Entertainment

Westchester County Now On A-List Of Hollywood’s Sought-After Shooting Locations

Movie Productions, Popular TV Shows Invade Aesthetically Pleasing Northern Suburbs

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some really big movies have been filmed in Westchester over the last several years.

Now, the county film office hopes to cash in on small-screen productions and lure more television shows to town.

As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported Wednesday, the county is off to a good start.

In the northern burbs, where small town charm meets big city bustle, show business has found a new home.

Westchester County has hosted film crews from Hollywood hits like the Oscar-nominated “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, “Black Swan” featuring Natalie Portman and the Tom Cruise sci-fi remake of “War of the Worlds,” to TV series like “Orange is the New Black” and the HBO hit series “The Leftovers.”

In all, the 70 productions currently underway are more than double what the county hosted two years ago.

Nick Pagani of New Rochelle is in the business of providing cars for movie and TV productions. Every vehicle is a local star, including one 1961 Buick.

“That was (in) ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’ That was the car (they went to Chicago in). Yes from Manhattan to Chicago,” Pagani said, adding the characters were in Westchester “most of the time.”

Westchester, it turns out, is a very flexible location to shoot in.

“If they need an urban setting, a main street setting, a setting with a river behind it, we’ve got it, and we give them the locations and it really works out well,” County Executive Rob Astorino said.

In a number of mansions along the Hudson River in Yonkers productions crews have been trying to stay out of each other’s way. CBS 2’s Young went looking Wednesday for the folks from HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and instead found scouts for an entirely different show.

The area was supposed to represent New Jersey, but in reality it was Westchester. “Boardwalk Empire” shot in the area on Monday and Tuesday, and was checking out on Wednesday.

Production crews used to complain about high fees and shooting restrictions, but Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano told Young all of that has changed.

“The industry wants to be here. They want to come. We just had to make it available, more inviting,” Spano said.

The county is inviting even for CBS’s “The Good Wife,” which is supposedly set in Chicago. As a result of all the action, some are suggesting Westchester is becoming “Burbank” to New York City’s “Hollywood.”

Yonkers seems to get the lion’s share of production work, but recently Peekskill, Hastings, New Rochelle and White Plains have gotten into the act as well, Young reported.

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