The Mid-Hudson Valley Film Group

Filmmaking is all about collaboration. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find other filmmakers to work with, depending on where you live.

When I moved up to the Mid-Hudson Valley I was immediately under the impression that there would be far fewer filmmakers here then in Queens, where I previously lived. So I turned to Meetup.com to see if there were any filmmaking groups in my area. 

The closest filmmaking meetup was more than an hour away from me (I may as well drive back to NYC) and didn't look like it had much activity. That prompted me to start my own meetup, The Mid-Hudson Valley Film Group. With more than 50 filmmaking members, the group is a diverse bunch of writers, actors, cinematographers, editors, directors, and more. 

A BTS shot from "Happy Dog" - our second collaborative film.

I'm sure there's any number of ways you could run a meetup, but my idea was simple. Creative a simplified process where members could pitch their passion projects to the group which would take it to a vote to decide what film we would make next. Everyone lends a hand with everyone's film. Film is a collaborative process but at it's heart it's also a learning process. No matter how little or how much experience you have as a filmmaker, you can always learn something on set.

Yesterday, we shot our second short film, Happy Dog, a comedy written by Erica and Brian Higgs.

Actor Brian Higgs taking a prat fall in this ungraded still from Happy Dog.

Happy Dog was shot in 4K on the GH4. We recorded audio from a Sennheiser boom mic into a Zoom H4n and lit the set with some old Mole Richardson 1k's and a Lowel light kit. The set, a private residence in Wappingers Falls, had some amazing vintage televisions and radios which you can see in these screen-grabs from the film.

You can learn more about Happy Dog the Film by visiting https://www.facebook.com/happydogthefilm/ and more about the Mid-Hudson Valley Film Group at http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Hudson-Valley-Film-Group/

You can also watch our first film, conceived and shot in two hours for a Vimeo Weekend Challenge last year.

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