CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A tentative agreement between Hollywood and the Actors’ Union could mean that it’s back to lights, camera and action in the Capital Region. NEWS10 talked with those in our local area about what that means going forward. Local film industry leaders say they are optimistic the vote on Friday will pass a new deal and end the strike.
“We anticipate the floodgates are going to open,” explained Albany County Film Commissioner, Debby Goedeke. “I am so happy for our crew who have gone on possibly to do other jobs, to feed their families because they haven’t been able to work.”
Goedeke says there are more incentives to bring filming back to our area and says they benefit the film crews and other workers associated with production. “With the film tax credits going from 25% to 30%, we have above the line wages now that are included in the tax credit so it’s not just the crew.”
She says the filming industry rakes in nearly $165,000 for local economies each day crews are working in the area. She says the tax breaks may already be influencing interested parties. “We’ve been scouted by several; Paramount Pictures was here. Warner Bros was here. So, they’re scouting, and we anticipate that really the Capital Region is going to see an influx here and we’re delighted.”
To handle the influx, Daybreak Vintage Rentals has nearly half a million garments that are used for film projects. The owner, David Ornstein, says they have not had a new project to work on since February. “The strike has stopped our business totally. First off, the writer’s part of the strike and then the actor’s part of the strike.”
Ornstein tells NEWS10 reporter, James De La Fuente, he has already been contacted by a movie company, yesterday. “But they’re going to have a very short filming season. But I would assume, and we’ve been told all along that once it starts it’s just going to be a flood.”
Troy Mayor, Wm. Patrick Madden, tells NEWS10 he stands with the workers, “While union members still need to vote on this contract, I stand in solidarity with the workers who joined together to improve their compensation and working conditions: making the industry more sustainable for the sorts of large, small, and indie productions which have driven so much economic activity in Troy. Our industry partners were eager to return to work today and we look forward to welcoming them back to Troy, home of the first all-women’s union, knowing that workers will be fairly compensated for their labor.”