Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 070-05
February 22, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Silvercup Studios CEO Alan Suna, Silvercup Studios President Stuart Match Suna and Queens native and star of FOX Broadcasting Company’s Jonny Zero Franky G announced today that five new television pilots are currently in production at Silvercup Studios in Queens.  As a result of an array of State and City tax incentives aimed at spurring television and film production, New York City is quickly expanding its entertainment sector, adding jobs and economic activity to the local economy. The five pilots shooting at Silvercup Studios promises to add more than $15 million to our City’s economy.  Mayor Bloomberg, joined by Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles A. Gargano, Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Commissioner Katherine Oliver and Bart Wenrich, co-producer of Jonny Zero, announced the expansion of New York City’s film and television sector on the set of the new FOX series Jonny Zero at Silvercup Studios.  

“New York City’s production industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers and generates $5 billion for the City annually, and we are committed to expanding our share of this vital industry,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Television and film production in New York City is increasing, largely due to innovate tools like our ‘Made in New York Incentive Program’, which is showing film and television organizations that we want to make it easier and more profitable for them to shoot here.”

Signed into law in September of 2004 by Governor George E. Pataki, the “Empire State Film Production Credit Program” provides tax incentives to feature films and episodic television shows that do a majority of their filming on qualified soundstages across New York State.  At the time, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the “Made in New York Incentive Program” which extends tax benefits to qualified film and television productions, including the 10% State tax credit, 5% City tax credit and 1% marketing credit featuring free advertising on City-owned bus shelters, and on NYC-TV and radio. 

“One of the most thrilling moments for New Yorkers is turning on the television or going to the movies with family or friends and seeing a familiar part of New York State as the backdrop,” said Governor George E. Pataki.  “Through our new Empire State Film Production Credit program and our State’s strong support of the motion picture industry, New York is getting the opportunity to shine on the big and small screen now, more than ever.  These new film production and television pilots will not only allow New York to shine, they will create new jobs, generate new investments and activity and help our economy grow.”

Pilots shooting at Silvercup Studios include The Bedford Diaries for Warner Bros, Lennie Rose for Disney/ABC Touchstone Television, NY-70 for NBC, The Prince for Warner Bros, and Pros & Cons for Disney/ABC Touchstone Television.  There are at least four additional pilots from various studios that are planned for production in the City.
“We have seen an unprecedented number of new projects coming to the Studio following the unveiling of the ‘Made in New York Incentive Program’” said Sivercup Studios President Stuart Match Suna.  “Business is booming and we are grateful to the City for their support of New York’s film and television industries.”

“New York’s film industry generates billions of dollars in economic impact every year and we want to maintain and build upon this strength,” said Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano.  “With this new incentive program, we have enticed new film and television shows to choose New York, such as the new pilots being filmed by Warner Brothers, NBC and Disney, thus creating even more jobs for our skilled and experienced film community.  Under Governor Pataki’s leadership, we are attracting more of these productions and the jobs they bring than ever before.”

Films expected to shoot at other locations in New York City as a result of the tax credit include Mel Brooks’ film The Producers, starring Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Will Ferrell, Martin Scorsese’s film The Departed, starring Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, Night Listener starring Robin Williams, and GreeneStreet Films’ Awake starring Jared Leto, which originally scouted locations in Dublin and London before deciding on New York City.

“Television contributes the lion’s share of the revenue to New York City’s production industry, so we are thrilled that the ‘Made in New York Incentive Program’ has been so immediately successful in attracting this sector to the City,” said Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Commissioner Katherine Oliver.  “We eagerly anticipate the range of New York City stories these pilots will bring to audiences around the world.”

Jonny Zero, which premiered in January on FOX and airs on Fridays at 9:00 p.m., was the first television show to take advantage of the “Made in New York Incentive Program” after relocating from Toronto.  The show tells the story of a man recently released after four years in prison. The drama employs a diverse cast and crew comprised of 120 New Yorkers and is filmed at numerous New York City locations including the Coney Island Boardwalk, Central Park Children’s Zoo, Fulton Ferry State Park and on the Williamsburg Bridge. The show also constructed sets including a loft apartment and boxing ring at Silvercup Studios.

