The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

October 22, 2013

Director seeks to bring more movies to area

Otsego County film commission in the works

By Bera Dunau Cooperstown Crier
The Daily Star

---- — Filming for the upcoming independent film “The Automatic Hate” may have finished in Otsego County, but if co-producer Garrett P. Fennelly has his way, it won’t be the last new movie to be shot in the area.

“I’m trying to make a connection between the state, the counties, the schools, to try to gear the area up for a little more film production,” said Fennelly who, spurred by his experience working on “The Automatic Hate,” has begun the work of setting up a film commission for Otsego County.

Fennelly has started compiling a list of local vendors, locations, crew and resources to assist filmmakers who want to work in the area. His film commission would help provide an infrastructure to facilitate filmmaking in the county.

“It’s just going to take a little bit of legwork that I’m already doing,” said Fennelly, who expects the process to take between one and two years.

To this end he’s reached out to SUNY Oneonta, whose students helped out on “The Automatic Hate” shoot.

Fennelly is searching for people to assist in this effort, and those who wish to offer their support can email him at garrett@actzerofilms.com.

When asked if he was looking to work on another movie in the area, Fennelly said, “Hundred percent, without a doubt.”

Fenelly has a production company, Act Zero Films, and he says that he’s been looking at a number of projects with Otsego County in mind.

Fennelly has longtime ties to the area.

After he was born, his parents bought a house in Mount Vision. Fennelly grew up in the Bronx, but he and his family spent a lot of time at their Mount Vision residence, which his parents still own.

“I spent my childhood; summers, Christmases, any holidays in the area,” said Fennelly.

While Fennelly, a film producer, says that he’d considered bringing films to Otsego County before, the idea to film “The Automatic Hate” in Otsego County actually came from its director, Justin Lerner.

“It was one of these total happenstance, serendipity type of things,” said Fennelly, who said that Lerner came to him with a farm house in Mount Vision that he wanted to film at.

“The Automatic Hate” is set primarily in upstate New York and Boston, and the decision was made to film both upstate New York and Boston scenes in Otsego County. This filming took place over the month of September in Mount Vision, Cooperstown and Oneonta.

“It was fantastic,” said Fennelly, when asked his thoughts on the filming, saying it was a lot like shooting at home. “It was everything that I was hoping it would be.”

He also said that the other people working on the film also enjoyed the experience.

“It was kind of like summer camp for the crew,” said Fennelly. “I think that everybody felt it was a nice change of pace from shooting in the city.”

Fennelly also said that shooting “The Automatic Hate” had been a benefit to the local economy.

“We used local housing, local catering, as much local resources as we could,” said Fennelly.

As for his thoughts on what makes upstate New York attractive for filmmakers, Fennelly cited the area’s varied landscapes, as well as tax incentives. He also said that people were receptive to the shoots themselves.

“People are more accommodating than in New York City,” said Fennelly, saying that in the city film shoots are fairly commonplace. “People (in upstate New York) are actually excited when a film shoot comes in.”