‘Spy’ filmmakers give area high marks
GLENS FALLS — Los Angeles filmmaker Drew Mylrea just left Glens Falls on Tuesday and by Wednesday he said he was already missing Spektor Coffee.
“I loved Glens Falls,” he said by phone on Wednesday afternoon. “And I am missing those bagels.”
Mylrea, the director of a new film, “Spy Intervention,” shot in Glens Falls and Lake George over the past two-and-a-half months, said that he’d be happy to come back to the area.
“I’d make another movie here in a heartbeat,” he said. “It’s lovely and Andrew’s (Andrew Meader) working very hard at bringing films to the area.”
Meader, the president of the Adirondack Theatre Festival board, has been volunteering his time for the past year to make this region a draw for filmmakers.
“We are trying to start a film commission and we are hoping that the legal paperwork comes out in the next couple weeks,” Meader said on Wednesday. “The idea is that we create a film commission that is an independent nonprofit entity when it all comes together. It is all about attracting and supporting films in the area.”
Meader added that local moviemaking has a big economic impact and it showcases the area.
“Most of the cast and crew were from out of the area,” Meader said about the nearly 75 people who stayed in area hotels for nearly three months. “The whole point is to attract films here, they use local catering, they are out eating and drinking and spending 10s of thousands of dollars.”
“Spy Intervention” producer Sunil Perkash, of “Salt” and “Enchanted,” contacted Mylrea about six months ago about directing the film.
“He approached me with the script and things moved very quickly,” Mylrea said. “Being the director, they set-up without me. I got a ticket, I showed up and didn’t leave for two-and-a-half months.”
The story is about a U.S. spy who ends up in a small town.
“This is a comedy. A James Bond-like character is on a mission in a small town. He falls in love with a small town girl and settles down,” Mylrea said. “But he wonders if he made the right decision.”
Still, he said “Spy Intervention” is not a romantic comedy.
“No, this isn’t a rom-com,” he said. “It’s a quirky independent comedy.”
Although the budget was not revealed, Meader said that the film was in the $1 million to $3 million range and is perhaps one of the biggest budget films shot in the area to date.
“I know they spent several hundred thousand while here,” he said.
A big part of getting things right is having the right locations, which was a job left up to Meader as location manager.
“Typically, the crew was on set for 12 hours and there are a couple hours of set-up and tear down,” said Meader, who was on set every day. “The location manager is the first one in and the last one out.”
To make sure they took care of all the locations, the crew would put cardboard on the rugs and walls. While filming at The Inn at Erlowest in Lake George, they had to be very careful of all the woodwork.
“We can’t replace 200-year-old woodwork,” he said.
They made sure they put everything back exactly the way they found it.
The film needed a local home where the spy and his wife lived, and Meader said that after showing them 100 photos of homes, they picked Queensbury Hotel manager Zack Moore’s home for the film.
“They chose Zack’s house. He moved his family to The Queensbury for a week-and-a-half,” Meader said. “One day we moved all the furniture into the driveway for a drone shot that made it look like we were still inside.”
Meader explained that they actually moved the set outside to look like the actors were still in the home so they could shoot an aerial view of the scene.
Meader said he learned so much about filmmaking with this film and that logistics require lots of attention. Details about where 70 people will park, eat three meals a day and wait while certain scenes are being shot all have to be planned.
“We used neighbors’ garages to cater,” he said, adding that the 190 Grille & Cinema did all the catering for cast and crew.
Mylrea and a line producer rented two apartments at 14 Hudson, the Bonacio building, while cast and crew were spread out among three different locations: The Courtyard Marriott in Lake George, Clarion Inn & Suites in Queensbury and The Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls.
The film is now in post-production, a time when things like editing, music and color are fine-tuned or added.
“That should take about six to eight months,” Mylrea said, adding that he’d love to have the film shown next year at the Adirondack Film Festival.
According to Meader, they are in talks with other film companies about future films coming to Glens Falls.
“We have had a lot of interest from a lot of different films. We are looking at locations. We could have a film here as early as January or February,” he said. “I learned a ton and I tried to anticipate their needs. Next time around I will anticipate more.”
“What I loved is how much they loved the area,” he said. “They talked about coming back because they felt so welcomed.”