The New York Super Subsidy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently brought a bazooka to the subsidy war as he passed an expansion of the state’s film subsidy for post production:

The law signed today by the Governor increases the percentage of tax credits available for projects that did not film in New York but will now qualify for credits for post-production work done in New York. Under the new law, the qualified film and television post production credit increases from 10 percent to 30 percent in the New York metropolitan commuter region…

An additional five percent (for a total of 35 percent) in tax credits would be available for post-production expenditures in locations elsewhere in the state.

When you combine that with the fact New York pays out almost half a billion a year in film subsidies you realize this is a HUGE subsidy.

Subsidized Toronto VFX house Mr. X is opening a 4000 sq ft studio in New York:

President Dennis Berardi believes New York has numerous aspects that make it a good fit for the company, including competitive tax incentives and an established film industry.

Indian company Prime Focus announced earlier this year they will expand a 13,000 sq ft facility (No word yet if they will be charging employees a deposit to work there.) London based MPC announced it will open a 13,000 sq ft facility also last year.

For VFX professionals in New York this will probably come as good news. However as I post often on my blog: “You live by the subsidy, you die by the subsidy.” To me it looks like Governor Cuomo is doing was Governor Richardson did in New Mexico: He is intending to run for president and wants to juice employment numbers. Once he is gone the state will slowly realize how expensive the program is and dismantle it.

The NRO surprisingly had a very good op/ed on the issue:

Andrew Cuomo: Subsidizer To The Stars.

Soldier On.


29 Responses to The New York Super Subsidy

  1. LMP says:

    On the positive side (if there is any) we are talking about New York. Not God forsaken New Mexico, Baton Rouge, Port St. Lucie or ALASKA!

  2. Dave Rand says:

    Montreal and Toronto will now have to go to 100% : )

  3. VFXliberty says:

    Don’t just assume New York is New York City. This is a STATE subsidy and Andrew Cuomo has been biased towards “upstate” which is traditionally anywhere above Westchester county. Studios can be placed in areas such as Syracuse, Buffalo, Utica, Binghamton, Rome, etc: the god forsaken rustbelt of New York state. No one want’s to love there (like Albuquerque). These areas are in dire need of some sort of stimulus so it makes perfect sense to have post production there. And artists will move anywhere in the world for the privilege of working on films.

    • Jill says:

      and it should be clearly understood by workers that once the government stops being the a significant buyer of vfx, via subsidize, through a change of policy or another government offers a better price, you will most likely have to move if you are to continue working in vfx.

      • Ashes says:

        Anyone who does an ounce of research on the vfx industry already knows this.

      • Jill says:

        shut down vfx solder then?

        I never assume that everyone knows this. I assume that people come to this site when they have issues with the industry.

        you may know this, not everyone.

      • Jill says:

        @ ashes

        is Jeff wrong? should David just learn vfx? or should fundamental knowledge be reinforced time and again.

        “Choosing a career in visual effects – For 15+ year olds”
        “David González 1 week ago
        I want to learn VFX!!’

        Jeff Heusser ‏@neonmarg

        Siggraph is great – I wish someone’s focus was getting #vfx artists more informed about biz issues that they should care equally about

      • Ashes says:

        @Jill, again, anyone who does any research in this field will already know this. People come to this blog who are in the industry who already know of these problems.

        I’m not really sure what you were trying to get across with that clip/commerical. People need to do a bit of research before they blindly jump into a career. No one is going to hold their hand and wipe their nose for them. Most artists are more than willing to chat on forums with newbies and answer some questions.

      • Jill says:

        @ ashes
        you could say that about everything on the internet. eg. what vfxliberty, LMB, vfx soldier write its all on the internet, and its all simple to find. vfx soldier is an aggregate concerning the vfx industry.

        i dont understand why you are here? this site only delivers information.

      • Jill says:

        @ ashes
        if people ‘who are in the industry’ are so experienced why are they making fundamental errors with ‘supply and demand’, working for ‘free’ is okay and saying that unjust employment contracts are okay?

        this is really simple stuff to me and it causes huge problems in the industry.

