By Leonard Sparks
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at 7:28 PM
CITY OF NEWBURGH — In July, 23 Hudson Valley residents ranging from a high school graduate to a 65-year-old retiree, underwent a “boot camp” for film and television crew work organized by Kingston-based Stockade Works, the young nonprofit founded by actor and director Mary Stuart Masterson.
Over three-and-a-half weeks they learned topics ranging from set etiquette to using production equipment, said Beth Davenport, co-founder and executive director.
New York City still dominates in film and television. But more productions are being shot at locations and soundstages outside the city, including the Hudson Valley, with those productions putting crew people to work and boosting the revenues of local production companies and small businesses.
Expanding on the region’s current success and preparing people for careers in the industry was the focus of the Hudson Valley Film Conference, a networking event held Thursday at SUNY Orange’s City of Newburgh campus.
The conference drew not just directors and actors, but also scenic artists, location scouts and local business owners — all interested in benefiting from the growth.
“It’s here, it’s growing, and Orange County is, by itself, one of the more highly attractive areas for the industry outside of New York City,” said Melanie Schouten, program director for event host Orange County Accelerator.
Film and television production outside New York City has boomed in recent years, said Jerry Stoeffhaas, deputy director for the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development.
Since 2011, over 1,200 productions have brought $18 billion in spending to the state, creating over 1 million jobs, Stoeffhaas said. Last year, 99 different productions took place outside New York City, accounting for $172 million in spending and 84,000 jobs, he said.
“It’s not all people working in front of and behind the cameras,” Stoeffhaas said of the jobs. “It’s all the small businesses — all the hotels and tourism (and) all the vendors, hardware stores, dry cleaners (and) car rental agencies.”
Filmmaker Robert Fontaine Jr. saw “Mi America,” his made-in-Newburgh movie about the investigation into the killings of immigrant laborers, bought by HBO.
Other recent local productions include a film about a Little Leaguer that was shot in the Town of Newburgh and other areas of the Hudson Valley, and “Big Dogs,” a television series being shot at Umbra Soundstage in Newburgh.
Chester, Cornwall, Port Jervis and Warwick are among the other parts of the county used for locations. Films have also been shot in Sullivan and Ulster counties as well.
“Once you’re in it, it is all-encompassing and all consuming, but also amazing,” said Aurelia Winborn, who co-owns the 2 Alices coffee shops in Cornwall and Newburgh but is also a longtime cinematographer whose recent projects include “Trainwreck” and “The Comedian.”
Networking was one goal of the conference.
Nancy Colas attended because she is interested in being a vendor and also having the gift shop she owns on Liberty Street in Newburgh used as a location for film and television productions.
Valerie Carelli owns a Kingston-based career and college-readiness business, but she fell into tutoring child actors while they were on-set. She has worked on three feature films, including two shot in Kingston, and wants to get more work.
“I want to do more of it,” she said. “I just don’t know how.”
Link to original article: http://bit.ly/SW_THR_FilmTVonFastTrackLocally