New York officials to meet with studio chiefs

New York City officials and union leaders are planning to meet with studio chiefs in Hollywood this month to encourage them to continue filming in Manhattan.

Asked how the Sept. 11th attacks will affect the New York film industry, Commissioner Patricia Scott of the Mayor’s Office of Theater, Film and Broadcasting told today’s New York Post, “I don’t think anyone can predict with any authority, but it can’t be too helpful.”

State Film Commissioner Pat Kaufman added, “I’m hoping that people will view it as a patriotic gesture to return to New York. One thing hasn’t changed: This city will always be the world’s greatest backdrop.”

But filmmaker Ed Burns told the Post that he is concerned that the costs for stepped-up security may induce filmmakers to switch to Toronto instead. “If movies go to Canada, that would be a tragedy, because there are few things as good as having a big-budget Hollywood film shoot here, because it has a tremendous ripple effect on the economies of the neighborhoods where they’re shooting,” Burns said.

But producer Christine Vachon said that she has already noticed nervousness by a completion bond insurance company.