HUDSON VALLEY PRODUCTIONS SELECTED FOR TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

The Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 24 to May 5, just announced it’s lineup. Several Mid Hudson Valley film productions (and filmmakers) will be featured.

“It’s always a thrill to see how local productions are featured at top festivals around the world,” said Hudson Valley Film Commission director Laurent Rejto. “We work very hard to attract film production to the region and to support filmmaking with location, vendor, cast and crew referrals. I like to think the region and local people play a supporting role in all this film success.”

On location in Pleasant Valley with producer Joe Pirro and director Andrew Ahn.

On location in Pleasant Valley with producer Joe Pirro and director Andrew Ahn.

On the heels of its critical success at its Berlin Film Festival world premiere last month, DRIVEWAYS, will have its U.S. Premiere at the Tribeca FIlm Festival. The film is directed by Andrew Ahn, written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen, and produced by Celine Rattray, TrudieStyler, James Schamus, Joe Pirro, Nicolaas Bertelsen. Filming took place in July and August of 2017 and featured many Mid Hudson Valley cast & crew members, vendors and locations. Featured towns include Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, Pleasant Valley, New Paltz, Rosendale, and Kingston. The cast features Brian Dennehy, Hong Chau, and Christine Ebersole. In this beautifully understated drama, a lonesome boy accompanies his mother on a trip to clean out his late aunt’s house, and ends up forming an unexpected friendship with the retiree who lives next door.

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SKIN will have its U.S. Premiere at Tribeca, after world premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in the fall of 2018. The film is distributed by  A24 and DirecTV release and set to open this summer. Production took place during March of 2018 in towns including Kingston, Catskill, Port Ewen, Saugerties and Ulster Park. Hundreds of Hudson Valley cast and crew were involved. The feature film is adapted from Nattiv and Newman’s short film of the same name, which was honored with the 2019 Oscar for best live action short. The film was produced by Oren Moverman, Jaime Ray Newman, Celine Rattray, TrudieStyler, Dillon D. Jordan. The story traces the true story of Bryon Widney, a white supremacist who begins a path to redemption through a romance with a single mother intent on keeping her children out of the movement. Featured cast members include Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Mike Colter, and Vera Farmiga.

Carlo Mirabella-Davis and David Hall at 2009 Woodstock FIlm Festival with KNIFE POINT

Carlo Mirabella-Davis and David Hall at 2009 Woodstock FIlm Festival with KNIFE POINT

A third production that filmed in the Hudson Valley will World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. SWALLOW is directed and written by Carlo Mirabella-Davis, and produced by Mollye Asher, Mynette Louie, Carole Baraton, and Frederic Fiore. The story follows Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife who finds herself increasingly compelled to consume dangerous objects. As her husband and his family tighten their control over her life, she must confront the dark secret behind her new obsession. The cast features Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell, Elizabeth Marvel, David Rasche and Denis O’Hare. Filming took place primarily in Highland during the summer of 2018. Carlo Mirabella-Davis is no stranger to the Hudson Valley. His brilliant short film KNIFE POINT was also filmed in the region, with part time Hudson Valley actor Davis Hall. The short was featured at the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival.

Several other films have local ties including THE APOLLO, DREAMLAND and EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE.

The fest will open at New York’s iconic Apollo Theater with the world premiere of HBO documentary THE APOLLO by part time Hudson Valley resident Roger Ross Williams.

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, who graduated from Bard College in 2014, will World Premiere DREAMLAND. Amid the dust storms and economic depression of Dustbowl Era Texas, Eugene Evans finds his family farm on the brink of foreclosure. His last bet to save the farm is the bounty on the head of fugitive bank robber Allison Wells. The Cast features Margot Robbie, Finn Cole, Travis Fimmel, Kerry Condon, Garrett Hedlund, and Darby Camp.

Another part time Hudson Valley resident, Joe Berlinger, will have the NY Premiere of EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE. The film chronicles the crimes of Ted Bundy (Zac Efron)from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.

Stay tuned for more…



POST PRODUCTION CASE STUDY FROM THE HUDSON VALLEY - RUN WITH THE HUNTED

John Swab visiting Ulster County Jail

John Swab visiting Ulster County Jail

In December of 2016, Paul Green introduced the Hudson Valley Film Commission’s Laurent Rejto to director Jon Swab at Sunfrost in Woodstock. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Swab had just moved to the region after wrapping production on LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR, starring Marilyn Manson and Marc Boone Junior (SONS OF ANARCHY, MEMENTO). The film showed raw talent and Rejto became determined to make sure that Swab’s follow up feature would be produced locally. To that end, the Hudson Valley Film Commission started making introductions to A-list actors, crew, vendors, and locations, including the old Ulster County Jail (see photo).

