New York State Announces Record-Breaking Applications for Post-Production Tax Credit

Industry News

The New York’s Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (MPTV) on September 26 announced a milestone with 400 applications received in the state’s film and television post-production tax credit program since Governor Mario Cuomo championed a law strengthening the credit in July 2012. The record-breaking number of productions committing to complete post-production work in New York in the past five years shows how rapidly the post-production industry has expanded under the enhanced credit, creating jobs and driving investment in the innovation economy.

Paul Moore, the Editors Guild’s Eastern Executive Director, commented, “Five years ago, Governor Cuomo listened to the post-production stakeholders and had the foresight to envision more jobs and a positive economic impact in post-production by expanding tax incentives. On behalf of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, we want to say, ‘Thank you’ to Governor Cuomo for all the jobs and growth in our area of the motion picture industry!”

Manchester by the Sea is one of the recent projects that has participated in the New York Post-Production Tax Credit program. Courtesy of Amazon Studios.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the post-production industry in New York is rapidly growing,” said Empire State Development President and CEO Howard Zemsky. “The 400 applications we’ve received since the credit expansion in 2012 is a testament to our robust film tax credit programs, which generate billions of dollars in New York State spending, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs each year.”

The 400 post-production applicants are projected to spend more than $461 million in-state and create more than 4,730 hires statewide. By comparison, just 17 productions applied for the post-production credit in the 18 months before the program was revamped in 2012, resulting in just $38 million in New York spending and 214 hires.

“On behalf of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, we want to say, ‘Thank you’ to Governor Cuomo for all the jobs and growth in our area of the motion picture industry!” — Paul Moore, Eastern Executive Director, Motion Picture Editors Guild

Signed by Governor Cuomo in July 2012, the new law increased the post-production credit from 10 percent to 30 percent across the state. In order to participate in the post-production program, productions must complete at least 75 percent of all post-production work in New York State at a qualified facility. The post-production credit is also available to projects filmed predominantly outside of the state that plan to use New York-based post-production companies for editing. Productions choosing to complete post-production work in Upstate New York are eligible for an increased 35 percent tax credit. The post-production tax credit continues to attract productions that film worldwide to New York for post-production editing.

The successful post-production tax incentive joins the state’s film production tax credit, which has received 1,170 applications, resulting in a projected New York spend of $18.4 billion, and more than 1.1 million hires since Cuomo took office. Productions that apply for the film production credit can claim qualified post-production expenses under this program, deepening the economic impact of the industry.

By expanding the law, Cuomo boosted the incentive’s impact and focused on attracting post-production work to communities in all corners of the state. The robust incentive program has successfully stimulated post-production across the state, directly impacting local economies and solidifying New York State’s reputation as a world leader in the film and television industry.

Deepwater Horizon is one of the recent projects that has participated in the New York Post-Production Tax Credit program. Courtesy of Lionsgate.

The post-production ecosystem extends beyond the state’s visual and sound editing companies impacting small businesses, vendors and local schools. Due to pioneering internship and fellowship programs, the talent pool is growing across the state, as schools like the Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Rochester Institute of Technology, the Pratt Institute, New York University, Columbia, Fashion Institute of Technology and the New York Institute of Technology are creating a direct pipeline into the post-production workforce.

Recently, several noteworthy film and television projects have participated for the post-production credit, including Manchester by the Sea, Silence, Deepwater Horizon, Hail Caesar!, Turn: Washington Spies, Masters of Sex, Niko and the Sword of Light, Goldie and the Bear, Preacher and Berlin Station.

Other reactions to the record-breaking application follow:

Yana Collins Lehman, Chair of Post New York Alliance and President/COO Trevanna Post, said, “Governor Cuomo committed to creating and nurturing greater opportunities for post-production companies and professionals throughout New York State in 2013 when he enhanced and expanded the post tax incentive. What 400 applications for the post-production credit means to our industry is thousands of jobs. The members of the Post New York Alliance, facilities and post professionals are grateful to Governor Cuomo for his vision and belief in our industry. Our businesses have expanded, and New York, four years after his actions, is the pre-eminent destination for features and TV to finish.”

 Eric Robertson, Managing Director of Mr. X Gotham, added, “Mr. X Gotham was founded in 2012 and thanks to the strengthened tax credit, our company has grown at an unprecedented rate. Within just eight months, our sales went from 600,000 to over 3 million, and our staff grew from seven to 45 in the first two years. Since then, we have contributed to over 35 movies and television shows and are proud to say that the post-production program has maintained healthy production levels across New York, sustaining dozens of long-term and indirect jobs. The post-production program has made the decision easy for producers and filmmakers when choosing a location for post-production work.”