"Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin" Indicates Hudson Valley Film Boom | Hudson Valley Events Round-Ups | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge "Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin" Indicates Hudson Valley Film Boom
Hudson Valley Film Commission

The new HBO Max series “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” is set to premiere on July 28. A reboot of the original “Pretty Little Liars'' series, the show is set in the same fictional world but in a different town. The series will take place in the imaginary, blue-collar town of Millwood—a place Hudson Valley residents might recognize as Saugerties. While the home base for the series was in Saugerties, filming also took place in Claverack, Hudson, Kingston, Catskill, Phoenicia, Rhinebeck, and Schenectady.  

Picking up the thread of the original series, the new show follows a group of teenage girls being tormented by an unknown assailant allegedly holding them accountable for their parents' sins. The series stars Bailee Madison, Maia Reficco, Chandler Kinney, Mallory Bechtel, and many other recognizable names. For PLL fans this spinoff is an exciting new take on a beloved mystery, however, for local viewers (and business owners) it also signals a significant financial shift.

In recent years, the film industry has brought a remarkable flow of money into the Hudson Valley. In 2021, the Hudson Valley Film Commission noted a record breaking $58 million in direct spending from film and television production in the area. According to Laurent Rejto, the executive director of the HVFC, the record is on track to be broken again this year in 2022.

Rejto attributes some of the growth in spending to the nationwide switch from feature films to TV shows that stay in one area for an entire year or longer. A sizable portion of these projects are coming from large streaming services including HBO Max, Amazon Studios, Hulu, and NBC Universal. “We love the streaming shows that are here for an entire year and literally hire people from the area and keep them employed for an entire year or more,” Rejto says. “That's a dream.”

The Hudson Valley Film Commission has a key role in ensuring the money flows into the local economy, mostly by advocating for the employment of local residents. “Mostly what we do is we try to get people, especially outside productions, to hire locals rather than bringing people in from New York City or Los Angeles,” Rejto says. He shares that productions have been hiring roughly from 30 to 50 percent of their employees locally. The production of “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sins” hired around one thousand people and about half were local.

Full-time employment for residents is a huge benefit to the film industry taking hold in the Hudson Valley, however, bringing people to the area also supports the economy by funding the hospitality industry. In 2021, TV and film productions booked more than 42,686 nights in hotel rooms in the Hudson Valley.

With the help of the Hudson Valley Film Commission, the industry only seems to be growing in the area. A substantial portion of this can be attributed to word of mouth. “There's only a certain number of location managers,” Rejto says, “and they know the best places to go and where they're gonna get the best crew, the best locations, the best of everything. And we're at the top of the list for that now.”

Comments (0)
Add a Comment
  • or

Support Chronogram