'Made in New York' Makes Sense
UPDATE: Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf, the filmmakers of Chely Wright: Wish Me Away, have made a donation to NYWIFT as part of the "Made in NY" Marketing Credit Program. To learn more about the program, read on.

by Mimi Spillane (NYWIFT member)

For producers on a tight budget—and that would be just about everyone—New York City has a deal for you, a deal that benefits not only you and your production but is also a potential moneymaker for New York Women in Film & Television.

Created in 2005, NYC’s Made in NY marketing credit benefits a production as long as at least 75% of it is shot within the five boroughs. For that commitment the city provides free advertising on taxi TVs, on bus shelters and in the subway, based on the size of the below-the-line budget.

“We understand how important it is for independent filmmakers and producers to get as much exposure and attention for their properties as possible,” says Marybeth Ihle from the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. “Marketing costs can quickly rack up, but with the Made in NY marketing credit, low-budget productions in particular have access to advertising.”

How much advertising that translates to depends on the size of the production budget. A $5 million production, for example, gets advertising on 20 bus shelters, 250 subway ads, and a PSA/trailer playing in the back of 13,000 taxi cabs. And there’s an added bonus: the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment covers the cost of printing the bus shelter and subway ads, which the city will co-brand with the Made in NY logo.

The documentary Wish Me Away, produced and directed by NYWIFT member Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf, is one of the productions that benefited from the incentive.

All New York City asks in return for this major exposure in the country’s largest media market is that producers donate 0.1%—that’s one-tenth of 1 percent—of their below-the-line budget to organizations recognized by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

NYWIFT is one of those organizations, and receiving the 0.1% donations helps it continue its mission to recognize, educate and empower women in film, television and digital media.

The donations can quickly add up. NYWIFT’s Executive Director Terry Lawler says the nonprofit has already received a total of $46,664 for Fur, The Notorious Betty Page, and three TV shows from Fox Broadcasting.

Of course NYC is not just being nice. The film and television industries generate a lot of money for the city: in 2011 alone, $7 billion (yes, with a “b”) in direct spending (hotels, restaurant, etc.) while employing 130,000 people. The Made in NY program is unique in the country and obviously mutually beneficial. The city is showcased, and producers get substantial help.

Applying for the credit, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis, is simple. The process starts with an email to Jorge Hernandez at jhernandez@media.nyc.gov.

“Made in NY” logo is used, and can only be used, with permission.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts