Newburgh Tries to Woo Film Industry

This week members of the Newburgh and film communities united at the Motorcycle Museum with the goal of devising a plan to attract the film industry to the City of Newburgh and Orange County. Hudson Valley film productions have declined, with 539 productions in 2010, dropping down to 412 productions in 2011. The goal is to find out how can that be reversed and increased.

The economic impact of having on-location productions is huge for the area. According to the Association of Film Commissioners International, a high end feature film can have an economic impact of about $100,000 per day, while a low budget film can have a $35,000 impact per day. Newburgh alongside the Orange County Arts Council would ideally like to open a film office, which main purpose would be to create a website, catalog locations, process permits, promote the area and negotiate agreements with unions and other parties involved.

This is an opportune time for Newburgh and Orange County to attract the film industry. Since 1966, the NYC film office has always issued permits for free. Now there is a $300 permit fee as well as $3,200 fee for the use of NYC municipal buildings. One film maker at the meeting said as much that there is a minimum fee of $3,800 per day. Regardless of the exact amount, these new fees have film makers searching elsewhere for more economic options. As John Johnston said in the New York Times, “This one fee is not going to destroy the film business in New York. But it’s an irritant, and it does hurt the independents…This is a highly mobile industry, and history has shown that when it’s more advantageous to move to adjacent states, that’s what happens.”

Still in New York, Newburgh is in a favorable location with easy access to an airport, ferry, train, and highways. There is less traffic transporting sets to Newburgh versus many towns in Long Island or Brooklyn. Being located only 60 miles north of the city also makes it a commutable location for many actors based out of Manhattan. And Newburgh’s diverse architecture makes it an ideal location for different  period pieces and various urban settings. Another bonus feature is that Newburgh has its own sound stage company, Umbra.

The New York State Film Commission has already approved the permit that has been drawn up for Orange County. There are a few other details to be worked out and approved. What needs to happen now is to spread the word that Newburgh and Orange County want to work with the film industry. Hopefully a few features films can be attracted to the area that would thus facilitate a self sustainable film office without the use of grants.

What do you think? Would you like to see the film industry come to Newburgh?

14 Comment

  • This is great news.

  • Is there an email or phone number to get in touch, and volunteer?

  • Not yet Jimmy, but when there is, I’ll be sure to share it.

  • I would love to see the film industry work in our city. The Hudson Valley has so much to offer and Newburgh is a Beautiful location. Since we are located on the west shore of the Hudson River the visuals would be amazing, and we are so close to New York CIty. I am all for this.. let me know what I can do to help promote our city. Come read my blog, and see some photos and why I love Newburgh NY!

  • This is great news. We have the resources to do this. Good work Cher Thank you

  • This sounds terrific!–although it would have been great to know in advance about the meeting so the interested could actually attend. Look forward to contact info when it becomes available.
    Cher Vick: a long time coming, but my belated, heartfelt thanks to you for your continued upbeat coverage of Newburgh (I am a resident) and your concentration on events and on-going news that one would have no way of knowing about otherwise.
    On the real estate front: It is, of course, great to scan your featured properties(and read of their past histories!) but, in reality, the horrendous tax situation both in the town and the city of Newburgh is, rather than attracting new neighbors, forcing people to flee in droves–that is, if they can sell their properties. Take a drive through Newburgh sometime and note the “For Sale” signs. I have friends whose properties have been on the market for over a year–and have had offers until the prospective buyers found out what the taxes are/will be in a year. Most of your featured listings do not list the property taxes–very unusual as this is usually standard across the country. Is there a reason for this? You are such a wonderfully positive person–this is not meant as criticism. But in order for Newburgh to move forward, full disclosure–deep problems and all–is imperative.

  • Thank you Suzanne for your encouraging words.

    About the taxes- I get the information regarding the homes on real estate websites. Sometimes that information is given. Sometimes it isn’t. When it is given then I will post it (like today’s listing). Sometimes I have to search on the internet on multiple websites hoping that one will contain the tax information. If anyone is curious about the taxes of properties that I haven’t provided, they could talk to a realtor, or do a quick google search of the address of the property. Perhaps there are other websites that list it.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to make sure I include it on all properties in the future as long as tax information is provided.

  • Absolutely YES!

  • Thank you, Cher, for your response! I will spare you my harangue on the City of Newburgh’s 70% proposed property tax increase (I wrote you a long response but the “CAPTCHA” would not let me send–and then, of course, it disappeared from the comment box.) In brief: Newburgh is hanging itself by its own pitard. But, moving on, your continued coverage is always a step forward.

  • Suzanne, I’m so sorry that happened with your long message! Maybe I need to look into a new captcha program :-/

  • Cher. Your captcha probably was acting as a editorial device–cutting me off before my response got to dissertation length. Seriously, I think I figured it out: I was spacing the letters and numbers as they appear on the website–instead of just lining them up in the code box with no spacing. The no spacing thing seems to work–will try right now.
    Meanwhile, it is a beautiful, sunny day here in Newburgh! Gorgeous light on the river…family of wild turkeys parading across my yard..
    More to come!

  • This is a smart move.

  • I am an independent media production professional that went to high school in Newburgh New York.
    I would like to bring my skill set back to Newburgh and work to develop the film industry in the community.