The film and television industries bring significant economic benefits to Erie County

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Ten years ago, most Western New Yorkers would never have predicted the abundance of film and television projects that have chosen our area as their backdrop.

A steady stream of motion pictures and episodic television shows have injected hundreds of millions of dollars into our local economy and hundreds of well-paying jobs have been created.

New businesses have sprung up to support this new industry. Sound sets, camera and equipment rental shops and casting agencies are just some of the businesses recently opened to serve this new sector of the local economy.

Existing businesses such as hotels, car rental companies, lumber yards, shops and restaurants have also all benefited from these productions – and this is new money coming to town, not money. local money put back into circulation.

The young people who aspire to be part of this company find work in their hometowns instead of leaving for Hollywood, New York or other centers of production.

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More than 500 people have found work locally on Paramount Pictures’ “A Quiet Place 2,” which filmed here in 2019. More than 16,000 room nights have been booked at area hotels and more than $45 million has been raised. spent on local businesses that summer. That’s not even including spinoffs, the traveling cast and crew spending their nights visiting our restaurants, casinos, museums and many attractions. Actress Emily Blunt and her famous husband John Krasinski spent the summer here, giving Western New Yorkers a taste of celebrity fun and excitement, as well as hometown pride.

All of these developments began with an investment from Erie County to operate the Buffalo Niagara Film Office, which acts as the primary marketing promoter for film and television production in our region.

Erie County’s proposed budget for 2023 contains continued funding for our efforts to inspire filmmakers to consider Western New York and its many architectural assets for their projects. County Executive Mark Poloncarz is a firm believer in this industry, and the Legislature supports him. Their investment has been appropriate and prudent, and the return on investment is considerable.

So the next time you see a small village in Erie County used for scenes in a holiday movie, or the Kensington Freeway as the setting for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle chase scene, or the architecture familiar from downtown Buffalo behind Bradley Cooper delivering lines at del Toro’s Guillermo “Nightmare Alley”, remember our county and its leaders made this possible.

Their investment continues to pay off on the big screen and behind the screen in the form of new jobs, new investment and economic growth in an industry that was almost non-existent just a few years ago.

A Hollywood top hat to the Poloncarz County Executive, the Erie County Legislature and the kind citizens of this great community who make our Hollywood guests feel so welcome.

Tim Clark is film curator, Buffalo Niagara Film Office.

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