Frankie Goes To... New York?
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The long and damaging strike was perhaps not the reason for the exodus, but it did provide an appropriate background to begin questioning traditional showbiz values, including the default choice of venue for new films and shows. The venue whose cost just kept increasing due to the high levels of unionization and, most importantly, high taxes.
To be sure, nobody is challenging Hollywood's position directly right now (quite simply, the city's concentration of studios and production facilities offers economies of scale that are difficult to match). And yet, shows and people are noticeably moving. "Ugly Betty" will be made in New York from now on. The same old Carsten Lorenz made the latest Harold & Kumar flick in Louisiana. Practically every minimally known actor has bought themselves a Manhattan pad. And if the Bloomberg-Paterson tandem plays their cards right, New York's $5B+ media industry (that's TV+film+theater+music) could soon be growing leaps and bounds by taking business away from LA.
The timing could not be better for New York which is bracing for the impact of recent and upcoming Wall Streets layoffs. May I suggest a slew of reality shows depicting the lives of unemployed stock brokers and investment bankers? There won't be any shortage of talent at auditions...
Links and Sources
- Sconti sul set, Hollywood va a New York (Massimo Gaggi, Corriera della Sera; 21-may-2008)