HUDSON — The final scenes of the upcoming feature biopic about Unabomber Ted Kaczynski will be shot in around Hudson and Greenport over the next few weeks.
The independent movie “Ted K” is directed by Tony Stone, husband of another Hudson luminary, Melissa Auf der Maur, former bassist of the rock groups Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins. Auf der Maur, owner of Hudson Basilica, a 12,000-square foot arts center and event space, is a producer on the film.
“Ted K” is the second Unabomber saga produced in the last two years. “Manhunt: Unabomber,” a TV anthology series, was released in 2017 with British actor Paul Bettany (“Solo: A Star Wars Saga”) as Kaczynski.
As the mysterious Unabomber, Kaczynski mailed and hand-delivered more than 16 bombs that killed 3 people and injured 23 others between 1978 and 1995. Kaczynski, a former math professor, handcrafted the bombs and predominantly sent them to people who represented the technological society.
In 1995, the Washington Post published the Unabomber’s 35,000-word manifesto “Industrial Society and Its Future,” which helped lead to his eventual capture. He was arrested by the FBI in 1996 and is serving eight consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The movie is “an exploration of Ted Kaczynski’s life in Lincoln, Montana, in the years leading up to his arrest as the Unabomber,” according to a synopsis on IMDB.com.
Most of the movie was shot on location in Lincoln, Montana, where Kaczynski lived in solitude for 25 years, Auf der Maur said.
“The majority of the film was shot on location in Lincoln, Montana, where Tony and his team reconstructed the 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin in which Ted Kaczynski lived in solitude for 25 years, on the actual footings of his former cabin,” Auf der Maur said.
The final portion of the movie is being shot in Hudson and the Capital Region. The three-week shooting schedule will include various local recognizable locations, including the shuttered Radio Shack at 160 Fairview Ave. in Greenport, John L. Edwards Elementary School at 360 State St.; the former Hudson Police Department building at 427 Warren St.; the Columbia County Clerk’s Office at 560 Warren St. Some scenes will be filmed at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
Greenport police issued a warning about the movie’s sound effects on its Facebook page Monday: “Cosmic Cinemas located at 160 Fairview Ave., Greenport, will be shooting a movie involving the use of air cannons. The mock explosions maybe heard outside the cinema.”
“Ted K” stars Sharlto Copley in the title role, according to IMDB.com. He starred in the acclaimed science-fiction film “District 9,” played the eccentric helicopter pilot Murdock in the 2010 feature adaptation of TV’s “The A-Team” and was Matt Damon’s cyborg nemesis in “Elysium.” The film also stars Drew Powell of TV’s pre-Batman series “Gotham.”
After principal photography is completed this month, the movie will go into editing and post-production for the remainder of 2019. A release date will be set in 2020 at film festivals and traditional distribution outlets.
Auf der Maur credited the people of Lincoln, Montana, and people who knew Kaczynski, with telling his story in a more accurate light. The state and governor of Montana supported the film with incentives and a grant, she added. So, too, did New York.
“We are thrilled by the support of the city of Hudson and the state of New York, and went out of our way to film up here,” Auf Der Maur said. “We want to add to the momentum of bringing the film industry to upstate New York. It’s an industry that Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo and the state of New York have many fantastic incentives to bring up here, and we want to help get the word out in the industry. The film industry is an example of the new wave of creative industries that can create very diverse jobs and have a very significant impact on the economy in upstate New York.”
Copley, a native of South Africa, has shot films all over the world, but was “blown away by how helpful the municipality and state were, and how remarkable and plenty the locations are in Hudson,” Auf der Maur said.
“This area really can stand in for just about anywhere in North America,” Auf der Maur said. “In the case of ‘Ted K,’ the area is standing in for Salt Lake City and San Francisco, he will recommend the region to future film projects. So that is an example of getting the film industry on the ground here and getting them to come back.”
“Ted K” is produced by the independent company Heathen Films.
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.