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2024: Filming Returns To Clarkstown

Over the past several years, permits and location fees have been a growing source of revenue for the Town of Clarkstown. In 2022, various locations in the Town of Clarkstown were featured in over 20 different productions across 72 days of filming. This activity generated just under $137,000 in direct payments to the Town. The indirect financial benefits to the town are also significant, as these productions often have crews staying in our hotels, dining in our restaurants, and shopping in our stores. With all this in mind, the Town has been aggressively recruiting movie and television productions to film here. In 2023, we were on track to meet or exceed the revenue from 2022.
Unfortunately, that all came to an abrupt halt when the Writers Guild of America went on
strike on May 2, 2023.


Some productions were able to continue on despite the writer’s strike, but when the Screen Actors Guild joined the strike in July every remaining production was shut down. These strikes finally came to a halt in the fall of 2023, but the fallout continued well into the early months of 2024. Many productions lacked scripts and entire work crews had to be reassembled. 2023 was essentially a lost year for the industry. I’m happy to say that 2024 has started on a much better note and we have already seen a return to the 2022 levels of filming activity here in town. The CBS show, “FBI: Most Wanted” and Apple TV’s” Recess” have filmed on town property, generating over $100,000 in revenue for the town as we closed the month of April.


Attracting film productions has been a focus for New York State, which offers up to $420 million in tax incentives to qualifying film projects. An eligible production can receive a 25% rebate on production costs incurred within the state. As a result, the film industry in New York has grown significantly since the tax credit was implemented. In addition to the New York State tax credit, Clarkstown is also an attractive spot for film and television productions because it’s situated within a 25-30 mile work radius used by major unions in the NYC based film industry. Workers in those unions have agreed to travel and work within that radius, which starts at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. As a result, Clarkstown began to see increased interest from location scouts.


Even with these state-level economic incentives, there are only a handful of productions that regularly operate outside of New York City and into Rockland County. My administration has been working hard to build relationships with the productions that are active here and to spread the word that Clarkstown is a great place to film. The reaction to filming from our residents has been overwhelmingly positive and the sight of a film crew often creates a flurry of social media posts and calls to my office asking what’s being filmed.


Of the few negative comments received, most are related to minor and temporary inconveniences such as road and parking lot closures. The cost of policing at these filmings is another concern that frequently gets voiced. Any production that needs assistance with traffic control or any other police presence is first directed to consult with the Clarkstown Police Department before a permit is issued. The production covers 100% of the policing costs, which are billed after the production has wrapped. In 2022, the Clarkstown Police Department received $201,435 in reimbursements for traffic safety related to filming. The ability of our Police Department to handle these requests is
another draw that keeps bringing certain productions back to Clarkstown.


So, next time you’re driving through town and see the trucks, lights, and cameras, know that their presence is the result of a concerted effort to bring additional revenue into the Town – and don’t forget to smile, you could be an extra on a top rated national TV show!