You've seen the casting calls. You've seen the yellow NYC taxi cabs parked in front of The Vault when the street was shut down Friday night. Were the taxi cabs making a long-distance delivery? Trying to maintain an edge over newcomers Lyft and Uber? No, they are "picture cars," vehicles used in the impending TV series Big Dogs from Choice Films based on books by Adam Dunn.
Beginning last week, Hudson Valley locales including Beacon, Cold Spring, Garrison, Newburgh, Peekskill, and upcoming areas including Fishkill and Garnerville (over in Rockland County), have been hosting Big Dogs on Main Street and inside of several businesses including The Vault, Roundhouse and Beacon Bread Company. The drama uses taxis as a key plot element in its crime-based story-line. Big Dogs is a futuristic tale set in an aging and decrepit New York City, where crime and drugs are running rampant. A fashion photographer is the central character, running drugs through a circuit of NYC taxi cabs with his boss forcing him to up his game to an evermore dangerous degree.
The series is directed by David Platt, who has completed decades of work on Law & Order (if you like an inspirational work-your-way-up story, see Platt's resume here at IMDB to see how he started off as a sound mixer and boom operator on Law & Order, and worked his way up to director). Big Dogs is being shopped around to interested networks. It's co-produced by Summer Crockett Moore and Tony Glazer for Choice Films, and co-written by Dunn and Choice Films’ Glazer.
When will you be able to watch Big Dogs on TV? "We have lots of interest from a variety of places (streaming platforms, cable networks, etc), and are eager to see who the best match will be," says Summer. "It is a very commercial genre, and Dunn's books 'Rivers of Gold,' 'Big Dogs,' and 'Saint Underground' have a fabulous audience, so we are excited to bring the series to life on screen."
We wanted an inside look at why Choice Films selected the Hudson Valley for several of their film locations, and got the the inside scoop from Summer in this interview with A Little Beacon Blog:
Why did you all come up to the Hudson Valley to film?
"We did two feature films in the Hudson Valley over the last year: ABOVE ALL THINGS, which we filmed in Cold Spring in June 2016, and one called HEATHER, which we filmed here in April of this year. We had a great experience. Not only are there amazing locations and amazing people here, but the value of the production dollar and the ease of filming in this area, which includes working with local officials, locations, and local vendors, makes it a wonderful experience overall for all parties.
"The new New York State enhanced tax incentive is also a huge benefit, but it is really the people and the possibilities that keep us coming back. We have made Umbra of Newburgh our local home – with offices and full use of their state-of-the-art soundstage. We spread out from there to many nearby areas."
How have you liked filming in the Hudson Valley?
"We are very happy to be here. The local people, the wide variety of locations, the enthusiastic support from the film community and many local vendors and the local film offices – it all makes the process of production that much easier. We have a little saying that the people on our production are our #filmfamily, and that 'family' grows daily with many new Hudson Valley locals joining our cast and crew."
Can you tell us some of the other locations you have used, besides The Vault, Roundhouse and Beacon Bread Company?
"In Newburgh, we used Umbra of Newburgh Soundstage (which is our home base), Liberty Street Lot, The Karpeles Museum, The Infinity Lounge, as well as three local houses in Newburgh. We used a private garage and one private home in Beacon. In Peekskill, we used the Peekskill Diner. In Cold Spring we used Happy Liquor, and we have some great stuff coming up in Garnerville (just scouted the Arts Center). Our location scouts Evie Watters and Bruno Barros have a ton of new places we just saw this week that blew my mind with their awesomeness."
Filming at The Vault
Filming took place at Roundhouse two weeks ago, and Beacon Bread Company and The Vault last week. On Friday, the production shut down a portion of Main Street in front of The Vault, The Beacon Theater and Brothers Trattoria. They continue today (Monday) to film interior shots inside of The Vault.
How Your Business Can Be Considered as a Location
Businesses interested in submitting themselves as a location can email firstname.lastname@example.org with photos and contact info. Choice Casting is also offering paid background (extras) casting as well, so interested parties should email the same address with contact info and a photo. The production is seeking all types and all ages. This is a wonderful opportunity for those interested in working in film and television to see how it all gets produced on set.