2016-06-01 / Editorials

Film Thrives In Queens

As the Gazette’s cover story last week shows, the film industry is booming here in “Hollywood East,” with Kaufman Astoria Studios and Silvercup Studios, two giant film studios that have made their home here, bringing the industry to our community to film in both studios and on location in various Queens neighborhoods, benefiting the community in so many ways.

It was encouraging to see thousands at the New York On Location street fair, hosted by Kaufman and the Museum of the Moving Image, that invited everyone to experience highlights of local filmmaking – stunts, scene-setting magic, make-up artistry, and catering! By opening up their studios, an entire multi-million-dollar industry will inspire local kids/young people to make their career in this industry happening right here at home.

Queens, likewise, has much to offer the industry as well, with Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Academy for Careers In Television and Film and schools like Bayside High School that offer a focus on the arts and/or performance. Certainly Queens is filled to the brim with thousands of talented performers, but also other creative types: painters, writers, builders, photographers, makeup artists and hair stylists, and also athletes, contractors, architects, carpenters, and computer specialists, bringing their creativity, style and aesthetics, some from around the world.

Not only is it fun to spot the occasional star as they film on location, perhaps you might even get to catch a scene as it’s being created. Your neighborhood is being memorialized forever on film, to be watched perhaps internationally. This adds interest which brings visitors here, who will in turn support local businesses of all kinds. And it employs people directly – artistic people, constructive people, cooking people, hotel people etc. Plus the filmmakers directly pay for the licenses to use the streets. The pros – excitement, promotion, jobs, fame, money – far outweigh the minor cons (grumps will be grumps) and we feel it is a win win win all around.

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