Creatives take on runaway issue

Org pushing for economic damage study

Raising its profile on the runaway production issue, the Creative Coalition has formed a task force aimed specifically at putting the brakes on projects fleeing the Empire State.

“New York’s hotels, equipment rental facilities, hardware stores, lumber yards, caterers, dry cleaners, gas stations, restaurants and other community-based businesses all suffer economically when film and television producers forgo New York to take advantage of financial incentives offered abroad,” the advocacy group said.

The coalition will push for funding a study compiling data to back up its arguments of the economic damage in the state of New York from losses of film, TV and commercial production. The Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild funded a 1999 study showing that runaway production created $10 billion in negative economic impact to the United States.

Anti-runaway legislation was introduced earlier this year in Albany and Washington, D.C., with both bills providing a 25% tax credit on the first $25,000 paid to each employee. The issue gained further prominence recently when the Rudolph Giuliani biopic headed to Montreal and when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley groused over the musical “Chicago” having been shot north of the border.

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“Most of us in the entertainment industry have been aware of the runaway production problem for years,” said Joe Pantoliano, co-president of the coalition. “Now lawmakers in Washington and in state capitals across the country are taking notice and starting to take steps to reverse the trend. The purpose of this task force is to ensure that New York is at the forefront of these efforts.”

Other entities on the task force: Amy Robinson Prods., Con Edison, Westchester County Chamber of Commerce, the Durst Organization, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Hotel Assn. of New York City and Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Also: Miramax Films, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, New York Hotel Trades Council, New York State AFL-CIO, New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & TV Development, Sachs Consulting, SAG, Silvercup Studios, Tribeca Enterprises, United Artists and Westchester County Film Office.

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