July 31, 2012
The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) and the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACCVB) announce the launch of a new video designed to capture the attention of film makers world-wide and showcase downtown Albany, New York as a “film friendly” city for their next location. Titled Film Albany, the piece details downtown Albany as a prime destination for studio and independent film makers with the ability to look and feel like any other large city, having an environment conducive to closures and traffic, and a willing and responsive partnership with the City and business community. Narrated by Albany native James McCaffrey of Rescue Me and Revenge, the 2 minute and 40 second film is housed on the Downtown Albany YouTube Channel with direct links posted on several websites including the BID (downtownalbany.org), ACCVB (albany.org) and Film Albany (filmalbany.com under the direction of the ACCVB).
“Film Albany demonstrates to film makers and television producers that downtown Albany has what it takes to accommodate their needs without the difficulties of shooting in big cities,” said
Mayor Gerald D. Jennings, “We want them to see that they have a willing and eager partner not just in Film Albany but also in the businesses and residents of downtown Albany.”
Film Albany also notes the financial benefits to filming in New York State (NYS) bymeans of tax credits available to film makers. By filming in the Empire State, film makers areeligible to receive a NYS Film Production Credit, Post Production Credit, Commercial
Production Tax Credit, Investment Tax Credit, and Sales Tax Exemptions. These tax credits were developed to keep film development and post-production in-state by providing financial
incentive. On July 24, 2012 Governor Cuomo signed a law granting larger tax credits for editing and other post production work in an effort to further increase the state’s film and television industry. Detailed information on each credit can be found on Film Albany’s website, www.filmalbany.com and the Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development’s website www.nylovesfilm.com.
"Albany, NY, continues to be a great hub for film makers nationwide and especially for those based in New York City” said Debby Goedeke, Albany Film Commission - ACCVB, “In recent years, NYC has become an increasing challenging environment to obtain permits due to traffic and safety. Not only does downtown Albany have better cooperation, it has the advantage of sitting in close proximity to NYC which for a lot of films and TV production is a big initiative to work so close to home. This video will further enhance and highlight downtown Albany's outstanding architecture, multitude of resources, and most importantly, the ability to save our clients time and money during their film and commercial projects."
Two major films, Salt and The Other Guys have had scenes shot in downtown Albany in recent years pumping nearly $5 million into to the local economy. According to the ACCVB, the two week filming period of Salt in May 2009 generated approximately $3.5 million of income into Albany. Roughly 200 extras, who were hired locally, received over $150,000 for their participation. In addition to actors, security and safety as well as rental equipment and production crew resources received $300,000 for their services. Restaurants, retailers and hotels also saw an increase in business during filming by accommodating production staff. The ACCVB also reported an economic impact of $1.4 million during the two weeks of filming The Other Guys.
“Anytime you have the privilege of hosting a film project there’s always going to be a lot
of excitement,” said Georgette Steffens, Executive Director, Downtown Albany BID, “Our residents and businesses have always been delighted to share their
city with film makers and look forward to doing so again.”
At least two films have already been shot in downtown Albany this year. Wishing Well Pictures filmed scenes for The Challenger, during the KO boxing event this past February at the Times Union Center and Academy Award nominated director Stephen Frears also shot footage in downtown Albany in May for the upcoming Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight at HBO Films.
According to Mike Camoin of Videos For Change Productions, who shot and produced the piece for the BID, Film Albany is about developing relationships.
“Like a lot of industries, repeat business happens with people you know and trust – and the film industry is no different,” explained Camoin, “Film makers tend to reach out to people they have worked with previously and trust to make good decisions. Plus, location scouts talk. If it was easy to shoot and produce a film somewhere, they will pass that information along. It is no coincidence that two Columbia Pictures have come through our Downtown.”