Outlook 2015: The New York market
Issue: January 1, 2015

Outlook 2015: The New York market

NEW YORK - The Post New York Alliance (www.postnewyork.org) experienced considerable growth over the past five years. The organization is made up of post professionals and studios that work on film, television and entertainment properties in New York City and New York State. Collectively, their mission is to incentivize projects to finish in the State, as well as market the community’s services and provide a path for talent to enter the local industry.

Yana Collins Lehman is a co-chair for the Alliance and says that it has grown from 14 companies and one labor union in 2009, to 50 companies, two unions (Local 700 & Local 802), and 260 individual members. Members are surveyed three times a year, and provide feedback on revenue, expansion, and dollars spent. In 2014, Collins Lehman says several members invested in real estate, expanding their presence in New York City. Two “shining stars” she cites are Post Factory and Harbor Picture Company. She also points to Terminus, a studio known for its music credits, which has upgraded its infrastructure to take on film and television work.

“Looking ahead, we have Psyop, a VFX company, moving to a huge spot in Chinatown,” says Collins Lehman, adding, “I know Phosphene and The Molecule are looking to expand to have pilot offices in the upstate area.”

PNYA has partnerships with upstate schools to help prepare younger talent for work in the post industry. Empire Visual Effects in Buffalo, for example, is the result of a partnership with the Daemen College International Center for Excellence in Animation, IBC Digital and Sixteen19. 

“They all got together and started a certificate program for visual effects,” she explains. “We got film studios to sign letters of support saying they would send actual shots up there.” Students get to work on real-world projects, and the business stays local, rather than going off to India or China. Alliance members, she says, are looking to establish similar companies in Central and Western New York. 

One reason for the positive momentum is the 2013 visual effects/animation credit that New York offers. “You can come to New York and only do visual effects,” she explains. The incentive has led to an enormous increase in the amount of television work posting in New York — more than 80 pilots in 2014. 

“We have feature editors, assistant editors, and post producers who are working in television for the first time,” she notes. “There is so much television, and we never anticipated that when we were lobbying for the incentive, that so much television would take advantage of it.”