Hollywood eyes Schenectady for location shots

A major Hollywood motion picture could be filmed in Schenectady within the year, provided the necess

A major Hollywood motion picture could be filmed in Schenectady within the year, provided the necessary financing falls into place, said Don Rittner, chairman of the Schenectady Film Commission.

The movie is one of several scheduled to be shot on location in the coming days and weeks.

The movie’s working name is “The Place Beyond the Pines,” which is a near translation of the Mohawk word for Schenectady. In Mohawk, Schenectady means “on that side of the pinery,” or “near the pines,” or “place beyond the pine plains.”

“They are still doing the financing and the casting, and if it gets made, it will be made in Schenectady,” said Rittner, who also is Schenectady’s city historian.

Ryan Gosling, a Canadian actor and musician, is set to star in the movie. Derek Cianfrance will direct.

Gosling was nominated for an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award as best leading actor in the 2006 independent film “Half Nelson.” He also was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award for his lead performance in “Lars and the Real Girl” in 2007, and he earned a Golden Globe nomination for the independent drama “Blue Valentine” in 2010. Cianfrance directed “Blue Valentine.”

Rittner said he cannot say much about the movie, other than he has been in contact with Cianfrance for a while. “There are still negotiations going on. Nothing is real until it is signed and sealed,” he said.

Rittner said he could not divulge why Cianfrance chose Schenectady for the location.

Cianfrance leaked the location of the movie during an interview in January with a correspondent with E! Online. In the interview, he said: “It’s a crime drama. It takes place in Schenectady, New York. It’s all about, like, the sins of the fathers playing out in the lives these two sons.”

The movie will feature guns and motorcycles, Cianfrance said, telling E!: “… [I]t’s hard to make a violent movie without guns so the next one has a gun.”

Rittner said a Discovery Channel film crew will be in Schenectady this weekend. It is shooting footage about Mary Beth Tinning for its “Dangerous Women” series. Tinning was recently denied parole for the murder of her baby more than two decades ago.

Independent film producer Melanie Williams Oram is tentatively scheduled to film on location April 1-4 for her movie “Indelible,” Rittner said.

Oram scouted locations in Schenectady a year ago for the movie and spent the last months raising money to complete the project, Rittner said.

“Indelible” tells the story of a black female scientist trying to save her son from a life-threatening disease.

Rittner said Oram will use local talent for the movie. “I will not send out a casting call until I get the final script and see what they need,” he said.

Rittner said he gets several inquiries a month from people who want to film in Schenectady. “A lot of them do not pan out, some of them do. If we can get a lot of films shot here it is good for the economy,” he said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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