A Record TV Production Year, Thanks In Part To Westchester

According to Empire State Development, New York generated $473 million in spending through May of 2014 from television production, a record high for the state. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and America’s Got Talent generated much of the state’s filming revenue combined, which amounted to more than $150 million in spending, according to The Journal News .

This past year, Westchester has housed production companies to shoot shows such as HBO’s The Leftovers and Fox’s The Following. The Westchester County Film Office projects that 70 productions will film in Westchester this year, compared to 33 productions in 2011.

This increase may be in part to the state’s tax credit program and sales tax exemptions, which can offer 30 to 35 percent savings on production expenses, according to www.visitwestchesterny.comSome production crews that had been filming in Connecticut surged back to New York as a result of the program, according to Party Line Rentals in Elmsford. 

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The company rents out equiptment to several of the production companies that film in Westchester. Since the introduction of the tax credit program, Party Line has seen production companies, such as HBO, choose to film in Westchester instead of Connecticut. The company is currently providing Warner Brothers with equiptment while the studio films Trainwreck, a film starring Daniel Radcliffe that will be released in 2015.   

Westchester also offers production companies the charm of the county’s quant main streets, ample restaurants, and luxurious private residences for filming. Yonker’s Greystone Manor has been the backdrop for productions like Boardwalk Empire and Beyonce’s Irreplaceable music video.

Film and TV production benefits local businesses, as they require catering, hotels, and other businesses to service the crews. The county also receives revenue from filming permits and location fees.

“Obviously, we love the glamour. But film production also makes business sense in terms of jobs and dollars coming into our local communities,” said County Executive Rob Astorino at a press conference on the set of The Leftovers earlier this month.

One of the most popular Westchester shooting locations is Yonkers Stage, a 32,000-square-foot production space in Tuckahoe that has been transformed into the set for movies like Wall Street 2, American Gangster, and Hitch.

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Yonkers gets the most requests for filming permits; the city has collected $111,500 in permit fees already this year. However, Yonkers communications director Christina Gilmartin says the city is looking for a way to encourage companies to utilize local businesses.

“The City is considering creating an incentive in which production companies which spend money at local businesses would receive a deduction in costs when filming on city property,” Gilmartin told The Journal News.

Homeowners interested on getting in on the action can register their properties in the Westchester County Film Office’s database at www.visitwestchesterny.com. Who knows? Maybe your home will be the set for the next big blockbuster.

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