A film that was shot in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region opened Friday night at The Little Theatre.
There was an invitation-only showing at The Little Thursday night for more than 130 people involved in the making of The Tomorrow Man, a movie starring John Lithgow and Blythe Danner.
The filming was done in 2017, and includes stops in areas that included Brighton, Gates and Lyons.
Nora Brown is executive director of the Rochester-Finger Lakes Film Commission. She says having this film shot in the Rochester area did provide a boost to the local economy.
“They had to have an on-set medic, so there was an EMT there; casting, assistant directors, production assistants, behind the scenes camera guys, the caterer was local, they sourced everything locally,” Brown said.
Brown says that the financial incentives that New York State provides for the film industry certainly helped attract this independent production to the Rochester area, but she says this area is known for having available crew and equipment to make a film.
“Obviously the New York state incentive didn’t hurt, but Rochester has a good reputation, film was born here, we’ve been shooting film since George Eastman and Thomas Edison stood on the front lawn at the Eastman House with that 16 millimeter camera, it’s been going on for a very long time, we’re film savvy,” Brown told WXXI News.
Peter Doyle of Fairport was one of the local people who got to be on the film crew. He was a stand-in for John Lithgow; Doyle does some acting locally, but one reason he got that job is because he and Lithgow are of a similar height.
“I was there to make sure all the camera angles were correct, the lighting was correct to show him where his key light was and to make sure that he knew exactly what was going to happen with every shot that was set up,” Doyle explained. He also describes Lithgow as a ‘wonderful soul,’ who was smart, funny and gracious.
Lithgow actually was born at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, but mostly grew up in Ohio and New Jersey.
Note: The Little Theatre is operated by WXXI Public Broadcasting.