The New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development (NY♥FILMS) is responsible for the growth of the film, television and commercial production, and related industries in New York State.
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Iconic CBS Talk Show Will Remain in New York After Letterman Passes the Baton to Colbert

When David Letterman announced that he would be stepping down from his post next year as host of CBS’s Late Show after 21 years, he set off a wave of intense speculation. While some of this was focused on his successor, many in and out of the TV industry wondered where the show would be produced after Letterman was gone.

On July 23, the world got an answer when Governor Andrew Cuomo and CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves announced that New York was selected out of the other cities making a bid for the program. Under the agreement, the Late Show will stay in Manhattan’s historic Ed Sullivan Theatre under new host Stephen Colbert, who will take over as host sometime in 2015. The production will retain and create 200 full time New York-based jobs and spend over $100 million over a five year period. This outcome represents a major victory for New York and its television production community.

Along with Gov. Cuomo and Moonves, State Senate Majority Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver praised the decision.

For the full press release, click here.

As the television industry continues to thrive in New York State, the standard of excellence for programming has also grown.  This was recognized on July 10, 2014, when the Primetime Emmy Nominations were announced and New York was well represented in the lineup of nominees.  Shows that filmed or did post-production in New York garnered 123 nominations.  This includes fifteen shows which participated in the New York State Film Production Credit Program and two that participated in the New York State Post Production Credit Program.  Winners will be announced on August 25, 2014.

New York State is already a winner, because these shows that participated in the NYS film tax credit program pumped $610.7M into the economy and provided 26,983 jobs.   Let’s keep the cameras  rolling in New York State!  

THE FOLLOWING EMMY-NOMINATED SHOWS PARTICIPATED IN THE NEW YORK STATE FILM PRODUCTION CREDIT PROGRAM:

America’s Got Talent, NBC
OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN/LIGHTING DIRECTION FOR A VARIETY SERIES

The Americans, FX
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Margo Martindale as Claudia

The Blacklist, NBC
OUTSTANDING STUNT COORDINATION FOR A DRAMA SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Cort L. Hessler III, Stunt Coordinator

Boardwalk Empire, HBO
OUTSTANDING ART DIRECTION FOR A PERIOD SERIES, MINISERIES OR A MOVIE (SINGLE-CAMERA)
Bill Groom, Production Designer; Adam Scher, Art Director; Carol Silverman, Set Decorator

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A SERIES
John Dunn, Costume Designer; Lisa Padovani, Costume Designer; Joseph La Corte, Costume Supervisor

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Tim Van Patten, Directed by

OUTSTANDING HAIRSTYLING FOR A SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES
Francesca Paris, Department Head Hairstylist; Lisa Dellechiaie, Key Hairstylist; Therese Ducey, Key Hairstylist

OUTSTANDING MAKEUP FOR A SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES (NON-PROSTHETIC)
Michele Paris, Department Head Makeup Artist; Steven Lawrence, Key Makeup Artist; Anette Lian-Williams, Key Makeup Artist

OUTSTANDING PROSTHETIC MAKEUP FOR A SERIES, MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL
Michele Paris, Department Head Makeup Artist; Steven Lawrence, Special Makeup Effects Artist

OUTSTANDING SOUND EDITING FOR A SERIES
Fred Rosenberg, Supervising Sound Editor; Roland Vajs, Sound Editor; Bill Orrico, Sound Editor; Annette Kudrack, Music Editor; Ruy Garcia, Sound Effects Editor; Jeffrey Stern, Dialogue Editor; Steve Visscher, Foley Editor; Marko Costanzo, Foley Artist


Girls, HBO
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Adam Driver as Adam Sackler


The Good Wife, CBS
OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Mark Saks, CSA, Casting Director

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Josh Charles as Will Gardner

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney


Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Jessi Klein, Head Writer; Amy Schumer, Writer; Emily Altman, Writer; Jeremy Beiler, Writer; Neil Casey, Writer; Kurt Metzger, Writer; Kyle Dunnigan, Writer; Christine Nangle, Writer; Daniel Powell, Writer


Louie, FX
OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Gayle Keller, Casting Director

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Louis C.K., Directed by (Elevator, Part 6)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Louis C.K. as Louie

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Louis C.K., Written by (So Did the Fat Lady)


Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, HBO
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Stephen Frears, Directed by

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE


The Normal Heart, HBO
OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL
Amanda Mackey, CSA, Casting Director; Cathy Sandrich Gelfond, CSA, Casting Director

OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Danny Moder, Director of Photography

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL
Daniel Orlandi, Costume Designer; Gail A. Fitzgibbons, Costume Supervisor; Hartsell Taylor, Costume Supervisor; Maria Tortu, Assistant Costume Designer

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Ryan Murphy, Directed by

OUTSTANDING SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Adam Penn, Editor

OUTSTANDING HAIRSTYLING FOR A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Chris Clark, Department Head Hairstylist; Joe Whitmeyer, Key Hairstylist; Valerie Gladstone, Hairstylist; Frida Ardottir, Personal Hairstylist; Lyndell Quiyou, Personal Hairstylist

OUTSTANDING MAKEUP FOR A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE (NON-PROSTHETIC)
Eryn Krueger Mekash, Department Head Makeup Artist; Sherri Berman Laurence, Key Makeup Artist Nicky Pattison, Makeup Artist; LuAnn Claps, Makeup Artist Mike Mekash, Makeup Artist; Carla White, Personal Makeup Artist

OUTSTANDING PROSTHETIC MAKEUP FOR A SERIES, MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL
Eryn Krueger Mekash, Department Head Makeup Artist; Sherri Berman Laurence, Key Special Makeup Effects Artist; Christien Tinsley, Prosthetic Designer; Mary Anne Spano, Special Makeup Effects Artist; James Sarzotti, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Nicky Pattison, Special Makeup Effects Artist

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Jim Parsons as Tommy Boatwright

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Joe Mantello as Mickey Marcus

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Alfred Molina as Ben Weeks

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Matt Bomer as Felix Turner

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Larry Kramer, Screenplay by


Nurse Jackie, Showtime
OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Julie Tucker, CSA, Casting Director; Ross Meyerson, CSA, Casting Director

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton

OUTSTANDING SOUND MIXING FOR A COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES (HALF-HOUR) AND ANIMATION
Jan McLaughlin, Production Sound Mixer; Peter Waggoner, Re-Recording Mixer


Orange Is the New Black, Netflix
OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Jennifer Euston, CSA, Casting Director

