Michael Bloomberg's Top 10 Reasons to Shoot in New York

Issue 14 BIZ Bloomberg Illustration - P 2012
Alex Fine

Issue 14 BIZ Bloomberg Illustration - P 2012

The part-time actor -- and full time mayor -- explains why Hollywood should look to the Big Apple for all its film and television production needs.

This story originally appeared in the April 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

Hollywood, look no further than the Big Apple for all your film and television production needs. Michael Bloomberg, a part-time actor and the 108th person to hold the office of mayor of New York City, lists his favorite incentives.

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1. You're in Great Company

New York City always has been home to iconic films, like West Side Story, On the Waterfront and Annie Hall, along with newer hits like Enchanted. But lately, we've also come to be known as the place for primetime television series: In the past year, the city hosted a record-breaking 23 primetime series, and 13 new pilots are currently being filmed. Shooting here means you're part of the country's hottest location.

2. No Shot is Impossible

We've made it easy to film in NYC -- no matter how complicated the scene. Whether a climactic battle scene in the heart of Wall Street (The Dark Knight Rises), an invasion outside Grand Central Terminal (The Avengers) or a re-creation of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (Tower Heist), we'll help you make it happen. Film commissioner Katherine Oliver has made customer service her top priority.

3. You can Apply for Filming Permits Online

Time is money, which is why we've developed an online permit system that allows you to apply online. This has helped streamline permit processing and eliminates the need for in-person visits to the agency.

4. We'll Promote Your Project for You

We've done a lot to bring production back to the city, and we mean it when we say we want to help the film and television shows that shoot here "from script to screen." That's why we're expanding our popular "Made in NY" Marketing Credit. Now, when you film at least 75 percent of your project here, the city will give you free advertising in subways, in taxis and on local bus shelters --advertising that is seen by our 8.4 million residents and 50 million annual visitors. What other city will help you market your film the way New York City will? 

5. You Have Your Pick of A-list Actors and Crews

New York City is overflowing with actors -- even I have a SAG card!  (You may remember my role as The Mayor in a 2011 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm? I hate being typecast, but hey, work's work.) Where else but in New York can an actor go from filming a TV show in Brooklyn during the day to taking her curtain call on Broadway in the evening? And the crews here can't be beat. Directors who have filmed in other cities are always enormously impressed at what a New York crew can accomplish in one day -- like tackling multiple locations in just a few hours. 

6. Certified Production Assistants

Need well-trained production assistants who know the city, but who can also politely and effectively interact with residents? We can connect you to more than 300 thanks to the "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program. These young people have gone through weeks of intensive training and know to arrive 15 minutes early to a set, to never sit down and to know there's always something they can be doing. They don't get certified as PAs unless we're sure they're up to the challenge.

7. Your Dollar Goes a Long Way

We hear it again and again from producers: "You get more for your money here and the very best crews." In addition, our "Made in NY" Discount Program continues to grow. More than 1,000 local businesses have pledged to discount goods and services for your production while shooting here. And when you're out on the streets, you can easily find the closest participating vendor by using the "Made in NY" app.

8. You Can Go Green -- and Digital

Our production community is very conscious of the impact it has on the environment. Producers and their crews have made major efforts to reduce their carbon footprint while in production. From solar panels on top of Broadway Stages, where The Good Wife films, to an assortment of local businesses dedicated to recycling sets, you're putting a green foot forward with your production. In addition, we want to help traditional filmmakers and production companies find new opportunities in the digital world. At the "Made in NY" Media Center, which is soon to be under development, local digital startups and filmmakers can interact and collaborate on new projects in the fields of interactive entertainment, digital advertising and the development of mobile apps.

9. We're Growing

A few weeks ago, I joined Doug Steiner to cut the ribbon at the expansion of five new soundstages at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Expansions are also under way at Kaufman Astoria Studios, Broadway Stages, Silvercup and other studios too. From indie films to the next blockbuster, the city can host a range of production at the nearly 100 stages and studios located throughout the five boroughs. 

10. And the No. 1 Reason You Should Shoot Here: This is New York City!