Newburgh Native Screens Locally Made Indie Film "Myth" At Towne Crier

Photo Credit: Brian DiLorenzo

Photo Credit: Brian DiLorenzo

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Did you see these indie filmmakers at any point during the making of “Myth,” screening Thursday, June 6, at 7 pm in the big music room in the back at Towne Crier?

This crew was all over the Hudson Valley, including a driving shot on the road from Cold Spring to Peekskill, and another on a road off of Rock Cut Road in the Town of Newburgh, and another scene filmed at the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston.

“Myth,” written and directed by Brian DiLorenzo, was a locally made production which gave aspiring young filmmakers the chance to come together to make a movie.

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The Film Crew

Said Brian when A Little Beacon Blog inquired about where he found his crew: “Every single person was a great friend, mostly from the film program we all graduated from at C.W. Post College. We did however have a ton of family and hometown friends involved as well.

“My college roommate Dan Brady was our Director of Photography (DP), my friend Gia McKenna produced, and my buddy Dan Rodenhizer helped out as Assistant Director (AD).

It was a great ask - because I essentially had to ask people to ditch their paying jobs and come live with me in the woods for 10 days to make this thing happen. One of the guys, Richie Theodule, who ran our sound, didn't even know anyone before he joined our team! Now we're great friends.”

What’s The Movie About?

“Myth” details the exploits of a shady movie director (Nicholas Tucci, who can also be seen in Hulu’s original series “Ramy,” as well as the just-released psychological thriller “Long Lost”) and his devoted protégé (Justin Andrew Davis), as they embark on a chaotic new project, filled with intrigue and deceit at every turn. Actress Sadie Scott (can be seen on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Crshd”) looks to be a breakout star as she just won Best Actress at the 2019 May Day Film Festival as the film makes its way through the festival circuit.

Glimpse Into The Low (Low, Super Low) Budget Film World

Being that this was a young filmmaking team, A Little Beacon Blog inquired with Brian the Director about the budget, as our readers like to know how things work:

“We were extremely low budget! In the indie film world, there are all these different tiers that span from a project like ours, all the way to something like ‘Garden State’ or ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’ In terms of ‘low-budget,’ SAGIndie defines it as between $650K to $2 million, ‘low-budget modified’ between $200K and $650K, ULTRA-low budget for films between $50K and $200K. We get our own special category, which is sometimes known as either "micro-budget" or "no-budget filmmaking." In terms of my own budget, between about seven credit cards, we were around $35K!”

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Want To Be A Location For A Film?

Large- and small-budget movies from all over are filming in the Hudson Valley. A reader of A Little Beacon Blog wrote in to ask about Beacon’s permits, and about renting a house out in general - as a homeowner - to a film crew. We interviewed a Location Manager to discover some of the ins and outs you’ll want to know about as you negotiate your rate with the production company. Click here to get that article.

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Reader Question: “Do You Know About Renting Your House Out As A Location? And The Permits Involved In That?"

Pictured here is the crew shooting a scene for the first “Super Troopers” movie, when it  used the Telephone Building as a location .  Photo Credit: Deborah Bigelow, owner of the Telephone Building at 291 Main Street, Beacon, NY

Pictured here is the crew shooting a scene for the first “Super Troopers” movie, when it used the Telephone Building as a location.
Photo Credit: Deborah Bigelow, owner of the Telephone Building at 291 Main Street, Beacon, NY

One evening, a reader wrote in with a question, having read one of our articles about filming in Beacon. My husband, David Martin, is a Location Manager for film and television. Mainly his work is in New York City, but the sphere of filming has been expanding to out here in the Hudson Valley. Dutchess Tourism has been promoting this area to film productions for years, and CineHub also works with film production companies looking to film in the area, to help them make the production a little easier.

Below is an interview with David the Locations Manager to gather some tips about renting out your home to a film crew to be used as a location:

Q: What should I charge to rent out my house as a film location?

A: The location fee - which is for the use of your home - just depends on what you’re willing to allow. The fee will include Prep Day(s), Shoot Day(s), Wrap Day(s). Several days could fall into Prep, Shoot, or Wrap Days. It all depends on what the production needs to do, and what their budget is. A full Shoot Day is 12 to 14 hours on average. You should be asking for more money for the Shoot Day, as those days are more involved with what the crew needs to do.

Wrap Days (aka Restoration Days) include putting your house back together the way that it was. You’ll want to consider to what extent you want the film production to do this. For example: are they painting a room in your house a different color? Do you like that color? Or do you want it back the way it was? You could even speak to the Production Designer to possibly find a new color that works for you and the movie or TV show. It’s a win/win. The production saves on labor and materials, and the homeowner gets a new paint job. It doesn’t always work out that way, however.

