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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coming soon to a theater near you: Movies that are not made in Kingston

The city of Kingston has proposed a brilliant idea worth of a movie: Charge filmmakers who shoot in the city a fee for shooting in town, thus making sure they go somewhere else.

To maximize the message, this is being done just before the Woodstock Film Festival, as dozens of filmmakers and movie stars from around the country are about to descend in our area.

Movie genius and city alderman Charles Landi, D-Ward 3, said “these production companies make big money." So much money, in fact, that the Hudson Valley Film Commission, on the very day the proposal was discussed, sent an e-mail asking supporters for all that money it doesn't really have (I don't have any money, by the way).

"WE NEED HELP," wrote film commission director Laurent Rejto, in all-caps, in case you missed the SENSE OF URGENCY.  "Government grants have been slashed by up to forty percent and we need to make up those losses."

Landi told the Freeman that, “taxpayers in the city are inconvenienced” by traffic tie-ups caused by filming and should be reimbursed for those headaches. Such inconveniences also include the "nearly $15 million dollars of economic development to the region," according to the film commission.

Also, is the city going to write checks to its residents any time a movie shoots in town? Because, you know, I'm kind of feeling a bit inconvenience by having movie stars such as Oscar nominated actresses Vera Farmiga pollute my streets with her awesomeness.

OK, so I'm a little biased. I'm biased for having movie stars shoot movies around town and for the dumping of millions of dollars into the region.

Call me crazy.

The city will discuss the issue in October, and I'm tempted to bring a camera.

I'm making a movie about fools.

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