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Game of Thrones & Sex Education Actors Co-Star in New Movie Filmed in Kingston 

Then Came You Debuts on February 1

Last Updated: 02/06/2019 11:10 am
click to enlarge Maisie Williams as Skye and Asa Butterfield as Calvin. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios. - SHOUT! STUDIOS
  • Shout! Studios
  • Maisie Williams as Skye and Asa Butterfield as Calvin. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios.

Last summer, the streets of Kingston’s Stockade district were barricaded for days at a time while a film crew worked on an unknown project. In cafes and offices, excited rumors flew—Arya Stark is out there filming a movie! As they rarely are, the rumors proved true.

On February 1, Then Came You will screen in a dozen cities across the country and be available on demand. In the film, Asa Butterfield, who recently rocketed to household fame with Netflix’s January release of “Sex Education,” stars opposite the ever-popular GOT badass Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) in a heart-warming story about love, loss, and the preciousness of life.

Then Came You is the latest installment in a singular category of Young Adult films that strive to delve into the difficult territory of death. Like A Walk to Remember and The Fault in Our Stars, the movie’s plot focuses on two young people (one terminally ill, one not) who help each other get the most out of life. And like those that came before it, Then Came You looks to be a perfect blend of funny, moving, and almost certainly tear-jerking.

We sat down with the film’s director Peter Hutchings, a Hudson Valley resident, to talk about his career, the film, and the Hudson Valley movie biz.

Then Came You will be available on demand on February 1. It will also screen at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck on March 3 and for a week at Rosendale Theatre starting March 8.

Q&A with Peter Hutchings

Without any spoilers, tell us about the film’s plot.

Asa Butterfield plays a young hypochondriac, Calvin, who has dropped out of college and is living with his family. He’s just afraid of everything. He’s worried that he has cancer, so his doctor sends him to support group to gain perspective. There he meets Skye, who is played by Maisie Williams, and she is just this burst of light in this life. She enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list. And in return, she is going to help him come out of his shell and get the girl (played by Nina Dobrev). It’s a wonderful sweet story about friendship and the proximity between life and death.

You also worked on the movie The Outcasts, which is about high schoolers. Would you say that YA Movies are your niche?

I really like working in that space. I think that there is something about adolescence—everything is more dramatic, more intense. So it becomes this really interesting, heightened examination of the human condition.

I also love the idea of making something that is entertaining, but also substantial for a younger audience. That said, I’ve now seen this movie [Then Came You] played for people of all ages and been blown away by the response of people young and old. It means a lot to me to see people resonate and find themselves in these characters, regardless of their age.

click to enlarge Asa Butterfield as Calvin. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios. - SHOUT! STUDIOS
  • Shout! Studios
  • Asa Butterfield as Calvin. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios.

I know you live here, but why else did you choose to film in the Hudson Valley?

We were initially thinking about shooting it elsewhere and it was actually the increased tax credit that Laurent Retjo, the Hudson Valley Film Commission, and a whole host of other entities helped put through that got this movie made in the Hudson Valley. It made the difference for us. The production company, BCDF Pictures, is also based in the Hudson Valley, in Kerhonkson.

We’d been looking for something to shoot in the Hudson Valley and this project really jumped out, and Kingston in particular as a location, because it is such a charming city with so much character, history, and specificity that it really worked for the story we were telling.

Speaking of specificity, are there any specific traits that made shooting upstate more viable or desirable?

A good amount of the story happens at the airport. We were planning to only shoot for a day because airports are notoriously terrible places to shoot. But we went up and met the team at Albany airport, and they were so wonderful and inviting. We ended up shooting almost a week there. It was a great experience.

When I made the decision with the producers to shoot in Kingston and around the Hudson Valley, we started to adapt some of the scenes to local specificity. There was an interior mall scene that we relocated to take place on Wall Street in Kingston. Another scene was set in a parking lot, but I wanted to shoot it down by the Rondout, in that beautiful setting. One scene after another was made better by the environment we were able to find here.

click to enlarge Nina Dobrev as Izzy and Maisie Williams as Skye.Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios - SHOUT! STUDIOS
  • Shout! Studios
  • Nina Dobrev as Izzy and Maisie Williams as Skye.Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios

In the trailer I spotted Wall Street, Academy Green Park, the Kingston waterfront. What other landmarks might viewers recognize in the movie?

We shot a little bit at the old firehouse museum. We shot in a few houses in Kingston as locations for some of characters’ homes. We shot inside Outdated Cafe, Bop to Tottom, and Pugsley's Barbershop. And there is a quick bit where Maisie is playing dice behind BSP, right underneath the Artemis mural.

How was it working with the city of Kingston?

