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Catskill has a chance to embrace the film industry

June 10, 2019 10:09 pm

Since the American Dance Institute left Baltimore and headed north to Catskill and became the Lumberyard Center for Film and Performing Arts, it has lived up to the performing arts segment of its name, but the film part lagged behind.

Over the last month, a year after opening its soundstage, Lumberyard made up for the gap in a big way. REMcycle Productions, a Catskills-based company planning film, television and theater projects, shot some scenes for its upcoming horror movie “A Deadly Legend.”

Starring Lori Petty (“Tank Girl,” “Orange is the New Black”), Corbin Bernsen (“L.A. Law”), Judd Hirsch (“Independence Day”) and REMcycle founder Kristen Anne Ferraro, the movie is set at a former summer camp that is plagued by the inhabitants of a haunted graveyard.

The question now is whether Lumberyard will attract bigger studios interested in making bigger movies in Catskill. We think the answer is yes, because Catskill and Greene County have become havens for film production since John Sayles directed “Hard Choices” in Leeds (doubling for central Kansas) in the mid-1980s.

Lumberyard’s soundstage will virtually eliminate the need for producers interested in making their movies here to spend time and money scouting locations in this area. As Catskill Village President Vincent Seeley noted Thursday, film is a growth industry in Catskill, and he anticipates Lumberyard to grow with it.

Much like the screen’s finest actors, Catskill is chameleonic and can play any role that is required by filmmakers. It has been cast as the American Midwest, small-town New Jersey, early 20th-century New England and, yes, even upstate New York.

The time has come for Lumberyard to show the rest of the world that Catskill, while it may not be the new Hollywood, is more than ready to embrace a changing film industry.