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Jodie Foster, Directed by (Lesbian Request Denied)

OUTSTANDING SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
William Turro, Editor (*** Punch)

OUTSTANDING SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Michael S. Stern, Edited by (Can’t Fix Crazy)

OUTSTANDING SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Shannon Mary Mitchell, A.C.E., Edited by (Tall Men with Feelings)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Kate Mulgrew as Galina “Red” Reznikov

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Uzo Aduba as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Liz Friedman, Written by; Jenji Kohan, Written by (Pilot)


Saturday Night Live, NBC
OUTSTANDING ART DIRECTION FOR VARIETY, NONFICTION, REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Eugene Lee, Production Designer Akira Yoshimura, Production Designer; Keith Ian Raywood, Production Designer; N. Joseph DeTullio, Production Designer (Host: Jimmy Fallon; Host: Jonah Hill; Host: Anna Kendrick)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Don Roy King, Directed by (Host: Jimmy Fallon)

OUTSTANDING HAIRSTYLING FOR A MULTI-CAMERA SERIES OR SPECIAL
Bettie O. Rogers, Department Head Hairstylist; Jodi Mancuso, Key Hairstylist; Inga Thrasher, Hairstylist; Jennifer Serio Stauffer, Hairstylist; Cara Hannah Sullivan, Hairstylist; Joe Whitmeyer, Hairstylist (Host: Anna Kendrick)

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN/LIGHTING DIRECTION FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Phil Hymes, Lighting Designer; Geoff Amoral, Lighting Director; Rick McGuinness, Lighting Director (Host: Jimmy Fallon)

OUTSTANDING MAKEUP FOR A MULTI-CAMERA SERIES OR SPECIAL (NON-PROSTHETIC)
Louie Zakarian, Department Head Makeup Artist; Amy Tagliamonti, Additional Makeup; Artist Sara Egan, Additional Makeup Artist; Daniela Zivcovic, Additional Makeup Artist; Melanie Demitri, Additional Makeup Artist (Host: Jimmy Fallon)

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
Lenny Pickett, Music Director; Leon Pendarvis, Music Director; Eli Brueggemann, Music Director (Host: Jimmy Fallon)

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC AND LYRICS
Eli Brueggemann, Music by; Chris Kelly, Lyrics by; Sarah Schneider, Lyrics by; Aidy Bryant, Lyrics by Kate McKinnon, Lyrics by (Song: Home for the Holiday [Twin Bed])

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Kate McKinnon as Various characters

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jimmy Fallon as Host

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Louis C.K. as Host

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Tina Fey as Host

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Melissa McCarthy as Host

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL DIRECTION, CAMERAWORK, VIDEO CONTROL FOR A SERIES
Steven Cimino, Technical Director; Paul Cangialosi, Camera; Joe DeBonis, Camera; Kurt Decker, Camera; Eric A. Eisenstein, Camera; Barry Frischer, Camera; John Pinto, Camera; Len Wechsler, Camera; Frank Grisanti, Senior Video Control; Susan Noll, Senior Video Control


The Sound of Music Live!, NBC

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL

Beth McCarthy Miller

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION

David Chase, Music Director

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL DIRECTION, CAMERAWORK, VIDEO CONTROL FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL

Emmett Loughran, Technical Director; Robert Muller, Technical Director; Rob Balton, Camera; Jerry Cancel, Camera; Lesley Hankey, Camera; Ray Hoover, Camera; Charlie Huntley, Camera; Andrew Jansen, Camera; Jay Kulick, Camera; Jeff Latonero, Camera; Pat Minietta, Camera; Brian Phraner, Camera; Claus Stuhl Weissenburg, Camera; Mark Whitman, Camera; Susan Noll, Video Control; Yoneet Solange, Video Control

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS PROGRAM


The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NBC

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Dave Diomedi, Directed by (Episode 1)

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN/LIGHTING DIRECTION FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Fred Bock, Lighting Director; Phil Hymes, Lighting Director; Jared Kirchmer, Lighting Director; Francis Biancamano, Lighting Director (Episode 1)

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
AD Miles, Head Writer; Patrick Borelli, Writer; Gerard Bradford, Writer; Luke Cunningham, Writer; Mike DiCenzo, Writer; Mike Drucker, Writer; Jess Dweck, Writer; Dicky Eagan, Writer; Jimmy Fallon, Writer; John Haskel, Writer; Josh Lieb, Writer; Arthur Meyer, Writer; Chase Mitchell, Writer; Dan Opsal, Writer; Gavin Purcell, Writer; Jon Rineman, Monologue Writing Supervised by/Writer; Albertina Ross, Writer; Jason Ross, Writer; David Young, Writer; Michael Jann, Writer

**THE FOLLOWING SHOWS PARTICIPATED IN THE NEW YORK STATE POST PRODUCTION CREDIT PROGRAM:

**True Detective, HBO

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Woody Harrelson as Martin Hart

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

Nic Pizzolatto, Written by

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

Cary Joji Fukunaga

OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR A MULTI-CAMERA SERIES

Adam Arkapaw

OUTSTANDING SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

Affonso Goncalves

OUTSTANDING ART DIRECTION FOR A CONTEMPORARY OR FANTASY SERIES (SINGLE-CAMERA)

Alex DiGerlando, Production Designer; Mara LePere-Schloop, Art Director; Tim Beach, Art Director; Cynthia Slagter, Set Decorator

OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

Alexa L. Fogel, CSA, Casting Director; Christine Kromer, CSA, Casting Director; Meagan Lewis, CSA, Casting Director

OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A SERIES (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)

 T Bone Burnett, Music by

OUTSTANDING MAIN TITLE DESIGN

Patrick Clair, Creative Director; Raoul Marks, Animator; Jennifer Sofio Hall, Creative Producer

OUTSTANDING MAKEUP FOR A SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES (NON-PROSTHETIC)

Felicity Bowring, Department Head Makeup Artist; Wendy Bell, Key Makeup Artist; Ann Pala, Makeup Artist; Kim Perrodin, Makeup Artist; Linda Dowds, Personal Makeup Artist

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

**Treme, HBO

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL

David Simon, Written by

OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL

Alexa L. Fogel, CSA, Casting Director; Meagan Lewis, CSA, Casting Director

OUTSTANDING SOUND MIXING FOR A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE

Bruce Litecky, C.A.S., Production Mixer; Andy Kris, Re-Recording Mixer; Blake Leyh, Music Mixer

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES

3rd Party Audit Option Will Speed Final Application Reviews

The overwhelming success of the New York State Film Production Tax Credit under Governor Cuomo has brought record breaking numbers of film and television productions – and tax credit applications –into the state. To help address the influx of final applications, Empire State Development (ESD) has announced that an optional, voluntary program for third party review of final applications will be made available to applicants to the program. Slated to go into effect January 2015, the new procedure will allow productions that choose to participate to have their final applications reviewed by outside CPA firms according to agreed-upon procedures (AUPs) established and published  by ESD. The reviews and reports prepared by third party reviewers must be submitted as a supplement to a production’s final application. If the third party review is done according to the AUPs, overall wait times should be significantly reduced. [NOTE: this is an optional procedure; no applicant will be required to get a third party review].