Man, they were just wonderful. They really came out and supported us. Just a few weeks ago, in an article Mayor Noble was saying how happy he was with the production. That means a lot to us, because we’re very locally minded. To the producers, it’s very important to participate in the community. It’s important that when we can shoot a movie locally, we hire locally, and support local businesses through all the different things films bring to the area.

Were you able to hire locally?

It’s a union movie, so we had to hire union crew. But one of the things that’s happening is that there are a growing number of union film crew members in the area. There have been some people who come up from the city to do movies here, and then end up moving. It really speaks to just how special this region and this community is.

Did you shoot anywhere else in the Hudson Valley?

The quarry in Esopus. We also shot a couple days at Bard College in the swimming pool. We tried to keep a small footprint.

click to enlarge Ken Jeong as Officer Al. Then Came You arrives in theaters andOn Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios. - SHOUT! STUDIOS
  • Shout! Studios
  • Ken Jeong as Officer Al. Then Came You arrives in theaters andOn Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios.

Where did you do post-production?

At the BCDF facility in Kerhonkson. We had to go down to the city for the sound mix and for color correction, which is very standard. Other than that this was very much a Hudson Valley production.

How did you come to cast the two British actors in a film set in the US?

The original script was set in Dublin, and when we moved it to the US, I thought it might be interesting to keep one of the characters British. I knew Maisie and I loved her. She was my first choice for the role. Luckily she responded to the material as much as the rest of us did, so she came on board. I thought it would be interesting to keep her character English. Then it just panned out that Asa was the best for role of Calvin. It wasn’t premeditated.

How was it working with them?

I can’t say enough good things about the two of them and Nina Dobrev and the rest of the cast. They are just so wonderfully talented, positive, and team-oriented. We really had a blast making the movie, both on- and off-set.

We all knew this was an important story to tell. You’ll see, the movie is very funny and entertaining, and we wanted to stay light in dealing with some heavy subject matter, so we tried to keep a very fun set. Maisie and Asa were just terrific with that.

How has the public reception been?

So far great. The reviews are still coming in. I’m really excited for people to get to see this movie. It is fun and entertaining, but also really meaningful. I think it’s going to stay with people. We had our premier at the Woodstock Film Festival this past fall. It was a little bit of a homecoming. We had two screenings and they both got terrific responses.

click to enlarge Maisie Williams as Skye and Asa Butterfield as Calvin. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios. - SHOUT! STUDIOS
  • Shout! Studios
  • Maisie Williams as Skye and Asa Butterfield as Calvin. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios.

Are you working on any other movies?

A movie that I wrote just shot a scene in Outdated Cafe and around Kingston. It’s a romantic comedy called Can You Keep a Secret? It’s based on a screenplay adapted from very popular book by Sophie Kinsella. It’s in post-production now.

What do you see as the Hudson Valley’s main assets for directors/producers?

Wonderful locations, great crew. Being in a region that is so supportive of the arts and so conducive to the creative process is really energizing and inspiring. I love the connection to nature out here.

What do you see as its major challenges? Where does it still need to grow?

New York has to continue the tax incentive program. And there is room for it to be improved. It was a great step establishing the extra tax credits, but for some reason, it doesn’t apply to all local services, which doesn’t make sense to me.

And we also need to work to make sure that there are crews available in the Hudson Valley or that can be brought up from the city if need be.

I’ve heard there is a shortage of local union workers. Is that true? How do we fix that?

It’s a bit of a Catch 22. Union crew members would be happy to come up to the Hudson Valley if there was a steady stream of union films, but in order to have a steady stream, the Hudson Valley needs to have more local union crew. It would be helpful to negotiate a contract that allowed more non-union crew to work on union films.
click to enlarge David Koechner as Bob and Tyler Hoechlin as Frank. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios. - SHOUT! STUDIOS
  • Shout! Studios
  • David Koechner as Bob and Tyler Hoechlin as Frank. Then Came You arrives in theaters and On Demand onFebruary 1st from Shout! Studios.

For Then Came You, the sound mixing and color correction was done in the city. Is that a service that could relocate to the Hudson Valley?

Definitely. If you had a bonafide stage that could do sound mix and color correction, you could incentivize people to come up here for post-production. In New York City, unless you’re doing a very high-budget film, the mixing stages are really small. You could have a really big soundstage in the Hudson Valley.

Where do you see the Hudson Valley film industry in 5 years? And how will we get there?

One of the things that made Atlanta a big film hub was the tax credit—and then getting some TV shows. Shows offer longer-term employment that might help either draw some union people up here or incentivize great non-union local crews to join the union. What would be great is if unions would allow people more than an hour outside the city to work on both union and non-union projects, but that negotiation is above my pay-grade.

It’s great to have access to the city, but it’s also nice to get out of city for a lot of reasons—there’s a diversity of locations, it’s a more pleasant place to live and to create, etc. There is no reason why the Hudson Valley shouldn’t be a major center of film production. And, it’s on its way.

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