It pays to produce in New York

Volume 112, No. 6June, 2012

If you’re a producer or if you know one, please spread the news. In November 2010, Allegro published an article (, which reported on New York State film production tax credits as enacted or updated by the New York State legislature during the previous August.

The tax credits were unprecedented in size (30 percent for qualifying productions, with $420 million per year being allocated by the state for five years going forward), and included a new 10 percent post-production tax credit which was both easier to qualify for and which was applicable to above-the-line costs, such as composer fees.

The board of the New York chapter of the Recording Musicians Association (RMA-NY) recently began to focus its attention on these credits and their possible future application, with an eye towards improving awareness on the part of film producers as to the potential benefits of applying the credits to film score recording here in NYC.

The credits themselves and the process of applying for them can be complex, and it is understandable that at inception, the high costs associated with capturing and editing visuals may have been priority items for some producers rather than the costs associated with music recording.

We believe that a promotional strategy which combines a simple and clear explanation of the tax credits with a similarly clear presentation of the AFM’s variety of wage scales for film music recording (as based on size of production budget) has the potential to galvanize producers to apply these tax credits here for musical recording purposes to a greater extent than is presently the case.

It was in the spirit of this belief that RMA-NY board members Roger Blanc and Shem Guibbory appeared before the Local 802 Executive Board this past March 20 with the goal of bringing the Executive Board’s attention to several specific aspects of the tax credits and suggesting a number of ways in which partnering between the local and the RMA-NY chapter could potentially improve the NYC film music recording landscape.

During our meeting we presented the union with a summary fact sheet on the tax credits themselves, as well as some suggested models for generating appropriate promotional materials in future.

This initial meeting was followed up by the appearance on April 24 of Tino Gagliardi, John O’Connor and Steve Danenberg at our monthly RMA-NY board meeting to review, discuss, and plan activity related to the state tax credits.

During this meeting Danenberg was officially designated to act as liaison between the Local 802 administration and RMA-NY for activities related to the film tax credits.

Further, a broad overview of the challenges affecting our venue in regards to film music recording was sketched out, and some potential initial responses formulated.

It is fair to say that action in regard to this particular issue is now officially underway, and involves both RMA-NY and Local 802 working in a joint effort to demonstrate to New York producers the value that our locality and its musicians truly represent.

We will be following up this article with others in the future as further news develops.

For further information on the tax credits, please visit the following web address:

This article was written by Roger Blanc on behalf of the board of the New York chapter of the Recording Musicians Association.