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The AUPs should be familiar to many producers because it will resemble procedures in many other states, including California. General ledger reports will be thoroughly reviewed and sampling procedures will be used to verify expenditures. Productions, should they decide to participate in third party reviews, will choose a CPA firm from ESD’s preferred vendor list, which will then review said production. The review and CPA report will be submitted as a supplement to the production’s final application. ESD staff will review the CPA report, and if the report follows the agreed-upon procedures, ESD staff will then sign off on it. This will significantly free up staff to work on productions which do not opt in, and will go a long way towards reducing the time it takes for a production to receive its credit.

ESD will issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) by July 30th, seeking qualified licensed CPA firms in good professional standing who are interested in taking part in this project. The RFQ will be open for one month. Ideal candidates will have experience in the entertainment industry, including experience dealing with film and television tax credits.  CPA firms interested in participating in this new initiative should register with the NYS Contract Reporter at https://www.nyscr.ny.gov/ for further information.

21,000 Square Foot Drill Hall Newest Qualified Production Facility in Capital District

The latest addition to the Upstate production scene is big indeed – the 68,450 square foot Sage Armory in Albany is now a Qualified Production Facility! Featuring a 21,000 square foot open drill hall perfect for constructing large sets, the Sage Armory is eligible for use as a qualified soundstage for film and television productions applying for the New York State Film Production tax credits. Additional storage and shop spaces, plus beautifully refurbished offices and conference and meeting rooms make this an ideal site for producers coming into the Capital region to work.

Built in 1914 and used by the New York National Guard until 1999, the armory was bought by Sage College in 2012 with the idea of refurbishing the historic structure — it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places — to create new classrooms, offices, and a large event space. The college spent about $680,000 and several years on improvements to the interior, while preserving the historic character of the exterior.

Sage worked closely with advisors from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to ensure that details such as the number of panes in the new windows didn’t alter the building’s historic status.

The building sits on three acres adjacent to the Sage Albany campus  in the prestigious University Heights area, near Albany Medical Center and Albany Law School. The roof of the drill hall is curved, held up by steel arches that rise to a height of 30 feet in the center and descend to about 16 feet around the edges. While the hall has been used for a number of large scale events such as the “Dancing in the Woods” gala to benefit the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, the college is always looking to find more creative uses for the unique room. According to Deanna Cohen, Director of External Relations for the college, “our interior design students drafted some amazing ideas for how the massive space could be repurposed.”

Then came an unexpected call from a film producer asking if the armory was available to be used as a soundstage. Unfamiliar with the film business, Sage officials reached out to Debby Goedeke, head of the Albany County Film Commission. When Goedeke saw the place she quickly suggested they contact the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development. “I knew immediately all that raw open space would be absolutely perfect for film shoots and being a NYS Qualified Production Facility,” she says. “Putting this together with our terrific locations in the Capital District, plus local crew options, discounted hotel rooms and easy navigation through the permit process, Albany really does have it all – what is better than that?”

“We see this as a great opportunity and a perfect use for this unique facility,” says Cohen. “It’s something that requires the kind of scale the drill hall has to offer, and that can take advantage of all the work we’ve done upgrading the offices and interior spaces. Plus, it will be exciting for our students. We definitely look forward to working with the film community.” The film community seems to agree: Cohen says they’ve already started giving tours of the facility to interested producers, and the feedback has been highly positive. 

Skyline views, an Aerial Tramway and more, in the middle of the East River

“It’s our Manhattan and Long Island City skyline views, and the uniqueness of the Tram that attracts most filmmakers and photographers to Roosevelt Island,” boasts Donna Masly, Program Coordinator for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) for the last seven years. Created by the State of New York as a public benefit corporation, it is the mission of the RIOC to plan, design, develop, operate, maintain and manage Roosevelt Island.  Among her other duties of permitting and coordinating recreational, sporting and corporate events on Roosevelt Island, Ms. Masly also facilitates television, film and photography shoots on this inimitable island.

Touring Roosevelt Island, you get a look and feel which is not indicative of life in the world’s biggest metropolis.  The design of the residential buildings and the narrowness of Main St. give it a small-town or European vibe.  In fact, the CBS hit show Person Of Interest, starring Jim Caviezel and Taraji P. Henson, and a participant in New York State’s Film Production Credit program, used one of the Island’s residential dwellings to double as an apartment building in Berlin, Germany, which ended up getting blown up in a recent episode of this exciting new show.  And, at the north end of the island, there is a lighthouse and grassy park area with seagulls flying overhead, which provides a totally different seaside atmosphere.


Roosevelt Island is a narrow island in New York City’s East River. It lies between the island of Manhattan to its west and the borough of Queens to its east, and is part of the borough of Manhattan.  It runs from Manhattan’s East 46thto East 85thStreets and is about two miles long, with a maximum width of 800 feet.  Roosevelt Island has undergone many changes during its history.  It was the home of several rehabilitation institutions, including Blackwell’s Penitentiary and the New York Lunatic Asylum in the 19thcentury.  The nation’s first hospital to treat patients with smallpox was built there in 1856.  However, the island’s institutions were abandoned toward the end of the 19thcentury and the population declined. Goldwater and Coler Hospitals were established and shortly thereafter became the only entities remaining on the island until ultimately it was redeveloped and incorporated for residential use in the latter years of the 20th century.

Masly goes on to add, “Roosevelt Island is predominantly a residential community with a current population slightly more than 14,000.  We try to accommodate as many filming requests as possible.”  The Tram, which transports residents back and forth from Manhattan, and also falls under RIOC’s jurisdiction, is another popular location for filming.  A unique mode of transportation, which provides unparalleled views of Manhattan and the East River, Roosevelt Island’s state-of-the-art Aerial Tramway provides Island visitors and residents with a three-minute ride across the river from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan’s East 60th St. and vice versa, via two independently operated and powered cars that carry 109 passengers at a time and over 2 million people annually.  NBC’s long-running Law & Order: SVU and USA Network’s White Collar have shot scenes on the Tram recently.

