- By Ben Fraternale
Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler are standing 50 feet away from us. No, we’re not stalking them (I think), nor are we in Hollywood, CA. We’re sitting comfortably at TimeLine Video headquarters in Irvington, NY, where the actors are filming a scene from their upcoming film Yeh Din Ka Kissa on the Irvington Metro North train station. Ten years ago this might have come as a shock, but recently the small village of Irvington and its surrounding area have become a substantial hub for video production.
The sudden influx of production crews seemed to almost appear overnight, and they sort of did. Last year alone featured 100 more television and film productions than 2014 in the state of New York. This is thanks in large part to an extremely attractive tax credit provided by the state to encourage the New York film economy. The industry responded immediately, with a surge of productions choosing New York over Los Angeles as their home.
This brings us to the Hudson Valley, where the village of Irvington nestles comfortably in small-town suburbia, only a stone’s throw from the city. For every new NYC production which requires city locations, now just as many need suburban locations as well, which leads to base camps filling church parking lots and crews piling into local restaurants.
The trend is only heating up. Previous TV shows like The Good Wife, The Following, The Leftovers, The Americans, and Elementary sought out friendly Irvington neighborhoods for suburban scenes. Now in 2016 alone, Irvington has seen Emily Blunt running through the streets in The Girl on the Train, Miley Cyrus strolling around Main Street in Woody Allen’s Amazon series, James Spader doing whatever he does in The Blacklist, and the aforementioned Sandler/Stiller film which co-stars Dustin Hoffman.
TimeLine works with location scouts who cite the spacious, convenient locations as one of the greatest aspects of filming here. Where 30 PAs scramble to park cars and extraordinarily busy streets have to be entirely shut down in the city, Westchester offers breathable shooting environments with parking aplenty. It’s calm, diverse in landscape, and a security guard’s dream come true.
As TimeLine remains firmly supplanted as Irvington’s video production nerve center going on 23 years, it’s exciting to the see the community and local government embrace the major inbound productions. More than ever, we’re proudly #MadeInNY.