After many ups and downs, the film was lured back to Oklahoma by private equity, which has become harder and harder to find in an independent film world that has been monopolized by corporations. Following some Herculean reshuffling of the principle cast, Swab set about directing RUN WITH THE HUNTED in and around Tulsa.

“At its lowest point,” says Rejto. “I remember getting a text that one of the principles had dropped out, but John wrote that he would make the film, even if he had to resort to sock puppets,”

Through sheer determination, and hard work, Swab with the help of Roxwell Films co-producer Jeremy Rosen, landed Ron Perlman, Michael Pitt, and William Forsythe. With Marc Boone Junior and Dree Hemingway, who were in all along, production started in July of 2018..

With brilliant performances and outstanding production quality in hand, Swab returned to the Hudson Valley to tackle post production, and the film commission was back in the game.

“As a former film and sound editor, I’m always looking to promote local post production,” says Rejto. “The paradigm has completely shifted from the eighties and nineties, when everything was done under one roof. I worked on 49th Street across from Sound One. A lot of the same people who relied on post houses like Sound One and Magno, now work in offices, homes and cabins throughout the Hudson Valley, with high speed Internet as a lifeline.”

This was an intense year for local post production with parts of the Academy Award nominated ROMA doing some of their sound editing with Wyatt Sprague in Ulster County and with Jay Peck at Stepping Stone Foley in Orange County. Sprague also worked some sound effect magic on M. Night Shyamalan’s THE VISIT with sounds recorded in the Rhinecliff train station, Ashokan Reservoir, Longyear farm, various local farmhouses, etc. BCDF Pictures edited CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET in Kerhonkson while Michael Cristofer picture cut THE NIGHT CLERK in Woodstock. Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker Robert Stone continues to work on his PBS mini series, CHASING THE MOON, with picture editing in Rhinebeck, sound editing at C.A Sound in Bearsville, and color correction in Kingston with Chad Smith at Massive Clouds. Many other projects worked locally with VFX specialists, composers (Spencer Hutchings with THEN CAME YOU), and more.

The film commission made several referrals to Swab, including editors, sound editors, composers, VFX and all things post.

John Swab and Jon Greenhalgh

John Swab and Jon Greenhalgh

Within days, Jon Greenhalgh was hired to picture cut the film. Greenhalgh is best known for his Emmy nominated documentary TEAM FOXCATCHER, which was edited with particular skill.

“I initially sought out Laurent when I was looking to screen my documentary film TEAM FOXCATCHER at my hometown theatre in Woodstock, NY, wrote Greenhalgh. “.That screening went off without a hitch, and subsequently Laurent and I have become fast friends. Professionally, Laurent has suggested me for a plethora of editing projects based in the Hudson Valley area, which is a win-win for everyone involved -- I get the luxury of staying home with my family and cutting within the comfortable confines of my personal studio, and producers benefit from the hefty tax credit they receive from doing business in this area.”

Working with John Swab on RUN WITH THE HUNTED was a creatively satisfying experience,” Greenhalgh continued. “John brought a clear vision and well developed ideas into my editing studio, which allowed the process to unfold quickly and efficiently. But, at the same time, he remained open to exploring any and all ideas that arose spontaneously, no matter how avant-garde. And that type of creatively untethered environment kept things fresh and fun for me, as an editor. “

Following picture lock, the project was handed over to another local: the masterful sound editor Coll Anderson, who has worked on THE JINX, THE FLORIDA PROJECT, BLACK SWAN and hundreds of other projects. He’s currently finishing up Robert Stone’s ambitious PBS mini series CHASING THE MOON.

Coll Anderson and John Swab

Coll Anderson and John Swab

“I had a great time with John,” says Anderson. That mix of working on a new version of Noir and having the time to explore ideas is what’s great about being here. There is a connection to space that is really grounding and from that position I think John and I were able to have fun and relax. I think that confidence shows in the work that comes from here. This place is exactly what I want in a working environment. With all the tools we have up here at our disposal it makes it a great place to create. I am really happy to call the Hudson Valley home.”

RUN WITH THE HUNTED will start being previewed by distributors and major film festivals this week.