“It is such an honor to be a part of Jonny Zero with an amazing team behind it including John Wells, Lew Wells, Mimi Leder and Scott Gemmill,” said the star of the FOX drama, Franky G.  “To be able to shoot on the streets of New York, which is my hometown, is an incredible opportunity.  The tax incentive has allowed us to make the city a character in Jonny Zero.  This incentive will afford other productions the opportunity to do the same.  Thanks to the Mayor’s Office and the Film and Theatre and Broadcasting for all of their efforts; without them, such an opportunity would not have been possible”

“These incentives scream ‘Action!’ and send a clear signal to film and television makers across the world that New York is open and ready for business,” said City Council member Eric Gioia.  “Film and television production is both an art and a business.  This tax credit helps both, enabling artists to create the best product, while also bringing thousands of good paying jobs to hard working New Yorkers.  This is a perfect example of how proactive government can help spur economic development and job growth for all New Yorkers.”

New York City’s “Made in New York Incentive Program” offers film and television productions a slate of opportunities that make it more attractive than ever to shoot in the five boroughs, featuring a combination of tax and marketing credits – along with expanded customer services for production.  The “Made in New York Incentive Program” includes:

  • Tax Credit:  A 5% refundable tax credit on qualifying projects that work on a New York stage, a complement to the 10% tax credit enacted as part of the State budget.  Eligibility for the credit requires that 75% of a project’s stage work occurs on a New York stage.
  • Marketing Credit:  The program offers outdoor media which is equal in value to 1% of a production’s total spend in New York City.  Qualifying productions can make use of city-owned bus shelters for co-branded advertising related to the Made in NY production.  This credit is extended to productions that do 75% of their total production for a project in New York City.
  • Cultural Benefit: In conjunction with the marketing credit, this benefit allows productions to make a cultural donation equal to .1% of their production costs, to a not-for-profit cultural institution of their choice, in exchange for the marketing credit. The donation would be made in the name of talent or an executive associated with the project, and is intended to support the theatrical, film, writing, and other local arts institutions that nurture upcoming talent and strengthen the City’s creative community.
  • Made In NY Logo:  This “Mark of Distinction,” is awarded to projects where at least 75% of the overall production was made in New York City and is used in the credits of all shows participating in the program. 
  • Concierge Service:  The program offers assistance with story development, scouting assistance, budget analysis, and discounts on participating vendors including hotels and car rentals, among other services.  The Concierge Service also offers assistance and consulting services on venues for global premieres and launches.  Recent examples include providing access to the Brooklyn Bridge for 10 nights for 20th Century Fox’s STAY and providing locations for all four of Dick Wolf’s and NBC Universal’s LAW & ORDER dramas.
  • New/Expanding Facilities: Over 900,000 square feet of stage space available for productions in New York City, including Steiner Studios, with its five new state-of-the art soundstages, Silvercup Studios, with its 18 soundstages, and Kaufman-Astoria which is a complete broadcast and production complex.  
  • Labor Enhancements: Labor is now more competitive, offering low-budget agreements for pilots and more flexible work rules.

“The marketing package extended to Jonny Zero is the perfect example of how innovative New York City can be in attracting and keeping good jobs,” said New York City’s Chief Marketing Officer Joseph Perello. “Under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg, New York City is working harder than ever to find new and creative ways to grow our economy and support industries like film and television production which is vital to our City's history and future.”

Click here for a list of facilities which meet the requirements for New York's tax incentive program.


Edward Skyler / Paul Elliott   (212) 788-2958


Julianne Cho   (Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting)
(212) 489-6710 x 226

Chapin Fay (ESDC)   (212) 803-3740

More Resources
View the photos
Watch the video in 56k or 300k