LI may see 1,000 jobs with 'Spider-Man' film
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Long Island could see more than 1,000 new jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic activity during the production of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" at two studios in Bethpage, state officials said Tuesday.
Grumman Studios and Gold Coast Studios will serve as the "anchor" and home base for the sequel to Marvel's 2012 summer blockbuster, which officials said will be the most expensive movie ever made in New York State. The first "Amazing Spider-Man," along with the original film franchise, were mostly filmed in Los Angeles, despite the superhero's hometown of New York City.
Out of 150 planned production days for the film, 50 to 65 days will be at Grumman and Gold Coast, executive producer Bennett Walsh said Tuesday as he gave a media tour of the scale-model movie sets at the Bethpage facilities.
Walsh said a combination of New York State film tax credits and the availability of talented film crews -- evidenced by the recent successful filming of movies such as "Salt" and "The Avengers" at Grumman -- clinched the decision to film in New York.
"Those two factors are the reason we came," he said. "We would not have come if there was not an incentive and we would not have come if there was a skill hole."
A majority of the local jobs and spending will stem from work behind the scenes.
The production has hired local carpenters, metal workers and painters and rented cranes from Long Island companies for lighting and stunts. To feed the large crew, the film is also going local -- buying from U.S. Coffee and Bagel Boss in Hicksville, said the Empire State Development Corp., the state's business aid agency.
"Productions like 'Spider-Man' are big business for New York State," said Ken Adams, president of Empire State Development.
Filming for the sequel began Feb. 1 and the work was evident on the sets. At Gold Coast, 300 stacked shipping containers replicated the layout of Times Square. A long action sequence will be filmed there in April, Walsh said.
Across the street at Grumman, a replica of a New York subway platform, which took four weeks to build, stood next to a quaint dorm room set for Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man's love interest in the movie.
The film will leave New York for postproduction because there are no facilities in the state that can do the advanced visual and 3-D work necessary, Walsh said. But it's certainly an area that the state can invest in, he pointed out, "because it can be done anywhere in the world."