      • Ashes says:

        @Jill this site is filled with experienced workers who are talking about in the issues in the industry with their own biased views. As a newbie you can glean a bit of info, but it’s hardly a place to use as your only source of info about a possible career. It’s not designed as a guide for a student to use to break into the industry and what to expect in the industry. Just like you wouldn’t use the Wall Street Journal as your only source before deciding to be come a stockbroker.

        This isn’t “simple stuff” and the fact that you think it is just shows that you don’t know what’s going on. Supply and demand? You think that’s what’s driving this? You don’tt seem to even understand what’s going on if, all the various conversations going on here, you’re only conclusions are “working for ‘free’ is okay and saying that unjust employment contracts are okay.” That’s NOT what people are saying.

      • Jill says:

        @ ashes
        thats not my experience. I quote from the last few days.

        Supply and Demand
        ” It’s nothing personal, it’s just supply and demand economics.”. scott ross

        Working for Free
        “Perhaps you should look up the definition of Volunteer….” Stephen M. Watts

        “Favors get called in, and people are asked to work for very cheap or free. NOBODY is pressured into this situation.” Robert Neaderhorst

        Unjust Contracts
        “However, the existence of a contract like this seems entirely appropriate given the situation and does not bother me in the least.” Craig

      • Ashes says:

        @Jill a few sound bytes, taken out of context, doesn’t even come close to the very complex issue of a global industry. It’s not just something basic like supply and demand. It involves multiple economies across several continents, various corporate laws in extremely different countries, many different cultural influences, etc.

        Until you can understand this, there’s no point in even discuss this with you.

      • Jill says:

        thats exactly my point. when mr ross explains that jobs go to china because of ‘supply and demand’ you agree thats its much more complex than that.

        hit me with any economic or law thing you want- its not as complex as you make it out to be.

      • Ashes says:

        @Jill, a few blogs from Ross doesn’t mean that the be all end all issues with all the problems in the vfx industry. Also, having worked with Ross on and off for over 6 years, I don’t think he’s unbiased as to some of the problems in the industry. His blogs pretty much just scratch the surface of the issues.

        I’m not going to argue ad nauseam with you about this anymore. There’s no point, especially if you think that a few posts on a blog’s comment’s section explains the woes in the vfx industry. Until you recognize that there’s a lot of complex issues going on a discussion is useless.

      • Jill says:

        @ ashes
        i still done understand why you are here? this blog informs on the issues. its what you do with the info that counts. remember you said what i wrote was ‘not needed’ and i disagree.

  4. Paul says:

    I was scrolling down and was wondering when the Jill – Ashes – Jill and so on would stop…

    • went up the hill says:

      me, jill and jack and have a different philosophy to Ashes.

      I believe that the fundamentals are missing in the industry whilst ashes think that its very complex. the complexity in this industry is in human interactions at a business level and the technical problems of vfx. not the fundamentals like paying wages to interns.

      like everywhere in life when someone sounds authoritative and says something most people go ‘yes that must be true’ instead of saying ‘why?’

      • Ashes says:

        You cannot ignore the “human interactions.” You cannot simply say something like, “People are staving. They don’t have food. That’s the fundamental problem. Give them food. There, I have solved the people starving problem.”

        You have look into all the logistics of a problem to solve it. That’s why the vfx industries problems are very complex and won’t be solved with extremely simple answers.

      • went up the hill says:

        @ ashes
        bad analogy. as opposed to food, there is money in companies through credit, investment etc. to employ someone they must be paid. that is the definition of employment.

      • went up the hill says:

        @ ashes
        if you actually stop saying ‘its very complex’ you’ll start to realize that the fundamentals are all missing. a company that doesn’t have enough money to pay its debts is insolvent. that isn’t ‘complex’ that is business 101. and is in no justification to not pay its employees.

      • went up the hill says:

        @ ashes
        if you want to go deep why not take it all the way to the ‘fed fund overnight rate’ that effects the economy/money supply and suggest negative central bank interest rates to force bank lending. – that is really boring and long winded though. its really much easier than that.

  5. […] VFX Soldier – The New York Super Subsidy […]

  6. […] believe the larger subsidies in Vancouver, Singapore, and now New York are beginning to play a role. For example, the bulk of Double Negative artist openings are in […]

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