Niagara Gazette

Opinion

November 17, 2013

GLYNN: Film producers may get break on tax credit

Niagara Gazette — That bill that Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed late Wednesday in his second-floor office of the Capitol could have a sharp impact on the Western New York economy.

In fact, it may result in increased activity from film and television productions in and around the Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in the nation. The governor’s veto message was welcome news to the Buffalo-Niagara area since the bill would have extended the coveted tax credits only to the Hudson Valley counties near New York City.

For the record, the state park here, as well as other regional state parks, hosts several film shoots per year. “Ranging from small two-hour shoots for the Travel Channel show to feature films, we have seen it all,” said Angela Berti, marketing and communications director for the western district of the regional parks commission.

She noted that in the past year, two large features were filmed at Niagara: “Tammy,” a Warner Brothers production starring Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates, set for release in July 2014 and “The American Side,” an independent feature film shot in Western New York for about 25 days with two days the Niagara Falls State Park. “Those movies would have benefitted from the tax credits” Berti said, unlike some currently scheduled TV shows that used the area as a backdrop.

“Filming not only in the state park but in Western New York is great for business,” Berti added, “In our case, Niagara Falls can’t be substituted for another location so it’s great marketing for us — marketing we would not otherwise be able to afford!”

Tim Clark, commissioner of the Buffalo-Niagara Film Commission, contends this area is among “the most lucrative” places in North America to shoot films. He also is confident that numerous film companies from Canada and across the U.S. will be taking a closer look at upstate New York.

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