By Lee Tugas
Around mid-April, if you see what looks like a small team of filmmakers, leave them to their work. That is, if you want to see the Village of Whitehall on the silver screen.
The recent meeting of the Whitehall Village Board was short, only an hour long, but long enough to learn that Independent Brooklyn Filmmaker Jeremy Leach has expressed interest in filming on Lake George and in Whitehall around mid-April.
Heritage Director Carol Greenough told the village trustees that Leach was taken with the architectural look of Whitehall and plans to mix village sights and scenes into one visual look.
“He doesn’t need anything from you,” Greenough informed the trustees. “It just means that this is another person who will say Whitehall is a good place to be.”
Greenough said the Brooklyn-based filmmaker was quite serious and intended to “acquire a general liability insurance policy for $1 million dollars” to insure the production.
Pre-production has started
Greenough said Leach did not intend to start filming until the middle of April, but Leach, in a phone interview, said that he had done some preliminary scouting work out on Lake George this past month.
“Whitehall is an incredibly cinematic town,” Leach said, explaining that he intended to film his short film, (which could range from under a half-hour to near feature length), using a Canon C300 camera, and, at this point, only one actor.
Leach stressed that the film was not about Whitehall. The story, which Leach intends to improvise along the way, involves a young man in his early 30s, living in the city, but returning to the village of his youth.
“It’s about a young man going back to his childhood home, a place that has gone through tough times but is fighting back. He finds his home in disrepair, his family has gone. It is also a love story between the young man and his childhood girlfriend.”
Leach said he didn’t want to divulge too much of the story, since he is working it out in his mind as he goes along and plans to improvise much of it on location. The three principal locations will be Brooklyn, Whitehall and Lake George. Fourteen days in April will be devoted to shooting the film, with four to five days spent in each of the principal locations.
Residents receptive, filmmaker respectful.
Leach said that he had found Whitehall residents enthusiastic and receptive to his ideas.
He stressed that “We will respect their privacy and their property. We will not leave behind the smallest imprint.”
The filmmaker, who is owner of the Brooklyn-based Lost City Pictures, said much use would be made of Lake George, but also of Whitehall’s historic downtown on Main Street. The filmmaker, at this point, did not have any specific plans on how his film will be distributed and shown once it is completed.