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LUMBERYARD Center For Film And Performing Arts To Host Film Production In Catskill

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A Center for Film and Performing Arts in Catskill, New York is marking a big step forward.

When artists comprising the Washington, D.C.-based "American Dance Institute" decided to relocate to New York, they found what once was a waterfront lumberyard, situated along the Catskill Creek on Water Street.  With grant money, elbow grease and support from U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, they transformed it into a non-profit three-building performing arts and film campus called LUMBERYARD.

Now in its second summer season, LUMBERYARD is renting its newly opened Catskill soundstage for the production of a full-length feature film.

LUMBERYARD Executive and Artistic Director Adrienne Willis:   "LUMBERYARD is also a soundstage for film and television and we use the rental income that we receive for film and television to help offset the cost of our non-profit work in the performing arts and the work we do throughout the community. We've been talking with several prominent studios and our first production just came in. An upcoming feature-length film with REMcycle productions and it's based in the Catskill region. The casting director is from the Hudson Valley. It was a great opportunity for us to have our first film in our space. We're the only qualified production facility in Greene County, which means that our space affords the 40 percent tax credit from New York state to film in our location."

Heather Bagshaw with Greene County Tourism says LUMBERYARD has been an important partner to the local community, the Village of Catskill and the county.   "They have the outreach to be able to connect to larger films. Our offices here also acts as a film commission, which handles all the logistics when a film comes in. To be able to partner with them on multiple levels from a film perspective allows us to enhance that ability to feature a film within the county, and then if they want to be able to do a lot of their production with their state of the art equipment, specifically their green screen, they can do that, should it be a rainy day so they don't have to cancel a film, they can go directly into there and film in there, and/or have multiple different types of backdrops. You know the natural beauty of Green County, but then also be able to film a sort of city-like view, right here in Greene County through their facility."

Duke Dang, General Manager for Works & Process at the Guggenheim, says the facility offers essential state-of-the-art production support for artists.   "Oftentimes the choreography has been created, the work has been written, but artists don't know how these productions will look under lighting, with professional sound systems. They're often working in studio spaces that don't have any technical capability, and that's what LUMBERYARD provides."

Officials are expecting more engagements with studios.

Willis adds that 100 percent of LUMBERYARD's net proceeds from soundstage rentals are invested back into the local Catskill community through educational and employment programs designed for low-income students, incarcerated teens, and local high schoolers.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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