Large Scale Space Offers Freedom and Flexibility in Westchester County, Say Veteran Film Producers
It all started with an affair—"The Thomas Crowne Affair," that is. Co-producers Roger Paradiso and Mike Tadross needed a museum with an Impressionist Wing, without the hassle of moving precious real art during their shoot. So they built one.
They found space in Yonkers, about 20 minutes north of the real Metropolitan Museum of Art, easily accessible by train and three major highways and within the 25-mile New York City production zone.
"We managed to stuff in 24 sets into the stage," said Paradiso of the 32,000 square-foot facility space they found, now called Yonkers Stage. "We built a two-story townhouse and a museum set. And we still had room for carpentry, scenic, set decorating, FX shops, production offices and more."
Paradiso and Tadross partnered to lease and market the campus, which includes two buildings and nine acres for one package price. It's hosted several high profile productions since their first in 1989, including "Mona Lisa Smile," "Riding in Cars With Boys," "Wall Street Two," and "Inside Llewyn Davis," to name a few.
"Because the space is raw, the sky's the limit," says Paradiso. "For 'Llewyn Davis,' they did all the shots of the actors driving through rain and snow in the stage, with the actor sitting in a car. For "A Winter's Tale," they re-created parts of Central Park. The producers of "Rollerball" created a rink in the staging area that came out into a parking lot."
Producers and directors can expect a lot of freedom and affordable prices in Yonkers and throughout Westchester County, says Paradiso. "The county's largest cities can substitute for major urban areas, and has traditional suburbs and rural locations that are not overused. The town of Yonkers is very film-friendly, and it's a lot easier to move large crews around here, too. Using Yonkers as your home base is an economical way of working with great assets."
EDITORS NOTE: After this post was originally published, the Yonkers Stage location was purchased and is no longer operating as a production facility.