Woody Allen, an American film director who has defined New York City for much of the world, told reporters in Spain on Tuesday he can no longer afford to shoot in the Big Apple. Allen is currently promoting his latest effort You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, filmed in London, and also is in production on Midnight in Paris, a romantic-comedy, being shot in Paris. He went on to explain that he feels it’s far more cost effective to shoot in Europe, though admitted the infrastructure for film production in New York poses fewer limitations for location shoots.

Since 2005’s Match Point, Allen has shot all of his films abroad save for the 2009 comedy Whatever Works, and many critics have claimed the new settings have rejuvenated a failing creative spirit in his work.

Still, many of Allen’s most acclaimed films were inspired by and shot in New York City, among them Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Bullets Over Broadway. And many New Yorkers are calling foul, as New York City has created tax breaks that allow producers a 30% return on their below the line costs of production. This initiative has recently been renewed by the New York State Legislature, and is expected to lure a number of big budget projects to the city, including: the Jim Carrey vehicle Mr. Popper’s Penguins, the Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Men in Black 3, and the hotly anticipated comic book movie, The Avengers.

The initiative is intended to bring big movies to the city, which means more money and more jobs. Yet, the tax breaks should prove crucial to smaller films that are having a harder time than ever seeking funding in the wake of the recession. While it is a shame to lose Allen, I wonder – do we need him?

Do you think New York will miss Woody Allen?

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