The amount of the fee is an arbitrary number. They are basically paying you for the disruption to your home and your life. How much is that disruption worth to you? If it’s big-budget production, you’ll probably get a larger fee. If it’s a smaller-budget production, it may be a smaller fee just because of budget constraints on the production.

Q: How can I arrive at a good location fee?

A: Always break the fee down by:

  • How many Prep Days they need to make your home look like what they need it to look like.

  • How many Shoot Days - which is a much larger disruption. You can stay in your home, but depending on what they are doing, the production may want to put you up in a hotel. For example: filming in your bedroom, or shooting very late into the night and you don’t want to stay up that late.

  • Typically Prep and Wrap Day fees are much less than the Shooting Day fees.

Q: Should these “type of day” fees be spelled out in the contract?

A: Yes. In the terms listed in the contract, the fees will be, or should be, spelled out. So much money for the Shoot Days, and how many hours that covers. And even for those hourly breakdowns on the type of day, that is part of your negotiations as well.

The production might be able to shoot the space as-is, and not need full Prep Day. It will always be different. Don’t do anything without a contract that spells this all out.

Q: Do I need insurance?

A: Don’t do anything without insurance. The production company will have insurance for the homeowner or business owner for filming on their property. Unless it’s a student film. The City of Beacon’s permits require proof of insurance before they even consider issuing the permit.

 
 

Q: Are Beacon’s permits to film expensive or restrictive?

A: For me - in a larger production - Beacon’s fees are fine. For an independent film with a lower budget, that fee may be more difficult to sustain if they are filming for a period of days. Read more about how director Brian DiLorenzo was able to film his movie “Myth” on a super-low budget.

Keep in mind, it is the film production company who would pay the permit fee.

You can find Beacon’s fees here. These fees will allow the production to park on the town streets, obstruct the sidewalks with equipment, or film a “walk and talk.”

The City of Beacon has based their film permits on the type of film, and whether filming takes place on private or public property:

Photo Credit: Screenshot of the PDF of film permit fees from the City Of Beacon as of June 5, 2019.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of the PDF of film permit fees from the City Of Beacon as of June 5, 2019.

Q: Who makes the decision on where to film? Is it up to a scout? A director? A writer?

All of them. Everyone. The Scout in the Locations Department will have their mission to find a certain type of look for a location. A certain type of exterior, interior, etc. The Scout will check first with the homeowner to see if the homeowner is OK with filming. If a homeowner is interested, the Scout will take pictures.

The Scout will show these pictures to the Production Designer who gives each location its look. If the Production Designer likes the pictures, the location pictures will be shown to the Director or the Creator of the show/film.

From there, there are all kinds of variables, like:

  • Is the location available the day they want to shoot?

  • Can they afford the location?

  • Is the town a film-friendly town?

All of these factors come into play. If they do come to shoot the movie or TV show, the logistics will be worked out, like where to park the equipment trucks. The Locations Department will work with the city or town to see where the production will be allowed park their trucks.

Trucks include anchors like the Hair and Makeup truck, the camera Truck. There are typically always these four trucks: Grip, Electric, Camera, Props.

Then you’ll have campers for the actors, Hair and Makeup, Wardrobe, Catering, etc., depending on the size of the production. Typically they want to park as close as possible to the filming location. The Locations Department will work with the city to coordinate this parking.

If you do take an opportunity to rent out your home for filming, hopefully at the end of the day you will have enjoyed the experience. If done right between the town, the production, and the home or business owner, you might want to do it again. Keep communications open to keep things running smoothly.

 
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY: Locally owned and operated,  Antalek & Moore  serves Beacon and Dutchess and Ulster Counties with competitive rates from select insurance companies. Private insurance brokers means personal attention to your insurance needs. Call them today if you run a film production company in need of insurance coverage and COIs for your locations: (845) 831-4300

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY:
Locally owned and operated, Antalek & Moore serves Beacon and Dutchess and Ulster Counties with competitive rates from select insurance companies. Private insurance brokers means personal attention to your insurance needs. Call them today if you run a film production company in need of insurance coverage and COIs for your locations: (845) 831-4300

 

Reel Life Film Club Presents: "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song"

The Reel Life Film Club for tweens and teens returns to Beacon on Friday, January 11, at 6 pm. The Howland Public Library will be screening the film, Pete Seeger: The Power of Songa documentary about the life and music of folk singer, activist, and local hero, Pete Seeger. 

