Discover how Columbia University students envisioned a film industry for Newburgh that’s happening now!

Posted in Uncategorized | Last Updated October 4, 2017


Tracking Newburgh's Nascent Film Industry

Artwork the the GSAPP team responsible for “Lights, Camera, Newburgh” provided by

Professor David Smiley

On October 5th, The Orange County Accelerator will be offering a Hudson Valley Film Industry Conference featuring noted actress and producer Mary Stuart Masterson (Owner, Stockade Works) and presented in partnership with The Orange County New York Film Office.

The event is scheduled from 8:30 A.M TO 3:00 PM and will be held at: SUNY Orange, Kaplan Hall at one Washington Center, Newburgh, N.Y.

The event focuses on:

  • Career options in the Film Industry
  • Regional growth of the Film Industry
  • Location shooting opportunities for individuals and businesses
  • Partnering with the film industry

As noted here, the Hudson Valley has recently been designated a Film Tax credit region, and entrepreneurs are investing in Newburgh with the intention of building film production service centers here, as noted in our article on the Liberty Street School rehab, here.

Columbia University GSAPP Students envision a film industry future for Newburgh


What particularly resonates, however, is the vision laid out by Columbia University GSAPP students (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation) partaking in the Urban Design Program’s Hudson Valley Initiative.

In 2014 and 2015, students from the program descended on Newburgh and envisioned her through a number of lenses.

One particularly prescient lens was the Lights, Camera, Newburgh project.

This student research project with:

zeroed in on the variety of potential locations in Newburgh. Potential possibilities were presented by leveraging the NYS Film Tax Credits to  “reimagine the city as a film machine.  The project’s strategy builds on the momentum generated by emerging small businesses and trends, such as the shift in Hispanic demographics and growing artist community that occur along Liberty Street to create supporting programs for all phases of filmmaking,” as a project recap document states.

The students imagined a non profit, PROPLAB, facilitating Newburgh as a film-specialty city. The non profit would repurpose sets, create film towers and offer pre and post production facilities, becoming a nexus connecting services across the Mid Hudson Valley, and connecting the film business (and others) from New York City to all across the nation.

There are signs that Newburgh is, indeed, heading in this direction. Specialty set design companies like Murmuration detailed here, and other companies such as Ramos Upholstery, detailed here, are already working in the service of the entertainment industry and, like Newburgh, are poised to grow!

GSAPP continues to explore the region with its Hudson Valley Initiative which, according to its website is a “research platform and archive that combines the strengths of GSAPP’s programs to build partnerships and projects in the region, as well as facilitate inquiry into the American landscape more broadly.”

Watch this incredible vision of a future Newburgh as created by the aforementioned Columbia GSAPP students. And head back to our blog for an after action report on the 10.5.17 seminar as well as an upcoming GSAPP Hudson Valley Initiative to take place in Kingston Saturday, October 7th: