New York shows the way as a location shoot destination

HONG KONG: Shah Rukh Khan at Filmart 2005? Believe it or not, the Indian superstar and his blockbuster Kal Ho Na Ho was used to promote the Big Apple as a location shoot destination for film and television producers from Asia.


Thursday's session 'Promoting Film Industry in Respective Markets' saw an American sales pitch at its aggressive and compelling best.


Though the session had speakers from Australia, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong as well, it was the two-woman powerhouse team representing the state of New York that dominated the discussion.

Of course, it's important to note that the presentation had compelling content underpinning the slick packaging. The governor's office of New York state and the mayor's office of New York city are directly involved in film shoot activities and the rewards are there for all to see in that The Big Apple generates $ 5 billion a year from the entertainment industry.

The most admirable aspect to the story is how all the different municipal and state authorities work in close coordination and cooperation with one unified aim in mind making it easy to get the job done. For those of us used to the situation at home where the left hand of the same authority (let alone others) does not know what the right is doing, makes it all the more remarkable.

Some of the incentives provided to attract production work to New York include: sales tax exemption, fully refundable film production tax credits (equal to up to 15 per cent of production costs) free media time, and free use of public utility manpower (like police) as well as locations (that includes even premium ones like the Empire State Building, Times Square and the Manhattan Bridge).

The facility of free media time is especially innovative and unique. New York government provides free media time that tallies up to one per cent of the production costs across multiple platforms like bus shelters, radio and television. Of particular note are the free space provided on Jumbotron screens in front of the Reuters and Nasdaq buildings.

To use a baseball analogy (more so since the Big Apple is home to the New York Yankees), all bases covered.

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