Giving Thanks

In between juggling location scouts and 2014 budget plans, watching weather reports for upcoming filmmaker visits and scheduling sales calls in NYC for December, planning for Sundance Film Festival and updating website listings, reporting activity and fielding calls; your Film Commission wanted to reflect on what we are thankful for this year.

We have the best job in town. Whether it was the web slinging wonder, swinging in to town for 10 days; or the endless calls from out of town producers looking for everything from crew to water trucks to complete their projects on time and within their budgets; we are thankful for having had the opportunity to be your first call.

We are especially thankful for our supporters, our Board of Directors and the teams at Monroe County and the City of Rochester that help us to make filmmaking seamless in this region.

We are thankful to our lawmakers, who have made it affordable for filmmakers to produce their projects all across NYS.

We are thankful for all of the regional film professionals, for doing what you do. Exit surveys all include an enthusiastic approval from out of town producers when we ask about their experience with crew and support services.

So on Thursday, when we sit down to the Thanksgiving feast with our loved ones, you can be sure that we will also be giving thanks to all of you!


What day is it? It’s hump day!

Sorry for the lapse in blog posts; we are unusually busy for this time of year. What are we doing? Well, I am glad that you asked that question.

Aside from the unending flow of calls from out of town producers who are considering shooting in the region, all needing information on support services, crew, locations, permits etc……we have also been scouting for some rather large feature productions.

There is a feature length documentary that will be here any day now. Karl spent quite a bit of time chasing down contacts at the locations and then taking the filmmakers on their scout.

We have been scouting the surrounding areas for another feature and we are cautiously optimistic that we will see them sometime in 2014. AND there are 2 more features that are “sure things” for 2014. (As much as ANY film is a “sure thing”).

Spent the day Monday with filmmakers who were here shooting a tourism piece, Tuesday at RIT for the discussion on the future of Video Gaming in NY, (particularly Upstate NY). Karl was at RIT later that day as he is every Tuesday with his Camera Assistant class.

Today we catch our breath as we head in to the end of the week. I am making a quick trip to NYC for the NY Production Alliance meeting; flying out of Buffalo and returning just after midnight to spend the night in Buffalo; and then attend a film related event at UB on Friday.

And that’s a wrap on another eventful week, as your Film Commission works to spread the word about the advantages of filming in Upstate NY.

Can’t wait to tell you about next week!

Film Incentives….all in favor say “Action!”

Follow up to the article in yesterday’s D&C regarding the NYS Film Incentive Program. href=”” title=”NY film Incentive”>.

This incentive program is a very useful tool, in our efforts to attract Film Production to Upstate NY. The Rochester/Finger Lakes region has the infrastructure and support services that producers look for when searching for locations needed for their productions.

An organized and efficient Film Commission to guide the filmmakers, highly qualified and experienced crew, access to equipment and accommodations, an amazing sound stage (Young Lion Studios), film friendly County, City, and Town officials…..locations, locations, locations!

A production that chooses to film in our region will find all of the pieces that they need to assemble and complete their film. Add to that the increase in the incentive program that is available soon to productions and there is no reason to go anywhere else.

From Pre-Production, through Production and even Post Production, they will find it all in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region.


Friday, October 4, 2013 / 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Eric Mower + Associates
211 West Jefferson Street, Syracuse, NY

The Syracuse International Film Festival along with Eric Mower + Associates and the
Onondaga County Film Commission will hold a seminar on the advantages of filmmaking
in Onondaga County and the Central New York region. This seminar is free and open to
all interested parties involved with the various aspects of filmmaking. Registration is
required. Skype will be offered to those who are unable to physically attend this seminar.
The seminar will focus on two interrelated issues: the economic, human resources and
talent, and technical resources available to filmmakers; and the creative, risk-taking,
inspiration and global/cultural dialog that independent filmmaking represents and its
relation to marketing and advertising.

Members of this seminar will be Tom Bower, actor and creator of SAG Indie Outreach
Program, Nora Brown, Executive Director of the Rochester Finger Lakes Film Commission,Lou Dettor, lawyer and Onondaga County Film Commissioner, creative directors from Eric Mower & Associates, and Owen Shapiro, filmmaker, Shaffer Professor of Film at Syracuse University and Artistic Director of the Syracuse International Film Festival.

To register please call (315) 671-2188 or email your information to
Information required:
• Full name
• Title and/or position in the industry
• Phone number(s)
• Address
• If you are unable to attend but wish to Skype in please let us know.
Registration deadline is October 3, 2013. Thank you.

The VERY special team at the Office of Special Events

This afternoon, it will be my honor to present the Film Office Achievement Award to the team at the City of Rochester Office of Special Events.

Often times, productions that choose City of Rochester locations have short turnarounds, and some require extensive street closures. (You may have heard or read about this recently LOL!)

Margaret Reichert, and her team are on the front line, working with Producers to make the permit process seamless; helping to make Rochester a film friendly destination for filmmakers.

Thank you Margaret, Maureen, Gloria and Kara for all that you do.

Can You Keep A Secret?

As first point of contact for films that select Rochester/Finger Lakes regions for their locations destination, we are held to a tight confidentiality agreement. We are limited with respect to the information that we are authorized to disclose about productions; including locations, cast, crew, budget, shoot dates….

Some films come to town with code names; aliases if you will, to avoid attracting attention. You see, attention is something that hinders the production process. “Looky loos” or maybe a better term is “film set stalkers” are a nuisance and can at times mess with the shoot day schedule. And as any film producer will tell you, time is money.

Simple math here; a 20 day shoot with a 30 minute delay each day = 600 minutes that nothing was being accomplished. That adds up to one whole day. One whole day in which not a single frame of film was exposed. You DO remember film right? (For you new filmmakers, not a single zero or 1.) One whole day of paying for labor, camera, grip gear, props……and nothing to show for it

Now you can understand why we do not disclose any information about productions that shoot here, until after they have wrapped.

Karl and I utilize our stealth capabilities to assist with support service and infrastructure information, work with the permit office and any other entities that the producers need in order to complete their work here, and every project’s needs are different. We count on the integrity of the individuals that we work with to maintain the same code of silence….and when that code is broken, we can ALWAYS trace it back to the origin.

Maybe a certain person has a relationship with a journalist, or sometimes it’s just someone who wants to appear to know more than they actually know.

In other words, if the story leaks, you can be sure it was not someone from the film office who blabbed… have our word on that.

Greentopia Film September 10-15

The Rochester/Finger Lakes Film & Video Office is proud to once again be a sponsor of Greentopia | FILM. Our friend Linda Moroney and her team have put together a program that you will NOT want to miss.

From the website:
Greentopia | FILM is a collection of films that inspires and transforms, and ultimately empowers the audience to create sustainable changes in their own lives and communities. Local and global, online and in communities around the world, Greentopia | FILM represents the work of a diverse group of independent filmmakers that will initiate conversation on the most important topics of the day. The 2013 edition of the festival will feature six days of primarily non-fiction films, pre-ceeded by lively buskers and other artistic performances and followed by engaging, challenging, and stimulating panel discussions.

Check out the amazing films that will be screening this year.

I hope to see you all there!