Roosevelt Island’s film-friendliness goes beyond facilitating film and television shoots.  RIOC also hosts a movie screening series in Southpoint Park during the summer months.  Check out their current schedule of films at http://rioc.ny.gov/pdf/SMS2014.pdf.

For more information about film permits, and to get in touch with Donna Masly visit http://rioc.ny.gov/generalapp.htm

In July 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of Empire Visual Effects, a post-production and visual effects company based out of Buffalo’s Tri-Main Center. The announcement was a major milestone for New York’s burgeoning post-production industry, representing an expansion upstate by a dynamic, growing sector. Empire Visual Effects was part of Governor Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative, which will ultimately invest $1 billion in Western New York, aimed at the economic revitalization of the area.  As part of the agreement, Empire Visual Effects has partnered with nearby Daemen College to mentor students and forge a true post-production community in Buffalo.

One year after the initial announcement, business is booming at Empire Visual Effects, and projects continue to roll in, benefitting the company itself, students at Daemen’s International Center for Excellence in Animation, and Buffalo at large.  One recent triumph was Pepsi’s Grammy Halftime Show, which aired earlier this year.  Empire was tasked with making the relatively modest crowd of 150 extras seem like a stadium-full of screaming fans – a challenge it passed with flying colors, and for which it received glowing, well-deserved press coverage.

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Empire Visual Effects’ work on Pepsi’s Halftime Commercial for the 56th Annual Grammys

Since then, it has been a busy few months for Empire Visual Effects  — from the roto and paint work it has done on series like HBO’s The Leftovers and the CW’s The Tomorrow People to similar post work on major films, including Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (a participant in the New York State Film Production Credit Program), and the upcoming thriller A Most Violent Year from acclaimed director J.C. Chandor. “The projects have been getting larger as our team has grown steadily,” said Managing Partner Ben Porcari.

Additionally, the partnership with Daemen has become one of Empire Visual Effects’ greatest strengths. Students at the college receive training geared towards the company’s needs and work on high profile projects. “Our partnership with Daemen College has been fantastic,” said Porcari. “The skill level of the artists graduating from their VFX Certificate program is outstanding. Daemen’s recent $2,000,000 investment in technology will definitely make it one of the best equipped schools in all of New York State.” This unique partnership offers an unprecedented opportunity to budding VFX artists in Western New York, giving them a “foot in the door” in one of the most exciting up-and-coming industries the state has to offer.

Empire Visual Effects shows no signs of slowing down. According to Porcari, it recently completed over 150 roto and paint shots over the course of just nine days for a VFX-heavy season finale. One year after its much-heralded founding, Empire Visual Effects remains as committed as ever to fostering innovation in Western New York and making the state a center for post-production. “The artists are passionate about what they do and the technology folks are excited to build a foundation with the best tools and infrastructure possible,” said Porcari. “We have definitely had a very beneficial partnership with the Center for Computational Research and are actively working together to define new ways that artists can collaborate in the visual effects arena.”

Supplying and maintaining sustainability in New York’s production industry

Since 1965 LeNoble Lumber has been supplying the east coast film industry with scenic and construction materials. It has remained one of the go-to lumber vendors of the New York film and television industry for nearly fifty years because of its commitment to three fundamental principles: quality material, unparalleled service and competitive pricing.  Recently, LeNoble Lumber added a fourth principle to its way of conducting business: a commitment to environmentally responsible practices and products.  By forging partnerships with organizations dedicated to combating deforestation, and instituting eco-friendly, energy efficient policies throughout its day-to-day operations, LeNoble Lumber has adopted forward thinking green policies that it hopes will become standard industry practices in the near future.

LeNoble Lumber has serviced some of the most well-known and iconic New York film and television productions.  Its list of notable clients includes The Godfather, The Exorcist, Annie Hall, Dog Day Afternoon, Ghost Busters, The Sopranos, Sex & the City, Law & Order, and recently, film and television projects that participated in the New York State Film Production Credit program:  The Good Wife, Elementary, Person of Interest, Boardwalk Empire, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as many others.  

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As such, LeNoble Lumber has built upon its resounding success and stellar reputation to forge ahead in the fight to reduce its carbon footprint and protect the environment.  One way LeNoble Lumber has done this is by joining international organizations that share its goals of environmental sustainability, and adopting the standards put in place to help companies become more green and eco-friendly.  LeNoble Lumber is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council, an organization whose mission is to “support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.”  In addition, LeNoble Lumber is a member of the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI).  Both of these organizations insure that the certified products their members sell are tracked by a verifiable chain of custody system and do not contribute to irresponsible deforestation and waste of natural resources.

LeNoble Lumber has instituted its own policies of waste reduction in addition to the standards set forth by the organizations it is affiliated with.  LeNoble Lumber is committed to providing its customers with eco-friendly products and resources, from formaldehyde-free panels and recycled wall skins to products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The company has even taken steps to reduce its energy footprint in everyday business operations, replacing ballasts and bulbs with more efficient models, using copy paper, tissues and paper towels composed of recycled paper, and using damaged materials for packing and warehousing purposes instead of simply disposing of them. Though these practices might seem minute and insignificant, they add up to make a large, cumulative impact.

Matt Dienstag, one of the owners of LeNoble Lumber states, “We source out products that are good for the production industry, good for the economy, and above all, good for the environment.  This is very important to us.”  He recently accepted the Roll Of The Dice Award at this year’s Golden Dumpster Awards, an event that recognizes film industry related companies for making strides in environmental sustainability.  Dienstag was lauded for his work in eliminating irresponsibly harvested Lauan — a strong, light, low-cost lumber product sourced from tropical forests and commonly used for set building.  Due to irresponsible deforestation, more than 140 species of Lauan are on the endangered species list.  To combat this, the folks at LeNoble Lumber made a commitment to sell only FSC-certified Lauan, which comes from a responsibly managed forest.  From now on, any production company that orders Lauan from LeNoble will be receiving FSC-certified products only.

Thank you, LeNoble Lumber.

