also offers assistance and consulting services on venues for global premieres and launches.

"This tax incentive, which the Senate initiated as part of a larger economic development and job creation tax cut package, will help return New York to prominence as a location for film and television production and will ensure that we see New York on the big screen, not another city pretending to be New York," said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. "I applaud Senator Golden for pushing for this tax cut measure and Governor Pataki for signing it into law."

"With this new Empire State Film Production Tax Credit, we're helping to bring Hollywood to the 'right' coast," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "The Assembly Majority has long held that this type of targeted tax cut levels the playing field for New York State business and this important industry. Today, we celebrate an important step in stemming the migration of film production to Canada and California with a bright marquee flashing the message that we intend the Empire State to be the premier production venue for the motion picture and television industries."

"The approval of this tax credit is vital to the future economy of New York," said Senator Martin J. Golden. "While New York provides incentives for items such a parking permits, a sales tax exemption for consumables, police service, and no-fee locations, that was not enough to overcome the unfair advantages being provided by Canada. We have made the Big Apple and the Empire State competitive once again. I applaud Steiner Studios and others in the film industry who remain committed to New York City. A New York City based film should be filmed in New York City. There is no place like it. There is no set that can completely duplicate the character of our City."

"This program gives us another tool to attract the film and television industry to New York State and to support a growing industry," said Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development Executive Director Pat Kaufman. "We will begin accepting applications on a first-come first-served basis beginning next month."

"New York City offers stunning locations and the most outstanding talent pool in the world," said Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting Commissioner Katherine Oliver. "We are now proud to offer incentives for every stage of the production cycle, including a premier concierge service and outdoor media for production's advertising needs."

"I am grateful for the efforts of New York Governor George Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno for their success in passing the Empire State Film Production Credit Program," said Brooklyn-born producer, director and actor Mel Brooks. "I would also like to thank New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his ongoing efforts to enact similar legislation for New York City.  The financial support promised by these two pieces of legislation has made it possible for us to bring the entire production of The Producers back to its hometown of New York City."

Steiner Studios Open for Business

Opening October 2004 on an enclosed, 15-acre site at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, the 280,000- square-foot Steiner Studios provides New York City with its first Hollywood-style (and scale) production and support facility. Newly built from the ground up and designed to the specifications of producers and facility operators in Los Angeles and supported by top New York artistic talent, Steiner Studios is a full-service, state-of-the-art "production factory," equipped for start-to-finish production of major motion pictures, independent films, television, music videos and broadcast commercials.

As the largest and most sophisticated production studio complex and support facility outside of Hollywood, Steiner Studios offers five sound stages - including the largest purpose-built soundstage in the northeast, at 27,000 square feet - ample office and support space, and parking for 1,000 vehicles. Addressing the ongoing, unmet demand for film and television production facilities in New York, Steiner Studios will enhance New York City's position as a world-class entertainment production center.

Steiner Studios offers production professionals more than 100,000 square feet of spacious, unobstructed soundstage, state-of-the-art air-conditioning and power infrastructure, and an additional 170,000 square feet of offices, dressing and make-up rooms, postproduction facilities and screening room. All soundstages are equipped with a full grid and catwalk system. Office and support spaces will have access to satellite uplinks and a high-speed data backbone

"This facility was designed by the industry," said Douglas C. Steiner, Chairman, Steiner Studios. "We went to Hollywood and talked to the people there making movies, and asked them, 'What does it take to make a world-class production facility?'  They said to us: 'Make it big; make it efficient; and make it economically competitive.' And that's what we did. We built a state-of-the-art, humongous facility; and now with the new film tax credits, we have everything in place to entice producers to make their movies in the greatest city in the world."

"The announcement that The Producers will be the first major production at Steiner Studios represents a significant milestone in the expansion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City's premier industrial park," said Eric Deutsch, president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. "The studios are a critical component in our overall development efforts, creating jobs and economic activity in an industry that plays an important role in the New York economy."

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