New York City has announced a new incentive program for producers to shoot their films and TV shows in NYC with panache: Announcing that the second film version of The Producers, based on the Broadway musical (which was based on the film), would be shot at the new Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Some of the big features of the Empire State Film Production Credit Program:
- A Tax Credit (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)
- Marketing Credit (outdoor media from NYC, including bus shelters, phone kiosks and street banners)
- Cultural Benefit (the production donates .1% of production dollars in exchange for marketing credit)
- Made In NY Logo (at least 75% of the overall production made in New York City)
- Concierge Service (assistance with story development, scouting assistance, budget analysis, and discounts on participating vendors)
More details from the city. Mel Brooks yukked it up with Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki, saying, "It was breaking my heart to think that we had to go to Bucharest or Toronto or Vancouver to somehow mimic this incredible city," he said. "Without the tax benefits, the truth is, the horrible truth is that this movie would probably be made in Kabul, wherever the cheapest place in the world to shoot is." Newsday covered the event, and the Mayor's and Mel's salty attitudes were on display:
When Bloomberg suggested he be cast as Max Bialystock, the swindler who seduces old ladies to finance his Broadway schemes, Brooks quipped, "We wanted somebody a little taller."
But Bloomberg -- slightly taller than Brooks but shorter on comedic stature -- got the biggest laugh of the day.
When Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver suggested Brooks get a second Bar Mitzvah during filming, Bloomberg shot back, "Or a second bris."
More Borscht Belt humor from the press conference from the Daily News, which reports that Brooks used to sneak into the Brooklyn Navy Yard to watch warships being built. Yes, he's that old. And so far, the cast of The Producers is starry: Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprising their Broadway roles, with Nicole Kidman as Ulla and Will Ferrel as Franz Liebkind, and could it be, Roger Bart and Gary Beach be signing on as well?