August 14, 2022

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Hudson Valley film and television productions in 2021 generated $57 million for the regional economy,...

Hudson Valley film and television productions in 2021 generated $57 million for the regional economy, the highest amount since the Woodstock-based Hudson Valley Film Commission started collecting data in 2008. 
Following the COVID-19 shutdown of the film and television industry in 2020, the commission’s director Laurent Rejto said he is “relieved” that the Hudson Valley is back in business. 

The Mindy Kaling-created series “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” filmed at Vassar College and just renewed by HBO Max for a second season, added $5 million alone to the area’s economy. Filming took place in June and July. Local pre-production lasted about a month. 
And while Rejto has yet to receive confirmation that the production will return to the Town of Poughkeepsie campus, he is very optimistic. 

“My speculation is, yeah, of course they’re going to be back,” Rejto said. “It just seems impossible to continue without being on campus at least for two weeks, or three weeks.”
Vassar spokesperson Gladwyn Lopez said the college has inquired with its “Sex Lives” contact about plans for filming the second season, but was told there is no news yet. 
Lopez said “everything went well” with filming for the first season and “we anticipate that they will be interested in returning and welcome those discussions.”

HBO Max did not respond to inquiries regarding the possible return of the “Sex Lives” production to Poughkeepsie. 
Optimistic outlook for 2022

Kaling, well-known for starring on television in “The Office” and “The Mindy Project,” was on-site at Vassar during production, according to Rejto. In addition to co-creating the show, she co-wrote the first episode of “The Sex Lives of College Girls” and is a co-executive producer.
Along with his optimism that Kaling and her team will return to Vassar, Rejto is hopeful about the 2022 outlook for the Hudson Valley’s booming film and television industry.

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Inspiring optimism in the coming year is HBO Max’s “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin,” which began filming in the region in August and will continue through April. Based in Saugerties, “Pretty Little Liars” employs more than 100 people full-time and the production team purchased a former school in Columbia County. Filming is taking place in Columbia, Ulster and Greene counties. Local pre-production began in January 2021.

And Rejto is working to bring three “massive” productions to the Hudson Valley. These endeavors involve MGM, Amazon and Showtime.
Still, he added, “I’m on pins and needles, because every time I read the paper, there’s a new strain [of the coronavirus].”
As he continues to navigate the uncertainty, Rejto can look back on a recent past that has brought some real star power to the Hudson Valley for productions. The film commission and region are also enjoying growth in their relationship with HBO and HBO Max.
In addition to “The Sex Lives of College Girls” and “Pretty Little Liars,” the Hudson Valley has hosted actors Justin Theroux and Woody Harrelson for the filming of the HBO Watergate movie, “The White House Plumbers.” That movie was filmed in Dutchess, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan counties, as well as in the Capital Region.
HBO’s “I Know This Much Is True” with Mark Ruffalo was filmed in Dutchess and Ulster counties. And HBO filmed part of “The Undoing,” with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, in Ulster County.

The Hudson Valley seems to have another big player on its hands with “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” HBO this week in a press release called the 10-episode series that debuted Nov. 18, “the biggest Max Original comedy launch on the platform this year.”
The final two episodes will air Thursday.

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Hudson Valley Art, Music and Culture


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