Blog: Lights, Camera, Action: NY Keeping it Reel!
Canada, is truly a stunning country. With it’s crisp air, strong beer, and fantastic hockey, it’s hard to dislike anything about our neighbors to the north. And for many years cities such as Toronto and Vancouver have stood in for New York City in television and film, resulting in attractive tax breaks for production companies. But fear not- as of 2011, twenty-three major television productions are currently being lensed in our fair city, providing the world with a true view of Manhattan.
Brooklyn’s campus of Long Island University’s Kumble Center for the Performing Arts played host to an exciting panel of directors and producers of New York-centric hits for a presentation entitled, “Lights, Camera, Action! New York, Keeping it Reel!” The discussion was moderated by Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Ms. Oliver was joined by Law & Order director Gus Makris, Co-Executive Producer for Gossip Girl Amy Kaufman, Co-Executive Producer of Unforgettable Merrill Karpf, and Director of Boardwalk Empire Allen Coulter. These talented men and women wear the “Made In NY” moniker like a badge of honor.
The panel conveyed their experiences of shooting in NYC to a packed Kumble Center crowd. The audience was made up of current students and those who strive to enter into the world of production. The group of highly talented individuals were in agreement that setting up any type of production here comes with a truck load of challenges, whether it be scouting a location, parking, or gathering permits, the production team must be at the top of their game to get the job done.
If you want to work production in this city, you must be dedicated, and thick skinned. There is simply no room for whining, mistakes, or lateness. Law & Order director, Gus Makris put this overall mentality into a few spot on words calling it, “The New York pace.” As a former member of the production community I can attest to this. Every minute of a shoot day costs money- a lot of money. Each member of a crew serves a purpose no matter how small, from the cinematographer all the way down to the guy stopping traffic. Throughout the panel discussion, students were hustling to scribble down notes, seriously taking it all in.
Whenever I walk down the street and see a line of production trailers and trucks a feeling of pride for my city washes over me. We are lucky to live in an exciting, ever changing metropolis that the television and film going audience clamor to see on screen. It also doesn’t hurt that the revenue from said projects help to beautify our city through tax dollars. And hey, it makes us look really cool.
- Jay Rubin