There was never a doubt in Ray Quinlan’s mind that he would make his career in the film industry – it was the “family business”.   It began with his maternal grandmother, Rhea Bennett, who worked in wardrobe with the likes of W.C. Fields and the Marx Brothers.  Her employer was Paramount, which at that time was headquartered in Astoria, Queens in the location that is now home to Kaufman Astoria Studios, and Ray grew up right around the corner from the studio.  Ray’s grandfather owned a gas station down the block where the studio drivers hung out.  When those drivers decided to form a union, Ray’s uncle Johnny Fitzpatrick became a charter member of Local 52, the stagehand’s union.  Two other uncles worked as technicians on The Honeymooners and Car 54 Where Are You?

Quinlan and his brother Dick joined the “family business” working as electricians. Dick transitioned from electrician to gaffer to cinematographer, winning an Emmy for Spin City.  Ray transitioned from electrician to gaffer to production manager to producer, and is currently working on the ABC/Warner Brothers television series Forever, which films in New York as part of the state’s Film Production Credit Program.

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Quinlan’s first gig as an electrician was in 1968 in the film Me Natale, starring Patty Duke.  He went on to work as an electrician in many films, including Saturday Night Fever, Hair, Ragtime, Raging Bull, Superman with Christopher Reeves, and King Kong starring Jessica Lange, with Gary Martin as the construction coordinator on the project.  Quinlan then became a gaffer, working on numerous films, including 14 Woody Allen projects.  But the course of his career changed when he was a gaffer on The Prince of Tides, starring Barbra Streisand. Quinlan feels that he owes the next phase of his career to Streisand.  When she was producing and starring in The Mirror Has Two Faces which filmed in New York, Streisand hired Quinlan as the production manager and he has been working almost continuously on major motion pictures and television shows ever since, boasting an impressive list of projects including Run All Night, Cop Out and I Am Legend, all of which also filmed in New York.

Though Quinlan has worked all over the world, his heart is in New York, and he prefers to work in the state that he has called home for his entire life.  He never fails to be impressed by the resources and cooperation of people across the Empire State.  

One of the highlights of his career was recreating the London Bridge at the Marcy Armory in New York for Sherlock Holmes, starring Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr., produced by Mike Tadross, the former head of Paramount, (Quinlan’s grandmother’s former employer).  Tadross’ uncle was also a charter member of Local 52, along with Quinlan’s uncle.  Between the family connections and the numerous opportunities that he has had to work with Tadross, Quinlan counts him as one of the major influences on his career.

Recently, Quinlan was the production manager for the Tadross-produced Winter’s Tale which filmed all over New York State, and recreated the Brooklyn Bridge in a studio in East Hampton, New York.   He especially enjoyed filming scenes in the Adirondacks and praises the cooperation of the community there.

The Quinlan’s continue to keep the film industry in the family, as two of Ray’s three children work in the business; his daughter Meghan works for director Kevin Smith, and his son Ryan has worked in many roles, including production assistant, electrician, stuntman, and actor.  Most recently, Ryan acted in the Tadross-produced Run All Night, which filmed in New York with Ray as production manager.

Since the New York State Film Production Credit Program continues to demonstrate success by the major increase in film and television production in New York over the past 3 ½ years, it’s a good bet that Quinlan’s career will continue to grow and he will have many more opportunities to work in the “family” business in the location where his heart is – New York State.

Tupper Lake is a tucked-away gem nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, an idyllic rural village located in the North Country region of upstate New York.  It recently hosted the shooting of several action sequences in the upcoming, Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a remake of the 1990s cult classic. The Ninja Turtles production was drawn to Tupper Lake because of its now-dormant Big Tupper Ski Area resort, which was used for a major chase scene in the film, as well as for its totally tubular pizza, of course.

The Town of Tupper Lake comprises 76,168 acres of rolling upland, is located along the banks of the Raquette River, and stands at the intersection of New York State Route 3 and New York State Route 30. Formerly a logging and railroad hub, it was known at one point for being the top lumber producer in the state of New York.  In modern times it has become a popular sight for major motion picture production, having hosted three Hollywood films in as many years including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cloned: The Recreator Chronicles and All is Bright, which starred Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd.

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Amenities include the beautiful Adirondack Mountains (which have become a popular shooting destination, recently serving as the backdrop for several scenes in Warner Bros’ Winter’s Tale); the aforementioned Big Tupper Ski Area, which is currently closed to the public but available for filming; the Wild Center, an award winning natural history museum and park; and the Sunmount Developmental Disability Care Facility. As a former railroad hub there are plenty of unused rail yards. The region is easily accessible as it is located at an intersection of two New York highways.

Members of the Tupper Lake community are thrilled with the presence of film production crews due to the economic activity that film production generates, and the entire community enthusiastically rallies to lend their support.  Members of the community were highly involved in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles production, providing catering, lodging, and construction assistance.  Even volunteers from the fire department were called to the set to monitor the pyrotechnics and supply the set with water.

The residents of Tupper Lake view the film industry as highly beneficial, and it serves as an economic booster for a vast number of residents and businesses. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shoot pumped roughly one million dollars into the local economy, and boosted equipment rental houses, hotels and restaurants that were hungry for business.  

As a token of appreciation for the incredible hospitality and warmth shown to the production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by the Tupper Lake community, Paramount has scheduled a special screening of the film for Tupper Lake residents in advance of the nationwide release.

Lyn Pinezich, unit production manager on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, has only rave reviews for her experience shooting in Tupper Lake, and in New York State in general.  “Everything we needed was in New York State – from the incomparable NYC locations where the Ninja Turtles live, to the upstate winter wonderland of the Adirondacks where we staged a phenomenal chase scene, to an elegant Gatsby-esque mansion on Long Island’s Gold Coast…I just don’t think there is any other state in the country with this kind of variety and volume of landscape and architecture.” Thanks, Lyn, neither do we!

Roosevelt Island’s Outdoor Summer Movie Series – June 28-Aug 23, 2014

Catch views of the Manhattan skyline behind Roosevelt Island’s massive, 40-ft inflatable screen, which will showcase (mostly) kid-friendly films on select Friday and Saturday nights at dusk.

Movies With A View in Brooklyn Bridge Park – July 10-August 29, 2014

Each summer, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy partners Syfy to present Syfy Movies With A View, a free, outdoor film series on Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The series also welcomes pre-movie music, short films selected by BAMcinématek to play before the feature, and stargazing with the Astronomers Association of New York.  The weekly series is noted for the views from the waterfront park, as well as its selection of quality features.

Rochester Jewish Film Festival – July 13-21, 2014

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester established the Rochester Jewish Film Festival in 2001 to present the best contemporary Jewish themed films from around the world to the Rochester community.  RJFF exists to promote awareness and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people; to strengthen community consciousness of Jewish identity, history and culture; to provide a forum for community gatherings that allows valuable dialogue; and to create an international showcase for filmmakers whose work explores Jewish themes.

