In the spring of 2016, actor/director Mary Stuart Masterson founded Stockade Works, a non-profit organization dedicated to Make Local Work™ in fostering the further potential of film and tech in the Hudson Valley. With the goal to boost the local economy by bringing film and television production to the region, her passion was contagious and effective.

Area residents and industry leaders quickly supported the mission, including Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. Through social media, phone calls and letters to the governor’s office, the local community and supporters throughout the film and television sectors came together to encourage Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the Film Tax Production Credit expansion into law, offering an additional 10 percent tax credit to the Mid-Hudson Valley

Filmmakers now have the economic incentive of a 40% tax production credit in the Mid-Hudson Valley, making the region competitive with filmmaking sites such as Atlanta, the Carolinas and any number of locations throughout Canada.

On December 8, 2016, Stockade Works, in partnership with Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO), was awarded $1 million in economic and community development funding through the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative. The $1 million grant will be put towards acquiring a defunct 70,000 square foot factory in the midtown Arts District of the City of Kingston, NY.  

The scope of Stockade Works’ new media co-working hub is to create net zero soundstages, grip, electric, and camera rental hub, 100 seat screening room, state of the art color timing and sound mixing theater, sound and picture edit suites for post production, as well as an event space, co-working hot desks, and office space sufficient for production or tech start ups.  

“We have the locations, the talent, the workforce and the amenities producers want when choosing where to base their productions.  Now, they also have the economic incentive to say ‘yes’ to the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said Mary Stuart Masterson.

On December 17, 2016, Stockade Works “Light the Way” holiday launch took place at the Senate Garage in Kingston. 350 guests including actors Paul Rudd, Vera and Taissa Farmiga, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Tim Guinnea and Mayor Steve Noble and Ulster County Executive Mike Hein were in attendance.

Mary Stuart Masterson presented Mike Hein with the first annual “Stockade Works Star” award for his continuous support of Stockade Works. Samuel’s Sweet Shop of Rhinebeck, co-owned by Paul Rudd, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton donated sweets for the evening, with catering by pan•zúr of Tivoli, beer from Keegan’s Ales in Kingston, wine donated by Kingston Wine Co., and Christmas trees from Hardenburgh Farm in Ulster Park. Visit our photo gallery below.

"Mary Stuart Masterson is working to bring millions in sustainable investment to Ulster County,” said Mike Hein. “I am tremendously honored that she presented me with the first annual “Stockade Works Star” award. I am pleased that our campaign to bring the NYS film tax credit to this region was successful and I am humbled by this recognition.  As County Executive, I understand and support the vital role all of the arts play in our economy and I look forward to continuing to partner with Stockade Works and the film and TV industry, as they grow and thrive in Ulster County.  We are all looking forward to the unique programming Stockade Works already has scheduled for this year!"

Coming in 2017

What’s Your Story?  This one-day workshop will take participants from initial idea through deck creation to giving a pitch with a ‘Shark Tank’ type session with industry leaders. This combination of learning and networking will not only teach, but help harvest the next generation of ideas.

Getting to Know You  A “speed date” style mixer where local crew will have the opportunity to meet film and television producers for employment and internship consideration for upcoming productions.

Award-winning television and film producer and Stockade Works Board President, Lucy Barzun Donnelly of Locomotive Film will be bringing a June 2017 production to our region.

Ongoing Crew and Tech Boot Camps will partner our local Hudson Valley workforce with incoming productions to provide hands-on internships led by industry leaders.

We need to Make Local Work™ with strategic financial partners who have the vision and recognize the potential of all that the Mid-Hudson region offers.

If we build it, they will come. And when they come, they bring jobs.

“2016 was a huge year for the future of film and tech production in the Hudson Valley, and now the real work begins,” stated Masterson. “We need to go big, and stay home!”


Photo credit: David Kotinsky/Getty Images/Stockade Works