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Area film production from reel to real

October 1, 2019 06:07 pm

At this point, it’s safe to say that Greene County and the surrounding area are top locales for producers to make movies and television shows.

The Lumberyard Center for Film and the Performing Arts kicked our standing up a notch over the last two weeks by hosting 20 to 40 actors and a production crew and providing the soundstage for “The Plot Against America,” a six-part dramatic miniseries for HBO. “Plot” is adapted from Philip Roth’s novel and stars Winona Ryder, John Turturro and Zoe Kazan.

The shooting of “Plot” for an established network like HBO, whose quality programming has earned numerous awards, is an exciting milestone for Lumberyard and for Catskill. Major productions beget new major productions. Word of mouth isn’t limited to movie and TV audiences. If something promising is out there, studios will flock to it as well.

The Hudson Valley is chameleonic. It can stand in for a diverse range of locations. It was Arkansas for John Sayles’ “Hard Choices,” it was Athens and the ferry for Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” and Hudson and Athens were Depression-era Albany for Hector Babenco’s “Ironweed.”

Meanwhile, the region attracts the benefits of New York’s highly competitive Film Tax Credit Program. Companies that film here can receive tax credits through the Empire State Development’s program. Program credits worth $420 million annually can be allocated and used to encourage companies to film in New York state help to create and maintain film industry jobs. It’s working; one only need to check out the recent TV and film productions shot in Greene County.

With Lumberyard as the first and only qualified production facility in the immediate area, Greene County and the Hudson Valley’s stock will only continue to rise as a premier destination for television and movie producers.