Stony Brook Film Festival – July 17-26, 2014 
The Stony Brook Film Festival celebrates independent film, ranging from American independent films to shorts from around the world.  The films chosen feature powerful and growing voices in cinema and will have directors, actors and crew members at the festival to represent them.  The international slate of features, documentaries, and shorts is screened at the Staller Center For The Arts, part of Stony Brook University.

Asian American International Film Festival - July 24-August 3, 2014

The Asian-American International Film Festival, presented by Asian CineVision, offers a full lineup of features films and shorts for, by, and about Asians and Asian Americans.  The Asian American International Film Festival aims at giving the audiences a comprehensive picture of the Asian and Asian American independent cinemas.  Featuring the most recent cinematic achievements by emerging storytellers, the festival is a survey of cinema that reflects on Asia as well as on being Asian in America.

NewFest  – July 24-29, 2014

NewFest is dedicated to bringing together filmmakers and audiences in the building of a community that passionately supports giving greater visibility and voice to a wide range of expressions and representations of the LGBT experience.  We are committed to nurturing emerging LGBT and allied filmmakers. We support those artists who are willing to take risks in telling the stories that fully reflect the diversity and complexity of our lives. And we’re committed to bringing our audience stories that transform our vision of who we are and who we can be.

Long Beach International Film Festival– July 31 – August 3, 2014

The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) was founded to celebrate the art of storytelling through cinema. Presenting features, shorts, fiction and documentary format, the festival is committed to exhibiting films that convey fresh voices and differing perspectives. Our goal is that these programs will captivate, engage and enlighten our audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all ages. Set upon the spectacular Atlantic Ocean coastline of Long Beach, New York, and less than an hour from Manhattan, the LBIFF kicked off it’s annual event in the summer of 2012.

Kidflix Film FestivalFridays in August

The KIDflix Film Fest of Bed-Stuy! is a free annual film festival for kids and their families held every Friday night in August in Stuyvesant Heights’ Fulton Park. It is organized by the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA).

Ballston Spa Int’l Film Festival - August 1-2, 2014

The Ballston Spa Film Festival, Inc. (BSFF) was founded in 2013 as an independent not-for-profit corporation with the mission to promote an appreciation of films and filmmaking in the Ballston Spa and Greater Capital District communities of New York. We do this by presenting film festivals in which established, emerging and unknown filmmakers can display their films and by organizing public forums, discussions and workshops regarding films and filmmaking. We also present free classic films to the public through our on-going Monthly Classic Film Series.

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival - August 6-10, 2014

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival (Lucy Comedy Fest) is an annual festival that takes place in Jamestown, NY (Lucy’s hometown). Lucille Ball’s vision was an annual festival of comedy that would support rising comedians in her hometown. The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy started out with the Lucy Desi Museum and Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, and has since grown to include attractions such as the Desilu Studios and Tropicana Room, a museum and private event venue in tribute to “I Love Lucy,” recently named “Best Television Show of All-Time” and “Best Comedy Show of All-Time” by ABC’s 20/20.

Capitolfest - August 8-10, 2014

 Capitolfest is Central New York’s premier summer Cinephile film festival—a place to see rarely-shown and newly-discovered films of the silent and early talkie era, held at the historic 1,788-seat movie palace, the Capitol Theatre, in Rome, New York, which opened in December, 1928 as a movie house.  Set in the small upstate New York city of Rome (population c.33,000) and regarded by attendees from the U.S., Canada, and Europe as the movie lover’s dream vacation, the weekend festival starts late Friday morning and ends early on Sunday evening. The philosophy of Capitolfest is that there should be time to savor the films, thus our slogan, “A vacation, not a marathon.”

Kingston Film Festival - August 15-17, 2014

The Kingston Film Festival celebrates the art and entertainment of film in all its forms. Through screenings and associated events, the festival aims to present a wide spectrum of filmmaking – feature films, documentaries, animation, short films, experimental, big budget, micro-budget, trailers and so on. Nestled in upstate New York, at the gateway of the Catskills, the Kingston Film Festival brings audiences and filmmakers together to better enjoy the art of film making and offers an opportunity to gain industry knowledge through interaction within a festival environment.

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TV & FILM PREMIERS

Premature- July 24, 2014 – IFC

Rob is facing the biggest day of his life. He needs to nail a college interview ensuring his admittance to his parents’ beloved alma mater, keep his cool when life-long crush Angela finally seems to show interest, and deal with his best friends as they realize their high school days are ending. As pressure mounts, something weird happens. He finds himself reliving the day’s events over and over again.

(Participated in the New York State Post Production Credit program)

Magic in the Moonlight- July 25, 2014 – Sony Pictures Classics

A well-known debunker of psychic phenomena is sent to the Côte d’Azur mansion of a wealthy family, where a delightfully charming and convincing psychic is creating a stir.

(Participated in the New York State Post Production Credit program)

America’s Got Talent – July 29 on NBC at 9:00PM

Get ready to cast your votes as America’s Got Talent returns with live performances at Radio City Musical Hall in New York City, continuing its 9th Season on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9:00PM on NBC during the summer.

Sharknado 2 - July 30, 2014 on SYFY at 9:00PM

A freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites - and only Fin and April can save the Big Apple.

The Knick - August 8, 2014 on Cinemax at 10:00PM

Set in downtown New York in 1900, ‘The Knick’ is a new Cinemax drama series from Academy Award and Emmy-winning director Steven Soderbergh. It is centered on the Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who work there, pushing the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. Soderbergh directs all 10 episodes of the series’ first season.

Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesAugust 8, 2014 – Paramount

Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April and her wise-cracking cameraman Vernon Fenwick to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan.

The Hundred-Foot JourneyAugust 8, 2014 – Dreamworks

Hassan Kadam (played by Manish Dayal) and his family are displaced from their native India. They settle in a small French town to open a restaurant, but once the ice-queen proprietress of the French restaurant across the street, Madame Mallory (played by Helen Mirren), catches wind of it, she gives them hell.

(Participated in the New York State Post Production Credit program)

Let’s Be Cops - August 13, 2014 - 20th Century Fox

Two best friends dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

(Participated in the New York State Post Production Credit program)

The Giver - August 15, 2014 - Weinstein Company

In a perfect world where there is no conflict, racism or sickness, every member of society has a specific role, and 16-year-old Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memory. As Jonas uncovers the truth behind his world’s past, he discovers that many years earlier, his forefathers gave up humanity in order to have a stable society.

