Way back in 2004, the city announced its super duper special NYC Tax Credit Program for film and TV producers (as well as commercial, music video, etc.) in order to motivate productions to happen here, versus Los Angeles or (gasp) Toronto. And it worked really well: Lindsay Lohan made a movie, Martin Scorsese shot a set-in-Boston movie mostly here, CBS brought us Love Monkey (then cancelled it), there's another Dick Wolf TV, plus countless others. But now it turns out that the film credits were maybe too much of a good thing: The NY Times reports that the film credit program will be revised because the $50 million allocated for the program over four years has been sapped away in just 13 months! Who knew, a city program that was too good to be true?
The city is thinking about capping the credit for productions, plus limiting the amount of time the productions can get credits to three years. Notably, Queens and Brooklyn politicians, where Silvercup and Steiner Studios reign respectively, are hoping to stop any sort of caps or changes to the program, but some shows - cough cough various Law & Orders and The Sopranos - have received one quarter of the credits, which is crazy to think about, that the L&O juggernaut plus The Sopranos - which only filmed one season (or just about) during the credit - could account for 25% of the film and TV community in the city. Which means a great quote in the Times:
"First of all, the 'Law and Order' franchise single-handedly supported production in New York City when there was virtually no one else here," Jeff Zucker, chief executive of the NBC Universal Television Group, said in an interview on Friday. "To penalize them because they were holding up their end of the bargain long before anyone else seems patently unfair. In addition, there is another state next door that is begging for the 'Law and Order' productions."
Ooh, that's quite a threat. But we'd imagine they'd still film the exteriors in the city, unless their cases start to become ones where suspects are extradited from the Garden State.
Looking at the Times' filming-in-NYC chart, we cannot imagine the city will do anything drastic with the program, but the Independent Budget Office has suggested ending the program. But we're more curious about whether or not Woody Allen will keep filming in London - if shooting there means better movies, we might be able to live with it.
Photograph of the Law & Order set at Chelsea Piers