Who doesn’t like free? Whether your creative effort ends up on broadcast, cable, or shows up in a local movie house, finding a new way to save on ad dollars makes sense.
Well, the Mayors Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting offers one plan to stretch that budget. If your production shoots at least 75% in New York City, the MOFTB is prepared to turn over ad space on NYC-owned media properties throughout the city valued at 1 percent of your local production costs.
The catch? You’ll be expected to donate 0.1% of that budget to a local cultural organization of your choice via the city’s department of cultural affairs. Those city-owned ad spaces are mostly on bus shelters or airtime on NYC TV–so you have to determine if that fits your needs–but the feel good opportunity is there.
The program, part of the Made in NY Cultural Credit, has had some success, donating $600,000 since its 2005 launch.
More than 50 local cultural organizations have garnered funding including Art Education for the Blind, Ballet Hispanico, Harlem School for the Arts, Hospital Audiences, and Women Make Movies. The most recent donation comes from Lifetime Television’s comedy series Sherri, starring Sherri Shepherd (The View), which is shot at NEP Studios at the Pennsylvania Hotel. The announcement took place at an event celebrating the premiere of Sherri at the Empire Hotel, hosted by Barbara Walters and Andrea Wong, President and CEO of Lifetime Networks.
The Sherri production decided to donate to Sprout, which offers programs for people with developmental disabilities living in New York City. Sprout plans to shoot two films through their Make-A-Movie Program, offering adults and young adults with developmental disabilities a chance to be involved with hands-on filmmaking. Another of its initiatives is the Sprout Film Festival, an annual weekend event held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to showcase films featuring people with developmental disabilities.
For more info on the program, visit the MOFTB site at www.nyc.gov/film.