Motion Picture Studio for Rochester
Dear Blog Visitors:
I truly believe the climate is ripe for a major motion picture studio to consider locating some of its operations in Rochester, New York. I first began promoting this idea around thirty years ago via an editorial piece I wrote for a local newspaper. However, in consideration of the fact that Rochester is in great need of an economic boost, and there is plenty of open space for a major enterprise, I feel it is a good time to revisit my proposal of thirty years ago.
If you have been following Rochester's recent economic news, you are aware of the Paetec fiasco. Just when it seemed Paetec was going to build its new headquarters in downtown Rochester, Windstream announced it was purchasing Paetec. So, at least as it stands now, once Midtown Plaza is fully demolished, we will have an large empty space where Paetec headquarters was to be built. (Windstream's headquarters is located in Little Rock, Arkansas.) So, in addition to the large downtown space that will be available for development, there is plenty of space in surrounding rural areas as well for a potential motion picture studio.
Hollywood has already expanded its locations for primary projects, inclusive of New York City, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Rochester and the surrounding Finger Lakes region could easily be added to the mix. Some independent producers have already shot some films in this area, so the climate is indeed ripe for major studio executives.
Why is Rochester a good location for a motion picture enterprise?
1.) Rochester is in close proximity to locations that would be ideal for fall and winter film scenes. A perfect scenario that comes to mind is the fact that the Christmas classic, 'It's a Wonderful Life,' was shot during 90-degree summer days, utilizing artificial snow. If the movie had been shot in upstate New York, a natural winter setting could have been provided. (It is rumored that Seneca Falls, NY was the location modeled for Bedford Falls in the film.)
2.) A movie studio in Rochester would give Eastman Kodak the much-needed boost in revenue it needs, considering that its motion picture and digital divisions are vital to Hollywood's current needs.
3.) A movie studio in Rochester would provide wonderful opportunities for students of film at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology).
4.) A movie studio in Rochester would provide Eastman School of Music students plenty of opportunities to earn extra income by playing in studio orchestras designed to provide background music in motion pictures. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra could be recruited for such projects as well.
5.) The George Eastman House could prove to be a valuable asset to any movie studio that located in Rochester. Its archives and film preservation efforts have become invaluable.
6.) Actors and film crews coming to Rochester for projects would give added business to caterers, restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, etc.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy are making a serious effort to focus on economic development opporunities in upstate New York. It is my hope that an effort will be made to entice a major motion picture studio to consider Rochester for future endeavors.
Peace to all,