The so-called forgotten borough is ready for the spotlight.
Staten Island Borough President James Oddo launched “Made on Staten Island” on Monday, the new initiative run through the BP’s office where the staff of the TV and Film office act as a liaison between film scouts and filming locations. With “Made on SI,” Mr. Oddo aims to promote growth of the TV and film industry on the Island.
“Staten Island will undoubtedly benefit across the board,” Mr. Oddo told the Staten Island Advance. “There will not only be economic benefits, but it will show the borough in a positive light. People will welcome it.”
With his “Made on SI” initiative, Mr. Oddo is hoping to capture the attention of the film and TV industry. He hosted a tour of some of Staten Island’s most camera-ready spots, and he encourages film crews to use the Island as its backlot.
The borough already made its fair share of on-screen cameos, including The Godfather and HBO’s Girls and Boardwalk Empire. With the new “Made in NY” film tax breaks and movie studio Broadway Stages relocating to its new home at the old Arthur Kill Correctional Facility in Charleston, Staten Island is a desirable place for film sets.
“It’s a fascinating place,” Gina Argento, CEO of Broadway Stages, told the Advance. “There’s so much more we need to explore. It has so much potential.”
This initiative is just the latest addition to the list of upcoming projects that hope to revamp Staten Island’s commercial appeal. Just last fall, City Council struck a deal with BFC Partners and New York Wheel LLC and approved the plan to build the world’s tallest ferris wheel and an Empire Outlets shopping mall in St. George on Staten Island’s North Shore.
Flagship Brewery opened its doors on May 17 just a few blocks east in Tompkinsville. The first brewery on Staten Island in 50 years is owned and operated by natives who want to give tourists a reason to step off the ferry. Lighthouse Point, a three-acre mixed-use development south of the ferry that will include retail shops, a hotel and residential units. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.
As CBS location scout Nick Carr was quoted during Mr. Oddo’s film tour, “There’s a saying, if you can’t find it anywhere else, you’ll find it on Staten Island.”
Hopefully upcoming projects won’t include a sequel to the SI Clown.