Saratoga Springs

Owen Wilson and other celebrities shooting indie film in Saratoga Springs

The film's star, Owen Wilson, stopped in to James and Sons Tobacconists on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs on Tuesday to learn how to smoke a pipe for the movie he's filming in town. CREDIT: James and Sons Tobacconists

The film's star, Owen Wilson, stopped in to James and Sons Tobacconists on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs on Tuesday to learn how to smoke a pipe for the movie he's filming in town. CREDIT: James and Sons Tobacconists

SARATOGA SPRINGS –People around Saratoga will have something to “wow” about over the next few weeks.

Actors Owen Wilson, Michaela Watkins, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ciara Renee, among others, will be on location throughout the county working on an independent film. Annamaria Bellantoni, the vice president of tourism at the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, said that Blue Creek Pictures, a Beverly Hills-based production company, will be filming in Saratoga Springs over the next several weeks.

“Paint” follows Carl Nargle, who has hosted the top-rated painting TV show in Vermont for 27 years. One day, the network hires a younger and better painter, who steals everything and everyone that Nargle loves. The film is being directed by Brit McAdams, who also wrote the screenplay. Sam Maydew of Silver Lining entertainment is producing it.

Photos: Images from Thursday’s filming

Though Bellantoni could not disclose the film locations, partly out of concern that people would crowd the areas and create a COVID-19 safety hazard, she said the team would be filming around the county, both indoors and outdoors.

“I think it’s a nice shot in the arm, it’s a nice boost for the local economy,” Bellantoni said. “They’re renting out some room nights at a property. I believe a number of people are staying at some short-term rentals. They’ll be using different services in the community. In their off time, they’ll be doing things like dining out or recreating.”

After last year, when tourism took a hit because of the pandemic, Bellantoni said that Saratoga could use the boost. She’s also noticed more filmmakers are calling and asking about working in the area.

“Filmmakers can come here and it’s maybe a little bit less cumbersome than filming in New York City,” Bellantoni said, “I think things are catching on in upstate. Albany’s done a really great job over the last several years of attracting a lot of films and TV series.”

Some filmmakers are looking to shoot for a single day. Others, as is the case with McAdams’ “Paint,” are looking to film over the course of several weeks, which can have a much bigger economic impact.

“[According to] the Association of Film Commissioners International, a feature film or even a nicely budgeted independent film can bring in $125,000 a day into [the] local economy, give or take,” Bellantoni said.

It’s not only good news for Saratoga.

Several Capital Region cities have hosted various movie/TV series in the last few years. Albany has played host to season two of HBO’s “Succession,” as well as a host of movie projects. Schenectady was the host city for Amazon’s “Modern Love” season two last year, and in the coming weeks, the cast and crew of HBO’s “Gilded Age” will make Troy their temporary home.

“I would say any project in the Capital District is a win for the region,” Bellantoni said.

She added that it will be fun for Capital Region residents to see “Paint” when it is released, and maybe spot a few local landmarks.

Photos: Images from Thursday’s filming

Categories: Entertainment, News, Saratoga County

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