The Hudson Valley has become a desolate place with only a small group of child survivors who must travel lonely roads and inhabit decaying buildings. The world is their deserted playground. New Paltz as we know it is no more.
But no need to fret — New Paltz is fine, for now. That’s just the setting for filmmaker Tim Mattson’s post-apocalyptic short film, “Marrow,” which is set to be shot in various places around the Hudson Valley.
“‘Marrow’ is…about a girl named Lindsey’s will to survive,” Mattson said. “Lindsey must set out on her own for the first time to a bleak world in order to get food for her and her siblings’ survival. On this journey, she is faced with a moral dilemma and the direction of her moral compass is revealed.”
According to Mattson, he formed the Hudson Valley Filmmakers Meetup Group (HVFMG) on MeetUp.com on Dec. 31, 2012 to meet other local filmmakers. He said he wound up with 20 members and six core members who are also “adamant” about making movies.
Six meet-ups later, the group met to discuss their complete script, squared-off locations, actors and equipment. On Wednesday, March 13, Mattson met with appointed Assistant Director Jon Albedot, Director of Film Nakobee Johnson and Dave Dunlap, a local Hollywood veteran.
Before going into production, Mattson said the group had to review everyone’s schedules to see which actors were available and what additional crew members were needed.
“Really what we’re limited by is budget so we’re looking to finish the ‘Marrow’ pitch video because we’ll be putting it up on IndieGoGo [an international crowd funding website],” he said.
One location Mattson said fit the “buildings in decay” motif for “Marrow” is Overlook Mountain House in Woodstock — an abandoned, decaying hotel boarded up in 1940, which was also damaged by fire. Another location is the building remains of Tamarack Lodge, 40 minutes outside of New Paltz.
For Mattson and Albedot, this is their first official short film, but for Dave Dunlap — an active director of photography — it’s just “the perfect little project.”
According to his website, Dunlap’s most recent credits as director of photography include the TV shows “Gossip Girl” and “Lipstick Jungle” as well as the movies “Shaun of the Dead” and “The Calcium Kid,” among other credits.
A resident of Dutchess County for 13 years, Dunlap follows the Hudson Valley News on Twitter, which is where he first heard about the meet-up group.
“I saw this group and I joined with the hope of just finding people in the community who want to make little movies,” Dunlap said.
Even though Dunlap won’t be the director of photography for “Marrow,” he said he could use this opportunity to help people nurture their skills.
“When I’m working, I usually work 12 hours a day and there’s usually no time to do any of this, so I could only do something like this between assignments,” Dunlap said. “It’s exciting.”
Mattson and Albedot have made short films on their own, but they haven’t created one that required auditions and casting calls. Working with actors under the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) hasn’t been easy due to their limited budget, Mattson said.
Beginning production at the end of March, HVFMG said it hopes to attract film, production and theater students who want to gain experience as part of the crew or as an actor.
“It’s the real thing, let’s do it,” Mattson said. “We have plenty of opportunities in this picture for students to gain experience. Dave is someone who’s got plenty of credits, so…if you want to get credit with something, this [is] the one to do it. Now we’re kind of fishing and throwing our lines out in the Hudson Valley and see what we catch.”