Q&A with David Berns & Jeff Haynes

After the film, there will be a Q&A with Grammy Award winners David Bernz and Jeff Haynes. David worked with Pete Seeger for many years producing his CDs, including the 2010 Grammy Award-winning Tomorrow's Children with the Rivertown Kids and Friends. David is also the co-owner (with his son, Jake) of Jake’s Main Street Music. Jeff Haynes collaborated with Seeger on his last project, the spoken-word record The Storm King, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013. David Gelber, creator of the docuseries Years of Living Dangerously, will moderate the discussion. 

What Is Reel Life Film Club?

Reel Life Film Club is an opportunity for middle-school students to view award-winning documentary films and talk about them with inspiring people. Now in its third year, the film series is a collaboration between the Beacon, Cold Spring and Garrison public libraries. A new film is shown each month, rotating among the three locations. 

All students in grades 6 and up are invited to the screening. Pizza will be served at the event and registration is encouraged to ensure there is enough pizza for everyone. To register to attend the January 11 screening of The Power of Song, email community@beaconlibrary.org.

Lights! Camera! Action! Locations Wanted for Filming in Dutchess County

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This just in from Dutchess Tourism!

Film production has been picking up in the Hudson Valley, with a new film production facility going up in Newburgh (as we discovered through this commercial/retail Real Estate listing, thanks to the tip from Sarah Beckham Hooff). CineHub in Beacon has been a great resource for filmmakers over the years. Residents of Beacon have already experienced film production. Now a wider range of businesses can get in on that call for “Action!” by serving as an amazing backdrop location to films and television shows filming in Dutchess County.

You and your business can get in on the fun and benefit from the filming boom that has hit the area. Dutchess Tourism provides film location assistance to location scouts and producers, and they are working to expand their database so they can respond more quickly to requests. The types of locations they seek span from homes and local businesses, to farms and warehouses.

You can be added to the recommendation list by filling out this film location form. Hosting a film or photo shoot can increase your exposure as well as provide some economic benefit. The Hudson Valley Film Commission has estimated that in 2017, the direct regional film spending was over $30 million.

You can learn more about the benefits of being a part of filming in New York State, such as earning tax credits, by clicking here.

Advice About Being A Location For A Film

Hey - it’s Katie from A Little Beacon Blog here, taking over this part of the article. While the fame and glory of having your home or business be in a film or television may be appealing, there are a few items you’ll want to be aware of as you negotiate your way through an experience. Disclaimer: My husband is a Location Manager, and I have worked as a Production Assistant on jobs, where I carried around a walkie-talkie and basically relayed messages and told people where the bathroom was. (The film production life wasn’t for me… the way-too-long hours were a deal-breaker.)

  • The filmed part that your house or business is in may end up on the cutting room floor. The film production may have spent a ton of money on it, but for whatever reason, it got cut out.

  • A “Union Production” can be a different ballgame than a production who doesn’t need to be union. This means that everyone in the film crew is in a union. It’s a “union job.” Members have to follow certain rules, and had to achieve certain milestones to get into that union. Pay scales may be different, and budgets may be different. To work with a job not in a union is fine, and may help a low-budget film production do some big things. It also helps people who aren’t in a union to get valuable experience.

  • Insurance: The film job should have it! Should something go wrong in your home or business, the production company may pay you directly to have it fixed, or their insurance company may pay. The job should have insurance in case this happens. Wishing for damage? Like, are you hoping for a new wall for your kitchen, and crossing your fingers that some piece of crew equipment would ding it pretty badly? Bad idea. You really don’t want to deal with the back and forth - it’s not worth it!

  • Check in with your neighbors. A film production gathering is a big deal. Sometimes they park on the street, sometimes they close a street. If it’s a night shot, there will be lights at night. You’ll want to talk to your neighbors to let them know if something will be going on.

  • Everything is negotiable. Usually in New York City, if someone’s apartment is getting filmed in, the owners of the apartment get paid, and the building itself gets paid. Not that a Producer or a Location Manager would like to pay everyone, but it’s good to know that for inconvenience, a price could maybe be negotiated for others.

  • Speaking of negotiation, read the contract. Know your contract well, and ask for things to be included in it that are important to you. Did they go past a filming date? Or an hourly end time? That should cost extra (them paying you). So, think of scenarios that might call for additional compensation, and ask questions.

  • You’ll be tight with Locations and the Art Departments. The Art Department will be the ones messing up your place, and cleaning it up again. They should return it to the state they found it in. Again, this should not be viewed as a free way to get a new paint job. The Locations Department will be with you from the beginning, and possibly after the Art Department has left. The Locations Department will be the ones giving you the check, delivering the contract, and working with the Art Department to make sure things are done right - as you want them.