Approximately 30 representatives from the production and post-production community met with Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams and the Governor’s Film Office on Monday, June 16 to discuss the state of the industry and ways to work together to improve the experience of filming and doing post production in New York State.

Attendees - including soundstage owners, union and guild representatives, post-production house staff, and studio representatives - discussed ways to continue the extraordinary growth in production, and how best to sustain and support the production and post production industries in the Empire State.

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Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams

So far 2014 has been another record-breaking year for television production in New York – read more.  And, since Governor Cuomo increased the post-production credit to 30% in 2012, we have seen vast increases in the number of projects coming here solely to do their post production work, which is bringing more businesses, investments and new jobs to New York – read more

Commissioner Adams discussed a number of New York State economic development programs that can help the industry further expand and increase their businesses.  These programs include the New York State Film Production Credit Program, New York State Post-Production Credit program, Start-Up NY, Excelsior Jobs Program, Job Development Authority (JDA) Direct Loan Program, Linked Deposit Program, Innovate NY Fund, and the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund.  For more information on these programs, visit http://www.esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms.html.

Earlier this month, Empire State Development (ESD) announced that New York is on pace for yet another record-breaking year for television production in the state. New York has already been home to 23 pilots this year, which is as many as filmed here in the entirety of 2013. These pilots have generated an estimated $127 million in spending in New York, and over 15,000 jobs.

Many of these pilots have been picked up to series, and will be filming in New York in the coming year. These include Fox’s much anticipated Gotham, ABC’s comedy Manhattan Love Story, and NBC’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt¸ co-produced and written by Tina Fey.

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However, pilots aren’t the only area where New York’s stance in the world of TV production is stronger than ever. Thus far, ten series have shot in New York in 2014 spending an estimated $346 million and hiring over 18,000 people. Through May 2013, only six series had filmed in New York, with an estimated $317 million spent. These numbers are made all the more impressive in light of the fact that 2013 itself went on to become a record-breaking year for New York in terms of television production. At this point, 2014 seems to be well on its way to becoming another record-breaking year, not just for pilots, but for TV in New York.

To read the full release, click here.

At first glance, The Fault in Our Stars may not seem like an effects-heavy production. However, the intimate and touching story of two teens living with cancer, based on the book of the same name by John Green, in fact required some intricate effects work. To get the look they wanted, the producers turned to four New York visual effects companies: Phosphene, LookFX, Spontaneous and Scoundrel. All told, 200 of the film’s 350 effects shots were done in New York, which is also where the film located its VFX office.

The effects work the film required was far from simple. Gus, the character played by Ansel Elgort, has had a leg amputated due to bone cancer. Using shots of Elgort moving with both legs, the team at Phosphene composited a prosthetic leg and stump onto Elgort’s Gus. The production also consulted with doctors to ensure that the remaining part of the character’s leg was medically accurate for the specific amputation he would have undergone.

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Phosphene was also tasked with transforming the iconic 20th Century Fox logo which appears at the beginning of the film and tying it into the starry motif that is one of the film’s visual calling cards. By adding a night sky flecked with stars behind the famous skylit logo, Phosphene helped set the tone for the film right off the bat, seamlessly inducting viewers into the world of The Fault in Our Stars.

Phosphene’s co-owner and executive producer Vivian Connolly noted the pleasure of working on a project with a built-in, dedicated fan base, saying that “it was an honor for Phosphene to help bring to life this iconic story that means so much to so many people.  We feel incredibly lucky to be part of the explosion of creative and meaningful work coming out of the New York Visual Effects Community.”

Other important elements of the film’s look are the various texts and emails characters send to one another. Rather than simply cutting away to a shot of a screen, the messages themselves “pop up” next to the characters reading and writing them. This provided a way to capture the exchange of texting rather than revert to a series of straightforward shots of cell phone screens. This work was done by Spontaneous.

Jake Braver, the film’s visual effects supervisor, had high praise for the work of the various New York-based companies who took part.  “A movie like Fault doesn’t look like a big visual effects movie - in fact it’s not a ‘visual effects movie’ - but it has 350 VFX shots. Keeping the work disguised meant the tone was important - the VFX had to be completely seamless, invisible and naturalistic,” Braver said and continued, “Phosphene, Spontaneous, LookFX, and Scoundrel did great work, and always approached the work with an eye towards supporting the story. It was great to able to complete the majority of our VFX work in NY, even though the rest of post was in LA.”

While the decision to do much of the film’s visual effects work in New York is a testament not only to the faith the film’s director and producers had in New York’s burgeoning visual effects scene, it also speaks to the power of New York’s post-production incentive, which allows any film which does at least 20% of the total visual effects budget (or $3 million worth of effects work – whichever is less) in New York to qualify. This provision opens the credit to a wider base, attracting more films to New York, creating more jobs and freelance hours, and supporting businesses like the ones that brought The Fault in Our Stars to life.

New York State Police, Office of Public Information

When you hear someone calling “Help, Police!” it’s usually a pretty dire situation. But when it comes to film and television producers shooting on the highways, in the towns and villages, or even on soundstages of New York State, there’s help to be had in many forms from the men and women of the New York State Police. From safely staging a car chase on a crowded Interstate overpass, to getting the details right on a Trooper’s uniform or researching the history of a notorious crime spree from the 1960’s, Kristin Lowman in the Office of Public Information of the New York State Police is standing by to provide assistance and direction on all sorts of requests related to the duties and responsibilities of the troopers of New York State.

Lowman  is well equipped to handle both sides of the law enforcement and media production equation; prior to starting with the State Police two years ago she spent ten years in broadcast journalism, as a news anchor and an on-camera reporter for the Fox affiliate in Albany and at NBC in Utica.  She covered a lot of crime stories and police beats in those years, made a lot of friends in law enforcement in the process, so when the opportunity came up to join the State Police in the Public Information Office she took it.  “I’ve always had an interest in law enforcement and the great work they do every day,” she says. “I thought - here is my chance - I get to showcase a fantastic organization and use the skills I acquired in news. It’s been almost two years and I haven’t looked back.”

