Movie maker sees the future in small towns

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:29

Goshen — David Patrick Wilson sees the film industry developing and knows he can make a profit creating movies about small communities. He also knows that as a writer and director, it could benefit everyone who lives in the community. Wilson, a Goshen resident, did just that. His recently released film, “Collar,” was filmed in Goshen, Middletown and Parksville and kept 80 people working for five months. “The film industry brings jobs for young people. It’s the young people’s bailiwick,” said Wilson, noting that 30 was the average age of those who worked on his production. His goal, and that of his partner, Nan Mia Gill, is to produce three films in the Hudson Valley a year. Gill is the executive producer of “Collar” and in partnership with Wilson in Willy-Gilly Productions, Inc. Gill, living in Orange County since 1974, moved from Warwick to Monroe and then to Goshen where she established Gill Abstract in 1986. She started her successful business in 1984 in the basement of her Monroe home. It must have been fate that brought Gill and Wilson together, for he did not go to his 40th class reunion looking for a business opportunity or a partner. When he traveled to Long Island’s Northport High School for the reunion, he was already established as a success in the movie business. “I was aware that Nan was in the class, but we never connected,” he said, explaining that she played the oboe in the pit while he acted on stage in the school play. His first leading lady was Patti LuPone, who later went on to win Tony Awards for “Gypsy” and “Evita.” “Nan saw the opportunity and incentives here,” says Wilson, noting that New York State’s commitment to the film industry is second only to California. Along with the incentive package, Wilson praised Orange County for its varied environments, located only an hour from New York City, and the amount of talent here. On June 2, “Collar” had a special premiere screening at the Lycian Theater in Sugar Loaf. One hundred percent of the donations given to attend the premiere went to charitable organizations, including the Policemen’s Benevolent Association of Goshen, Girls Education and Mentoring Service and the Animal Farm Foundation. Twelve-percent of gross revenues from future films will go to charity, The focus of Willy-Gilly Productions is to combine social issues, but to be entertaining, as well. “People want to be entertained, but they don’t want to be ‘hit over the head,’ offers Gill. “Collar” combined police issues, teen-age prostitution, and family problems in an easy-to-follow manner, culminating in an exciting conclusion. For people living in this area, the appeal included hunting for local spots, like Goshen’s Main St. and business district. “We’ve had a tremendous response from everyone,” said Wilson about the film, noting that the issues give people plenty to talk about. At one point, the lead character, police officer T.J., goes after his own daughter. “What causes that?” asks Wilson, emphasizing that there’s plenty to think about. “It’s a must see ‘more than once’ movie,” Wilson concludes. “It grows on you.”