Similar to the feeling you get when a celebrity lives in close proximity to us, there is also a greater sense of excitement when a movie or television show films in our area because we get to see a cast and crew in action as they set out to bring a story to life.
Throughout the Lower Hudson Valley and Northern New Jersey, there have been many instances when production companies have visited our towns to put them in the lens of their cameras.
One of the most recent occurrences of Rockland being used as a filming location was back in June for the popular Netflix show, “Orange is the New Black,” which used the Rockland County Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg as a stand-in for the fictional Litchfield Federal Penitentiary. The story focuses on a young woman, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), and her time spent in a women’s federal prison. The show used the location to film some exterior shots for the show. Seeing as most of the facility is not used for treatment any longer (it now only has about 270 adult patients), this offered many opportunities for the television crew.
Also in June, Universal Pictures sent some of its cast and crew to Pearl River to film its new comedy, “Sisters,” which was previously known as “The Nest.” The film’s plot focuses on two sisters, played by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, as they look to have one final party at their childhood home before their parents sell it. With Fey and Poehler being two very popular comedic actresses, it’ll be a treat for moviegoers to see them starring together in a film once again, especially for Rockland moviegoers who will see their community on the silver screen. “Sisters” is set to be released on December 18, 2015.
In Orange County, HBO’s hit drama, “The Sopranos,” filmed the mid-season-six premiere episode, “Soprano Home Movies,” in the town of Greenwood Lake. The episode that featured the town aired in April 2007, which was the year that televised the second half of the final season. Seeing as this episode was part of the last season, it must have been exciting to have it shoot in a local area, especially because this last batch of episodes had viewers anticipating the fate of mobster Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini.
Because the show mostly takes place in New Jersey, the northern part of the state appeared on screen several times. The show’s many filming locations included Wayne, Paramus, Ridgewood, North Bergen, Ramsey, Clifton, and Totowa.
Earlier in the year, HBO’s drama, “The Leftovers,” filmed in several locations throughout Westchester County, including Hastings-on-Hudson and Mount Vernon. The production team set up at Haven Studios, which is run by sisters Nicole and Gabrielle Zeller. The show focuses on the aftermath of a global occurrence where a small portion of the world’s population has disappeared, while those who have been left behind try and cope with what has happened.
Given how many times the Lower Hudson Valley and Northern New Jersey have been put on screen, it’s nothing less than an honor that film and television crews keep coming back to use these locations in their projects. With everything that the area has to offer, we can maybe expect to see more production crews in our vicinity in the near future.