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Filmmakers are spoilt for choice at Suffolk County, Long Island, which also offers tempting incentive programmes

You’ve probably heard of New York City and Long Island. But you may not be familiar with Suffolk County. It’s one of the four counties that make up Long Island, New York. From the rugged hills and bluffs that overlook the Long Island Sound to the sweeping white sand beaches and barrier islands that form part of the Atlantic coast, there are a few places on earth that offer the rich geographic and architectural diversity found on Long Island’s Eastern End of Suffolk County, which can make your production a success.

Suffolk County occupies the eastern-most portion of Long Island, in the southeastern portion of New York state. The eastern end of the county is split into two peninsulas known as the North Fork and the South Fork. The county is surrounded by water on three sides, including the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, with 980 miles of coastline. The eastern end contains large bays.

Because of the wide array of geographic and cultural resources it has to offer, Suffolk County is an ideal location for filming movies and documentaries of all types. It has developed a unique collection of locations that are seldom found so closely together. The north shore is covered with hills bordered with a shoreline of towering bluffs and rocky beaches, while the south shore presents a coastal plain that slopes gently down to the quiet waters of the sheltered bays, barrier islands and white sand beaches.

Suffolk County offers filmmakers a broad range of location possibilities – seaside villages,rustic farms, mansions from the gilded age, vineyards and wineries, untouched forests, lighthouses and even a working ranch. As if the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound weren’t enough, It has the magnificent Great South Bay and Peconic Bay, along with myriad rivers, streams, inlets and coves.


Suffolk County has warm, humid summers and cool, wet winters. It is classified as humid sub-tropical as well. The Atlantic Ocean helps bring afternoon sea breezes that temper the heat in the warmer months and limit the frequency and severity of thunderstorms. Long Island has a moderately sunny climate.


The County offers four incentive programmes that can significantly improve your production costs.


New York State Film Production Credit: Provides a 30 per cent, fully refundable tax credit on qualified expenses while filming in New York state as well.


Sales Tax Exemptions: Film and video productions get sales tax exemption for all production consumables and equipment rentals and purchases as well as related services. These range from sets and props to cameras and lighting.


Investment Tax Credit: Up to 5 per cent tax credit on investments in construction and upgrades to qualified film production facilities, with Employment Incentive Tax Credits for 2 additional years.


Commercial Production Tax Credits: Refundable tax credits are available for qualified commercials, with additional incentives for companies that increase the volume of work in New York.


In Suffolk County film permitting is done at the most local municipal level. The county comprises 10 towns and 33 incorporated villages. Most permitting and insurance filing is done at either the town or village level. Exceptions are made for filming on county owned property, including all county parks, the Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, and all other county facilities.

The Department of Interior issues permits for some areas on the Fire Island National Seashore. Other areas are under the jurisdiction of Villages or Towns. The New York State Department of Parks issues film permits for state parks that are located within Suffolk County.

You will need to file insurance and apply for a permit during your pre-production phase to access all available county services, including police assistance.


Police Assistance

The Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) patrols the five western townships of Suffolk County – Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, and Smithtown. SCPD offers its service by assisting production companies with traffic and crowd control while helping them maintain compliance with county and town laws. SCPD will determine on a case-by-case basis whether police are required to monitor the use of children, stunts, prop firearms, staged crime scenes, risky equipment, safety and parking on the streets and public spaces of Suffolk County. Some fees may apply.


Lodging and Catering

The Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau will develop a bid package for your production and distribute it to hotels and caterers free of charge in order to ensure that your company receives the best rates available. In addition, a number of hotels provide special rates just for film crews.

Films Shot In Suffolk County

• Something Borrowed (2011)

• The Romantics (2010)

• Salt (2010)

• Fair Game (2010)

• Nanny Diaries (2007)

• Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

Fast Facts

• Country: USA

• Area: 6,146 sq km

• Population: 14,93,350

• Currency: 1 USD = 55.79 INR

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