Bright Lights, Big City
Bright Lights, Big City
By Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
All over town this fall, it’s lights, camera and action, with more than 30 feature films and prime-time television programs in production in New York City. In fact, earlier this month, the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting issued a single-day record of 152 film permits to movies, television shows, commercials, documentaries, fashion shoots and other productions in the Big Apple. One of the nation’s current top grossing films, "Elf," was shot in New York City. And for the first six months of this year, feature film production in New York was up nearly a third compared to the same period last year; television production was up by more than half.
All of that is great news for New York for a lot of reasons. The movies and television shows that are made here reach audiences around the world, and are constant reminders of what an exciting and dynamic city New York is. That’s great free advertising. Film and television production is also a major part of our city’s economy, employing some 100,000 people and generating $5 billion in economic activity each year. And that’s money that gets spent in stores, lumberyards and other neighborhood businesses throughout the city.
Good as those numbers are, we’re working to make them even better. The Office of Film’s Commissioner Katherine Oliver, has streamlined the process of obtaining film permits, making it faster and easier to get production started. She’s also inspired a spirit of teamwork among producers, unions and city government. Upgrades to the city infrastructure around the Brooklyn Navy Yard have led to $28 million in private investment to create state-of-the-art film production facilities there. That will produce thousands of new jobs in our city as will the planned expansions of the Silvercup and Kaufman Astoria film studios in Queens. In addition, last month, our administration named film and recording superstar Jennifer Lopez and others to a Latin Media and Entertainment Commission; their job will be to help make New York the capital of the fast-growing Latin media and entertainment business.
Move and television production is a big part of what gives New York its special excitement. The two have long and legendary histories here and our administration is making sure they’ve got great futures in our city as well.
I want to remind everyone that the single-occupancy-vehicle restrictions that have been in place for the last two years on crossings to Lower Manhattan have been lifted. Those crossings are the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and the Holland and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnels. The restrictions were enacted to reduce traffic in Lower Manhattan and permit recovery and reconstruction following September 11; lifting the restrictions is more proof that Lower Manhattan is coming back strong.