Several films are wrapping (or have wrapped) production, including THE RANGER, DEPARTURES, THE BREAD FACTORY and SHOTGUN. June will bring a new flurry of ACTION!
Voltage is co-producing DEPARTURES, with Kerhonkson based BCDF Pictures. The production, which filmed in Kingston, Annandale on Hudson and Albany airport, stars Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Asa Butterfield (Hugo). The film is directed by Ulster County's Peter Hutchings. In addition to top management, many local crew members were hired and background casting was handled by Amy Hutchings Casting.
THE RANGER from Glass Eye Pix was helmed by first time director Jenn Wexler, who is familiar with the region after producing several movies, including Stray Bullets. The film, which stars Jeremy Holm (House of Cards, Mr Robot), Chloe Levine, and Amanda Grace Benitez, follows a group of teen punks who get in trouble with the cops. The kids escape to the woods to hide out, where they come up against the local authority, an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind, hell-bent on preserving the serenity of his forest. Filming took place in Accord, Willow, Woodstock and other regional haunts.
Meanwhile, THE BREAD FACTORY, a double feature project directed by Patrick Wang, has been filming in Hudson with a cast that includes Tyne Daly (upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming), James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer), Brian Murray, and many local extras.
In THE BREAD FACTORY, 40 out of 99 speaking roles were cast by Hudson Valley Casting. Elisabeth Henry, a Hudson Valley Local, landed the number 2 role (out of 99 speaking roles) playing DOROTHEA (Tyne Daly's) life partner, and co-owner of the bread factory.
Also in May, SHOTGUN, written and directed by Hannah Marks and Joey Power, slipped into the area to film in Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties. The film, which is produced by Jordan Yale Levine (King Cobra, Welcome the Stranger), stars Marisa Tomei (Spiderman: Homecoming, The Wrestler), Maika Monroe (It Follows, Independence Day: Resurgence), Jeremy Allen White (Showtime’s Shameless, Bad Turn Worse), Dean Winters (John Wick, P.S. I Love You), Gina Gershon (Bound, Face/Off), and Sasha Lane (American Honey). Variety just listed SHOTGUN as 1 of 12 of The Hottest Titles for Sale at the Cannes Film Festival
Since the film tax incentive program increase was extended to the Mid Hudson Valley in November of 2016, the Mid-Hudson Valley has hosted seven feature films by top industry professionals, featuring A-list actors, including 5 Oscar Winners. In addition to feature films, the Hudson Valley Film Commission has been working overtime working with commercials, short films, industrials, fashion shoots and other media that generates local jobs and money! It's been a record breaking year to date, with many other productions slated.
Currently, the Hudson Valley Film Commission is working with over 20 potential productions, including several union films and a SHOWTIME TV SERIES.
"We've worked with many of these production companies in the past," says film commissioner Laurent Rejto, "but most of these projects were balking about filming in our region due to the imbalance in tax incentives."
In March of 2016, Peter Hutchings, the director of DEPARTURES, sent the following note to the film commission: "I am currently developing a new film, and it would be perfect to shoot in the Hudson Valley, but the tax incentive is not enough to keep us here. It can’t shoot anywhere near NYC, so we are looking at other states. Believe me, I would greatly prefer to keep these millions of dollars in New York State, but without a greater incentive in the Hudson Valley it won’t be possible. If the incentive were 40%, we absolutely would stay in New York."
In October of 2016, Larry Fessenden, CEO of Glass Eye Pix emailed the following concern: "Glass Eye is delving into another low budget feature and as always I want to shoot in NY State. My partner thinks Georgia. Hmmm. Do you know the status of the 40% incentive in the Hudson Valley? Shoot is in March. You think the percentage will be established by then? Is it a sure thing? Thanks for any insight!"
As early as January 2015 through the fall of 2016, the film commission was also corresponding and meeting with Academy Award actor Melissa Leo and producer Jenn Wexler to provide proof that producing the movie FURLOUGH in the region would make financial sense. A instrumental part of that pitch was the fact that the new tax incentives were in place. Melissa had previously sent the following: "Occasionally, I’ve had the pleasure of working close to home on ﬁlm productions in Ulster County (“Francine”), Dutchess County (“Bottled Up”) and Greene County (“Stephanie Daley”). Sadly, all these ﬁlms were relegated to incredibly small budgets because larger ﬁlm productions cannot ﬁlm in the Mid-Hudson Valley region without incurring costs that make production prohibitive. Our region deserves the ability to host larger ﬁlm productions!"
Most of these productions would have never considered our region were it not for the additional tax incentives, which helped level the playing field with the rest of the state and other regions including Georgia and Canada.