By Himmler Joachim
The purpose of last Thursday evening’s Film Investment Symposium, hosted by neighborhood film production company Willy-Gilly Productions, was to illuminate growing opportunities for investors interested in film production in Orange County. Hence the name, “The Bigger Picture.”
The first speaker to help those in the audience “see” this picture was local film producer and actor David Patrick Wilson. He reveals that there is “a lot of money in the entertainment and media industry,” while presenting a bar graph demonstrating the growth of this industry compared to others.
“[When filming] on location, for every dollar spent on production, four to five dollars is spent in the community,” says Wilson.
Wilson’s presentation frequently mentions the benefits of working and investing in the film industry. For example, it is a clean industry in terms of toxins and waste, as well as in monetary return. Also, most jobs in this industry cannot be exported or automated, so there is no fear of jobholders being replaced by robots in the future. “The human touch is absolutely required,” assures Wilson.
Wilson also spends time mentioning the benefits of being so close to a major film and series production hub like New York City. He notes that New York City is overstuffed to the brim with film production services, and that Orange County is poised to meet the need for more space. Wilson adds that “there are already two qualified sound stages in the [Hudson] Valley.”
According to Wilson, “If we took 5% of the production from downstate,” monetary gain would be worth at least $320 million. This is mainly because Orange County has a varied number of locations to create any and all entertainment products a director could desire. Wilson also praises the beneficial logistics of Orange County in much of his presentation. There are international airports, private airports, and major highways available to easily transfer film industry professionals to and from the area. He explains the ease of pulling together a crew in the Hudson Valley rather than in Alabama, due to the nearby production companies already located in lower New York.
“The end credits of a movie are all jobs,” confirms Wilson. “Everybody loves American entertainment.” However, he adds, “You gotta plant the tent poles for the circus to come to town.”