Saturday, August 2, 2014

Gritty city a fine site for thriller

can't pimp now too busy making movies

Moviemaker likes look of Amsterdam, plus county subsidy
By Amy Biancolli
Published 9:54 pm, Friday, August 1, 2014 at

"Kill for Me," an independent thriller tracking an ex-con's race to save his son, is filming in Amsterdam now through Aug. 10. 

According to producer Benjamin Bickham, the film is set in present-day New York state — though not Amsterdam specifically — and features a cast that includes television actor Bailey Chase of "Saving Grace" and film, stage and TV presence Dylan Baker of "Happiness," "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" and an Emmy-winning guest stint on "The Good Wife."

In "Kill for Me," Chase plays Charlie, who is at the tail end of a 20-year sentence. Baker plays Hank, a correction officer whose life Charlie saves during an altercation with another prisoner. On the day of Charlie's release, Bickham explained, the other inmate issues a threat. "He says, 'Don't you have a son on the outside?' And he says, 'Well, I have people on the outside, too.' And he says, 'You'd better find him first, or he's gonna be dead.'" After that, "It's basically a ticking clock. Gotta find him first." 

Written by Raymond Kwok, the film is being directed by Tim McCann, whom Bickham described as "a very dark, gritty, thriller-genre director." Among the other films the pair have worked on together is "The Aftermath," which follows an addict who risks his life trying to return a necklace to his estranged wife. 

On Thursday, the shooting was at Sweet's East End Repair at 196 West Main St. and Herk's Tavern at 65 Bridge St. The filmmakers chose to shoot in and around Amsterdam "for a couple reasons," Bickham said. For starters: Montgomery County offers an additional 10 percent tax credit for film productions beyond the state's 30 percent.

They also liked the older, grungier look of some of its buildings, he said. "Amsterdam has some great industrial sites, and, you know, you can spend millions of dollars trying to build things that look that way. And we're here, and they're free."

Aside from locations in Amsterdam, "Kill for Me" will also shoot scenes in Schenectady and Albany. The movie, budgeted at "just under half a million dollars," will likely spend from eight months to a year in post-production. The filmmakers are working on distribution plans, Bickham said. 


Fake Blood. Fake Tats. Real shaved head. It's getting goofy on the set of

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