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NYC studios can cater for growing production

In recent years, a film-friendly political regime has transformed New York City into one of the hottest locations in the US when it comes to shooting a movie or television series. Currently, the city is hosting around 200 feature films and between 25-30 TV series a year. A big part of the city’s appeal is the quality of its crew and an attractive incentive programme that has been in place since 2004. But another compelling part of the NYC proposition is the quality of its studios. Here, we outline some of the better-known studio players.


Steiner Studios

Steiner Studios: Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Steiner Studios opened for business in 2004. It covers a total area of 580,000 sq ft and is home to the largest stage on the East Coast (27,000 sq ft). In total, there are ten stages covering 131,000 sq ft. There are also 5.6 acres of backlot space and a full range of support services. Numerous high-profile movie productions have been through the studio including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Wolf of Wall Street and Men In Black 3. From TV, there have been productions such as Power, Girls, Pan Am, Boardwalk Empire, The Carrie Diaries and The Following. TV commercials are also shot at Steiner. 


Silvercup Studios

Silvercup Studios: Based in Queen’s, Silvercup opened in 1983 but had a major overhaul in 2006. Today, its main complex comprises of 13 shooting stages ranging in size from 3,000 to 18,000 sq ft. It also has a second lot, the East Lot, which is made up of five 16,000 sq ft studios and one 9,400 sq ft studio. Both facilities offer on-site production offices, extensive set, prop and wardrobe storage areas and are conveniently located within minutes of midtown Manhattan. In addition to providing production facilities, Silvercup has an on-site lighting and grip department as well as a lumberyard. TV productions to have been based at the studio include CBS’s Elementary, ABC's Manhattan Love Story, NBC's 30 Rock and WB's Gossip Girl. Feature films that have been shot at Silvercup include Tower Heist, New Year’s Eve, Julie & Julia, Date Night and The Devil Wears Prada. Like Steiner, Silvercup also host TV commercials production.


Kaufman Astoria Studios 

Kaufman Astoria: Built in 1920, Kaufman Astoria Studios was the original home of Paramount Pictures, and over 100 silent films were made on its sound stages. More recently, productions to have been shot at the studio include Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie and Sesame Street, which has filmed at the studios since 1992. Feature film productions include The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Men in Black 3, and The Bourne Legacy. Like Silvercup, Kaufman Astoria Studios is based in Queen’s. It offers 500,000 sq ft of sound stages, production offices and service space. At the core of Kaufman Astoria are seven column-free stages including a 26,000 sq ft stage. The newest addition is Stage K with over 18,000 sq ft. In addition, there are two stages over 12,000 sq ft each, and smaller stages of 8,000, 4,000 and 3,000 sq ft. Support facilities are located near each stage for the efficient flow of crew and materials. The studio recently opened a backlot. Unveiling the plans, Kaufman Astoria president Hal Rosenbluth said: “The backlot…will draw more world-class productions and give these productions much needed space to create temporary sets that can stay up for as long as they need.” 


Broadway Stages

Broadway Stages: Brooklyn-based Broadway Stages is one of New York’s largest full-service film, television and music production facilities. It has 11,000 sq ft of stages as well as photo studios and support space. TV productions to have been hosted by Broadway include CBS series The Good Wife and NBC's Smash. The big news for Broadway, however, is that it has acquired the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island for $7m and is currently converting it into a state-of-the-art studio complex. Broadway plans to build five sound stages with 100,000 sq ft of studio, generating 1,500 jobs over the next five years. The goal is to woo work away from Hollywood and Toronto.

More In Manhattan

More Manhattan-based Studios: Chelsea Piers-located Silver Screen Studios is Manhattan’s largest centre for TV and film production. With 200,000 sq ft of dedicated production space, Silver Screen can accommodate a wide range of production needs including TV series, broadcast studios, feature films, music videos, commercials and events. Productions to have been based here include Law & Order and movies like You’ve Got Mail and Mickey Blue Eyes.

Another Manhattan-based venue, Chelsea Studios was formed in 1914 and hosted some high-profile productions during the 1950s and 1960s (12 Angry Men, The Phil Silvers Show). Now owned by All Mobile Video, it offers a range of studio options starting at 10,000 sq ft. Also of note are the state of the art TV studios at NY’s high-end entertainment venue The Manhattan Center, Production Central and Contra Studios, which opened for business in 2010. Contra has two large flexible-use studios, equipped with lighting, multiple camera, video setup, sound system etc. Studio A features a 20 ft. corner cyclorama wall, and is frequently used for fashion shoots and green screen applications in special effects for videos and film/image compositing. Studio B was designed for interviews, product shoots, and green screen. Contra also has post production.


Eastern Effects Studios

Eastern Effects Studios: This is a 68,000 sq ft complex in Brooklyn that belongs to an equipment rental firm. There are two 9000 sq ft studios and one 4000 sq ft studio. The Studios are currently being used by cable channel FX for its series The Americans. Broadcaster Studios: NY is home to a wide array of leading free-to-air and PayTV broadcasters, many of which have their own studio complexes. Examples include ABC Studios, CBS Broadcast Center and NBC Studios. Disney, the owner of ABC, also owns Times Square Studios, home of ABC show Good Morning America. Note: For a lengthy list of NY studios, visit the online resources provided by the Mayor’s Office. This list also identifies which studio facilities are eligible to be part of the New York tax incentive programme.