I attended Crain's Entertainment Summit today in New York City and witnessed a robust panel discussion on why the state's film and television tax credit is so important to New York's economy. The bottom line is that the tax credit hugely incentivizes people to bring their productions to New York, which in turn leads to increased job opportunities for New Yorkers working in the entertainment industry, and bolsters revenue for local businesses. As an actor and a writer living and working in NYC, I am all about that!
The panel included: Scott Levy, Founder & President, Eastern Effects, Inc.; Julie Menin, Commissioner, Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment; Clyde Phillips, Showrunner, Dexter, Feed the Beast, and Nurse Jackie; Alan Suna, Chief Executive Officer, Silvercup Studios; and Beau Willimon, Creator, House of Cards.
Beau Willimon, there in his capacity as a Writers Guild of America Council Member, additionally advocated for a tax credit to incentivize diversity behind the camera. He and Writers Guild of America East are asking the state to allot $5 million of the $420 million Empire State Film Production Tax Credit towards productions that hire women or minority writers or directors. A few times the crowd, myself included, broke out in enthusiastic applause as he spoke truth to power about how behind we are with diversity when it comes to people behind the camera. As he says, it's our responsibility to the industry and our peers to work towards having a greater variety of people employed.
If we're going to tell stories in NY, the people telling them should reflect the people in NY. - Beau Willimon Click to Tweet
A LOT of stories are currently being told in New York. In the last year 52 Episodic TV shows and 336 movies were produced in NY, according to Julie Menin, the Commissioner for the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). That is truly exciting and I can't wait to see how that number continues to grow.
The state's film and television tax credit is up for renewal soon, it is currently extended through 2019. To keep tabs on what's happening with the credit and how you can apply for it check out the MOME website.
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I am an advocate for gender parity in the entertainment world and write, act, and produce with a mind to facilitate that change.