Day: February 7th, 2007

Scenes from the City

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007 | All Things, Arts, Books, Film, NYC History

Filmmaking in New York was the topic at this book talk, slide show and discussion at the Museum of the City of New York.

Scenes from the City

Commissioner Katherine Oliver of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting began the presentation, offering an overview of the 40-year history of the MOFTB. Last year, New York City hosted the highest number of film, television, commercial and music video shoots ever: 34,718 shooting days, up from 31,570 in 2005, and 23,321 shooting days in 2004. The city’s movie industry now employs 100,000 New Yorkers, and by the office’s calculations, brings in about $5 billion to the city’s economy every year.

Up next, a slide show presentation by James Sanders, architect and co-writer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series New York: A Documentary Film (the DVD set of which I received for my birthday last year, compliments of J & J), its companion volume, New York: An Illustrated History, as well as Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies (another present, this one from DH. Do my friends and family know me, or what?) Sanders’s new book Scenes from the City: Filmmaking in New York traces the evolution of filming in the city over four decades, contrasting the pristine New York of the Hollywood studio (Rear Window) with the gritty (Mean Streets, Do the Right Thing) and glittering (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, When Harry Met Sally, and so many others) New York of location shooting.

Some fantastic photographs, taken from movie sets, behind the scenes, or on the streets during shooting. Like Celluloid Skyline, there were rare and unusual production stills, taken from studio archives and private collections around the country.

Afterwards, a talk with Rob Striem (on left, below), location manger on several recent “Made in NY” films, the MOFTB program which awards filmmakers a 15% tax break — 5% from the city and another 10% from the state — for projects where at least 75% of the overall production was made in New York City. Streim is currently co-location manager for Warner Brothers Pictures’s I Am Legend, a big budget, sci-fi thriller starring Will Smith, which famously took over the Brooklyn Bridge late last month.

Striem and Sanders

Upstairs, a glimpse of the MCNY galleries.

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