“I was lucky enough to screen the final mix at Coll’s,” says Rejto. “I had the opportunity to see some early edits, which I was very impressed by. The production value, direction, acting and editing was very accomplished, but it rose to a whole other level with sound design and music. I’m optimistic that the film will find distribution, and a large audience - it deserves it.”

As for director John Swab, it is hoped that his next feature film will be produced and posted in the Hudson Valley. The future looks promising.

“I couldn’t have made the film I wanted without the help of the Hudson Valley Film Commission and all of the talented people who live and work here,” said John Swab. “After this experience, I won’t ever do post anywhere else, and I hope very much to bring my next production to the Hudson Valley as well.”

Stay tuned for future Hudson Valley Film Production news.

FROM DOC TO NARRATIVE - THE MARK HOGANCAMP STORY

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(Correction made on 1/4/2018)
In 2006, director Jeff Malmberg began what would become the Award Winning documentary MARWENCOL, about outsider artist Mark Hogancamp. The documentary later inspired a radio story for THIS AMERICAN LIFE. The documentary was released theatrically by the Cinema Guild and aired on PBS. It won over 25 awards, including the Best Documentary award at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival – the first public screening that Hocancamp attended.

“Mark is a beautiful and fascinating person, so to be able to tell his story over that amount of time was a real joy,” says Malmberg looking back. “At that time, the Kingston area was sort of a second home for me. I still feel really close to that area and love coming back.”

Mark Hogancamp at 2010 Woodstock Film Festival (photo by Rick Gilbert)

Mark Hogancamp at 2010 Woodstock Film Festival (photo by Rick Gilbert)

The feature film version, WELCOME TO MARWEN, which is based on MARWENCOL, will play from 1/4 through 1/7/2019 at the Rosendale Theatre Collective. When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) and wipes away all his memories, no one expects recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one. In a bold, wondrous and timely film, WELCOME TO MARWEN shows that when your only weapon is your imagination…you’ll find courage in the most unexpected place.

WELCOME TO MARWEN is the second feature directed by the legendary director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Castaway, Forrest Gump) that features an Ulster County Resident. The film stars Steve Carell.

Philippe Petit at Woodstock Film Festival screening of THE WALK

Philippe Petit at Woodstock Film Festival screening of THE WALK

THE WALK, which screened at the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, is based on the Academy Award winning documentary MAN ON WIRE about high wire artist Philippe Petit. Before production, in 2014, actor Joseph Gordon Leavitt visited the region and practiced tightrope walking under the tutelage of Philippe Petit at Tech City in the Town of Ulster.

Zemeckis is also executive producer of NBC’s MANIFEST, which filmed its pilot episode at Stewart Airport in New Windsor.

TO buy the DVD, visit MARWENCOL. For upcoming exhibitions featuring work by Mark Hogancamp, visit marwencol.com/artwork

THIN EDGE FILMS PRODUCER / DIRECTOR MAKES HISTORY

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THIN EDGE FILMS PRODUCER / DIRECTOR MAKES HISTORY AS THE FIRST TO FILM AT LUMBERYARD STAGE WITH SURREAL, ZEBRA MUSIC VIDEO FOR RYDER COOLEY AND THE DUST BOWL FAERIES

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Donkeys styled as zebras, flame breathing femme fatales and aerial ghosts that hang from the rafters are just some of the images brought to life in the upcoming Dust Bowl Faeries, Zebra music video shot in mid December at Lumberyard, Catskill. The surreal, dream like, circus affair was conceived of by Producer / Director, Lisa M. Thomas who worked with Ryder Cooley, the founder and lead songstress of the Dust Bowl Faeries to make the larger than life music video.

Being the first filmmaker on the stage meant that Thomas’ cast and crew were not only making history, but the Producer / Director felt the responsibility as the first filmmaker on the stage that what they were creating needed to be a bit larger than life to attract other filmmakers and big it was. With the help of Production Designer, Jesika Farkas, a circus tent was built on site and Thomas brought inside show acts to make for a spectacular production.

Lumberyard which opened its doors earlier this year in Catskill, is the new home of the American Dance Institute. The idea to renovate the town’s former Dunn’s Hardware Store / Lumberyard and make it a state of the art facility where dance, theater, music and film can all be housed under one roof is beyond a dream for a town like Catskill, it’s a game changer. The first time the Catskill based Director heard what was going on at the former Dunn site, Thomas remembers thinking, “there’s no way this can be happening here, but if you build it they will come. Having one of the best sound stages in all of New York coupled with having Ryder Cooley and the Dust Bowl Faeries in the town’s midst made it a no brainer. Ryder is just one of those people that you look at and know should be filmed; she has this kind of old Hollywood mystique about her that makes it near impossible to not get gold.”

