Hudson Valley Film Production Sets Record in 2021; more on the horizon
After a flurry of productions over the summer months involving Woody Harrelson, Amy Schumer, and Mindy Kaling, a little lost perspective is understandable.
“We had such an amazing month of June,” said Laurent Rejto, director of the Hudson Valley Film Commission, of a month in which the organization worked on 10 productions, as part of a second record quarter with more than 15 productions. “Now when we’re down to five movies, we’re depressed.”
Of course, Rejto knows that every quarter can’t feature two HBO productions, one Hulu show, and a slew of small movies.
But even in a downturn, and even after announcing that 2021 was already the most lucrative year the local industry has ever had, Rejto discussed commissioning the film on Friday in preparation for a Showtime project that could shoot in November. There is also the possibility of “two massive projects” on the horizon for spring 2022 and, in the background, there is pressure for the third film “A Quiet Place” to return to the region that gave birth. to the franchise.
“We are just holding our breath,” Rejto said.
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In the meantime, there are a handful of “little indies” spinning locally, including “Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game,” a 1970s comedy that was in the Poughkeepsie area last week and another week. shooting; a film starting Monday in the Poughkeepsie area; and one in the Fishkill area on November 8.
This, after an episode of the upcoming Showtime show “The First Lady” filmed in Hyde Park in October. This hour-long drama series will blend the stories of first ladies Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt. Rejto said the latter of the trio was at the center of a local shoot at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Site, Val-Kill and the Vanderbilt Estate. Gillian Anderson, from “The Crown” and “The X-Files”, plays Roosevelt, and Kiefer Sutherland plays FDR.
Film production in the region generated more than $ 15 million in direct spending in the third quarter, according to the film commission, starting the total estimate for 2021 at over $ 48.3 million. This breaks the record of $ 46 million set in 2019, a year marked by the filming of HBO’s “I Know This Much Is True”, mainly in Dutchess and Ulster counties.
In addition to the ongoing work on HBO’s “White House Plumbers” in the town of Poughkeepsie and elsewhere in the region, “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin,” which was filmed in Saugerties, as well as an NBC anthology production / Universal director Justin Lin of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, highlighted the activity.
The third quarter, the commission said, included more than 15,500 hotel nights booked and 160 jobs created for local members of the film industry.
“The Sex Lives of College Girls,” an HBO Max series created by Kaling of “The Office” fame, which has been filming for several weeks at Vassar College, is set to debut on November 18.
Scouting for the future
As for the future, Rejto said the commission is working with scouts, but it’s unclear what projects will come to fruition.
“Sometimes we don’t have an answer,” he said of working with Boy Scouts and producers. “Sometimes we find out when the show actually comes out.”
The performance of Kaling, a Rejto hopeful, is a success and must return to Vassar who for the show has been renamed Essex College. And, a third “A Quiet Place” is possible.
He noted that a local Union Scout had done a lot of research to find “all these buildings and factory locations” for the sequel – which was filmed mostly in western New York but for a day each in New Paltz. and Pawling – and is launching sites again.
“Right now he’s really hoping ‘A Quiet Place III’ will perform,” Rejto said.