 

Kristin Lowman, New York State Police

Media relations can mean a lot of different things: on any given day the office might help field requests for interviews from reporters relating to a recent crime; give briefings on statistics or initiatives coming out of the agency; assist with research about a historical incident for a documentary, etc.  In terms of the entertainment industry, there is a wide range of assistance provided as well.  Sometimes a production wants to have a scene with an actor dressed as a uniformed officer, or to show a state police vehicle in hot pursuit, or some other aspect that includes an official insignia or image on camera; the Public Information Office will work with the show to not only give them permission to use their likeness, but also ensure all images are correct and appropriately represented. The office has also worked extensively with shows like Law & Order and CSI: New York in terms of NY State Police procedures. Dramatizations of how the state police operate and conduct investigations and interact with the public are seen by millions of people around the world, and both the producers and the agency want to be sure they are as accurate and realistic as possible.

Sometimes that bid for accuracy goes beyond simple fact-checking or providing information. When Mira Sorvino was preparing for her lead role in the Jerry Bruckheimer produced pilot Trooper for TNT, in addition to “many hours of phone calls” she was given permission to ride along with a female trooper on a typical day to give the actress an idea of what a real female Trooper deals with out on the road.

And then there are the requests for help with physical production, most commonly in the context of filming on New York State’s busy state roads and highways. For the most part, the New York State Department of Transportation requires permits for filming on public roadways under their jurisdiction.  Very frequently, as a condition of the permit, a police presence is required to ensure the safety of the film crew, actors and the general public.  “The State Police are available to provide the necessary presence to allow production companies to film safely,” says Lowman.  “Often our Troop cars will trail behind slow moving vehicles involved in the production, providing what is known as a ‘rolling roadblock’.  Other times, they might close the road for a short period of time, or close a lane, if the filming is occurring off the roadway.  When a scene from Sony Pictures’ Salt (starring Angelina Jolie) was filmed in Albany, the Troop G Traffic Incident Management Team closed a series of major roads, on a schedule that allowed for the complicated action scene to be shot from a bridge, while minimizing the disruption to the public.” Recent projects requiring road assistance include Fox’s The Following, USA Network’s Royal Pains, and NBC’s new pilot Babylon Fields.  Officers logged over 160 hours helping productions last year.  And all this is done, she notes, at no cost to the taxpayers of New York; producers pay an agreed upon rate for the troopers’ time on set, and officers are not diverted from regular duty for filming purposes.

The State Police force is divided across the state into ten geographic zones, known as “Troops”; most filming requests are concentrated in Troop L (Long Island) and Troop F (includes Greene, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties) which are popular partly because of the scenery.  Troop L has the beaches and parkways of Long Island, while Troop F has the spectacular Hawks Nest area in Orange County, where Route 97 runs along a sheer drop to the Delaware River. Both have the added advantage of being located near New York City, where many production companies operate. But big requests can come up for any part of the state; Focus Features’ Taking Woodstock, for example, required a stretch of road in Columbia County to be shut down for long periods of time while producers recreated the massive traffic jam at the famed music festival. Officers from Troop K were called upon to help with road closures, detours and with developing alternative traffic plans that would ensure uninterrupted access for schools, hospitals, and for emergency vehicles, delivery trucks and other vital services.


Lowman is quick to point out that she is part of a team, working under Director of Public Information Darcy Wells, who also came into the office in 2012 and who also has a background in radio and television; in fact Wells is the first civilian to head the State Police Public Information Office. They’ve taken things in a whole new direction, including new initiatives, Lowman says, like “starting up social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and being proactive when pitching story ideas to the media and production companies. Our goal has always been to show the great work that the State Police do on a daily basis.”

Lowman and her colleagues make it clear that if you are a filmmaker working in New York, you don’t need to be in trouble to call “help, police!”  The New York State Police understand the importance of the film and television industry to the economic vitality of the state, and they are working to do their part to keep New York film friendly. “If we can accommodate a request - we will do our best to make it happen.  We encourage anyone in the film and television industry to reach out to us in the office with any questions they have about our agency or to see if we can help them on any upcoming projects.”

New Sound Stage in Mount Vernon is Open for Business

Haven Studios is a brand new production sound stage that boasts over 30,000 square feet of raw space and more than 12,000 square feet for dressing rooms, shops, storage, and production offices.  Facilities include gated areas for locked storage, three loading docks, plenty of free gated parking, and lunchrooms.  Added benefits include its status as a New York State Qualified Production Facility and it being a 20-minute commute to Manhattan.

Nicole and Gabrielle Zeller of Zelco Industries, Inc, formerly maintained and operated the studio space as a warehouse and manufacturing facility, where items such as clocks and flashlights were manufactured, and consumer products, like the Itty Bitty Book Light, magnifiers, reading aids, lanterns, and utensil sets were stored and sold.  As the nature of the industry changed the Zellers decided to re-think their business plan, and began to pursue using the space for other purposes.

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Nicole and Gabrielle Zeller, owners of Haven Studio

After much research, and with assistance from the New York State Governor’s Film Office and the Westchester County Film Office, the space was transformed into Haven Studios and is now a prime soundstage for film and television projects.

Not long after Haven Studios was established, they attracted their first production. Upcoming HBO series The Leftovers, a drama that revolves around mysterious world-wide disappearances, follows a group of people who are left behind in the suburban community of Mapleton and was filmed on the Haven Studios lot, and various locations in Mount Vernon.  It stars Justin Theroux, Frank Harts and Michael Gaston, and premieres June 29 at 10pm on HBO.

It was the features of this studio, as well as the surrounding community and locations which attracted Demian Resnick, Location Manager for The Leftovers, to Mount Vernon.  

“In addition to the potential of Haven Studios we also saw that Mount Vernon had ‘the look’ we needed for the show, and knew we would be able to use many surrounding locations to film, including private homes, churches, schools, local businesses, as well as the streets and parks,” says Resnick.  Besides paying about $200,000 in location fees, the production was consistently patronizing local businesses like Beneath Your Sole, Zubitzky Glass, Dicicco’s Market, Home Depot, Wise Hardware, Target, and Gramatan Hot Bagels, pumping tens of thousands of dollars into the local economy during the production period.


After the success of The Leftovers, Haven Studios is now looking to grow. Nicole Zeller, co-owner of Haven Studios, views film production as a great economic stimulator for the local community, because productions like these engage their immediate surroundings and everyone stands to benefit. “Based on our experience with The Leftovers, we are looking to expand our facilities with additional property in Mount Vernon.  As we worked closely with this team we were able to learn very quickly what the needs of a production are, and plan accordingly,” says Zeller. “We hope to attract more television and film productions, and subsequent economic activity to the area.”

For more information on Haven Studios, please visit their website at http://www.havenstudiosny.com/