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Independent film shoot highlights Utica's push for more movie projects

With the success of locally-filmed movies like "A Quiet Place" and "We the Animals," Utica officials are working to bring more creative projects to the city.

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 7:32 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2018 10:04 AM

UTICA, N.Y.-- With the success of locally-filmed movies like "A Quiet Place" and "We the Animals," Utica officials are working to bring more creative projects to the city.  

Whenever a filmmaker comes to the city with a project idea, officials try to accommodate their requests.

"No matter what the budget is, smaller, huge budget, whatever you want," Paul Buckley, the city's media department commissioner said. "They want locations, I show them around the town, whatever they want, I'll set it up for them. With why they come here, why they come upstate, it's cheaper, it's affordable."

"There are sets here that are untouched, you don't have to build sets, they're already right here," Buckley said.

A local independent filmmaker will begin creating "Quarma," the first of a seven-part series. For this project, filmmaker Anthony Owens and his production company Audioptix will film under the Water Street bridge near the train station.

"We have everything we need," Owens said. "This is like a million-dollar studio that's here in Utica, you just have to look at it from the filmmaker's perspective."

The story will deal with issues the filmmaker says are happening both locally and nationally.

"Creating a dialogue for black-on-black violence and what that means for our communities as a whole," Owens said. "Being able to say black lives do matter, but it also matters when lives are lost at black hands. The way that we interpret content here in central New York is really important to me."

"Quarma" is expected to be released in 2019.

Division Street and Railroad Street will be closed to the public Tuesday from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.

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