The Zebra music video which is currently in post-production will be have its premiere in New York City on January 30 th and will be unveiled at Lumberyard, Catskill on February 2 nd 2019. In the meantime, you can catch the Dust Bowl Faeries performing from Woodstock to New York City and for those who are rubbing their eyes thinking they may have fleetingly saw a donkey in these parts playing up the town in Zebra fashion, know it was not a dream at all just what happens when a little town goes Hollywood up the Hudson.

The Hudson Valley sounds of ROMA

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If you're asking yourself, 'why is the Hudson Valley Film Commission posting about Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También) and his new film Roma? – the answer is simple. The sound effects editor for the critically acclaimed film is Hudson Valley based Wyatt Sprague, who has worked with many other illustrious directors including Martin Scorsese, The Coen Brothers, and Ang Lee, to name a few.

Roma, which receiving astounding awards is now available for viewing on Netflix and in limited theaters. Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s.

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote: "Alfonso Cuarón's masterpiece Roma, an autobiographical movie set in Mexico City in the 1970s, uses both intimacy and monumentality to express the depths of ordinary life."

I was a sound editor on 49th Street back in the eighties,” says HVFC director Laurent Rejto, “so it’s a particular thrill for me to see someone like Wyatt, creating, recording, and editing the most nuanced and subtle sounds to magically add depth and meaning for some of the most remarkable films imaginable. For reference, listen to the dog barks, the alarm clock, footsteps, and broom sweeps in the Roma trailer, and don’t be surprised if some of these sounds were recorded right here in the Hudson Valley!.”

Post production is one of the fastest growing sectors of the film business in the Hudson Valley. With high speed internet, the paradigm shifted many years ago from NYC based editing facilities to backwoods cabins and private homes. Ulster County, in particular (due to it’s lack of an MTA tax), has attracted many post production stalwarts including picture editors, sound effects editors, vfx artists, foley recordists, color correctors, mixers, and more. Stay tuned for more news regarding recent post production work. Stay tuned for more…

Exclusive Trailer Release of THEN CAME YOU from Entertainment Tonight

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Maisie Williams Has Items to Check Off Her 'To Die List' in 'Then Came You' Trailer (Exclusive)

Click here to watch the exclusive trailer

THEN CAME YOU, (aka Departures) was filmed in the Hudson Valley in 2017 with featured locations in Annandale on Hudson, Kingston, Town of Ulster, and Albany (airport scenes). The films was directed by Peter Hutchings and co-produced by Kerhonkson based BCDF Picture. The film world premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival in October 2018

Click here to read the entire ETonline article here.

CASTING CALL for SQUIRREL

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CASTING CALL for SUNY Purchase Senior Thesis film, SQUIRREL, which will be set in a small cabin in the Hudson Valley. Please send inquiries and resumes to david.corbet@purchase.edu with character name in the subject line

The Project:

Shortly after his parents divorce, a young boy, Samson (10-15), spends his first weekend with his dad, Patrick (35-45). Hoping to connect with his dad, Samson is thrown when Patrick introduces him to his new girlfriend, Stephanie (25-35).

Filming will take place on two consecutive weekends (1/12 and 1/19). While the exact shooting location is TBD the actors will have a place to stay in Kerhonkson. Unfortunately, the production cannot provide pay, but transportation expenses and food will be covered.

Character Bios:

SAMSON MOLER, Age 12 (accepting 10-15) - Unaware of exactly why his parents divorced, Samson still loves his dad but has become wary of him. He is a quiet boy, but very observant. He comes across as shy, but thoughtful.

PATRICK MOLER, Age 40's - Since the divorce Patrick hasn't seen his son except for the odd video chat here and there. He moved into the family vacation house that hasn't been used in the past 4 or so years (since the marriage started downhill). While he loves his son very much and did his best to make his marriage work, he only stayed in it for his son. Ultimately, the divorce is Patricks fault as he started seeing another woman.

STEPHANIE, Age 25 ish - Stephanie is Patricks co-worker and girlfriend. She does feel a lot of guilt and responsibility for the divorce despite Patricks insistence that it was inevitable regardless. This weekend is her first time meeting Samson and she is extremely nervous to make a good impression.

AVENGERS ENDGAME

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In 2018, the Hudson Valley Film Commission worked with over sixty productions but none were bigger or more top-secret than "Mary Lou," which it turns out was a fake title for AVENGERS ENDGAME.

“We figured out the rouse early on, but we were told by Marvel Studios to never whisper the word AVENGERS,” says Hudson Valley Film Commission director Laurent Rejto. “Needless to say, we complied and were thrilled to refer several locations that were used, including the Mills Mansion estate in Staatsburg, local crew including Ready To Serve Catering, and housing for 40 crew members at the Best Western in Kingston.

Two days of production focused on plates, and included air, land and river filming in digital IMAX. AVENGERS ENDGAME will hit theaters in April. The estimated budget is rumored to be between $316–400 million. The trailer was released on December 7 (see below).

The Guardian wrote: “Conceived as a direct sequel to, and filmed at the same time as, Avengers: Infinity War, the film is due to pick up at the stunning finish of its predecessor, as supervillain Thanos appears to have wiped out half of all life (as well a considerable numbers of superheroes) after activating the Infinity Gauntlet.

Anticipation for the film is huge, after Infinity War became the highest grossing film of 2018 (though Black Panther did better in the US alone), and like Infinity War, the film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.


CREEPFEST PART II • CREEPY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Beck Underwood and Glass Eye Pix are back with their second CREEPY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL - an advent calendar featuring some macabre holiday-inspired shorts. The original 2008 fest included directors Mary Harron (American Psycho), Sara Driver (Permanent Vacation), Jim Mickle (Hap and Leonard), and Ti West (House of the Devil).

“We invited some of the alumni and a lot of new faces as well,” said CREEPY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL founder Beck Underwood. “I was quite touched when Mickey Keating replied to the invite with ‘I’ve been waiting to get this email since the first Creepy Christmas.’ When people agreed to participate we reached into our scruffy Santa hat and then pulled a card with a holiday-themed word. These words, like ‘gingerbread,’ ‘mistletoe,’ ‘Santa Claus,’ ‘elf,’ etc. became their prompt.”

Several of the 2018 shorts feature mid Hudson Valley filmmakers and locations:

Cast and crew of  PRESENCE

Cast and crew of PRESENCE

  • Beck Underwood holed herself up in her barn/studio for most of the summer and brought some wicked critters to life for CRAFTY.

  • Glass Eye Pix founder Larry Fessenden, known for his horror features, scooped up some of his monster models and Tippi Hedren at the farm, to create WILD RIDE.

  • Fessenden also appears opposite Santa Claus in Joe Maggio’s PRESENCE. The film offers Holiday Catharsis, and was filmed in the same upstate house he used for his feature film, BITTER FEAST (2010).

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  • Over the river and through the fields in Claverack, NY., Christine Pfister created a spooky cast of characters for GHOUL LOG, which kicked off the festival on December 1. Her word was Yule Log.

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  • Joy + Noelle (HUMAN KIND OF) have also contributed. Their word was elf. In their short TWO LATE ELVES, two elves procrastinate making toys. Will they miss their Christmas Eve deadline? Only time will tell.



View the complete advent calendar at CREEPY CHRISTMAS

CREEPFEST PART I • THE SHIVERING TRUTH

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A lot of Hudson Valley based animators seem to be putting out some pretty dark work these days, including Catskill based Lisa Thomas, the co-executive producer behind Adult Swims’s Comedy-Horror Anthology THE SHIVERING TRUTH, which premieres December 9. Adult Swim is the adult-oriented nighttime programming block of the American children's cable network Cartoon Network.

“Christmas is the perfect time to be dark,” explains Thomas. “I mean, Tim Burton made a whole industry out of Nightmare Before Christmas!”

THE SHIVERING TRUTH series was created and written by Vernon Chatman (of Wonder Showzen and South Park fame) who now can also call the Hudson Valley home when not traveling between NYC and Los Angeles. The series features an impressive voice cast including Maria Bamford, Kevin Breznahan, Rachel Butera, Michael Cera, Vernon Chatman, David Cross, Andy Daly, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Glaser, Jonah Hill, Bobby Kelly, Conner O’Malley, Trey Parker, Jordan Peele, Zack Pearlman, Martha Plimpton, John Reynolds, Nicole Rodenburg, Peter Serafinowicz, Miriam Tolan and Julio Torres.

To view the first full episode of THE SHIVERING TRUTH, CLICK HERE