Friday, September 28, 2012

From the Hudson Valley to the Big Mountain!

Acting Anyone Academy announces that the Level 1 Adult classes scheduled for next Tuesday, October 2 have been adjourned for one week, until Tuesday, Ocober 9th. Adjust your schedules accordingly. Also, there will be NO classes on Saturday, October 6th, as Willy Gilly will be commencing production on the new reality series, "Chasing G". Classes will resume the following Saturday, October 13th.

Speaking of reality, Big Mountain Entertainment and Willy Gilly Productions have entered into negotiations for another new show (title TBA). The show will feature the music industry, with Dwaine Harris and various artists, as they look to make it big through Big Mountain! Keep your eyes open for this one, which will be coming later this fall!

Looking at stage productions in the near future, Willy Gilly will be meeting with the Beacon Theatre in Beacon, New York to discuss a possible location to perform several plays, including the original "Supper With Ja"!

Finally, we are also looking forward to staging a comedy production based on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, called "Some Like It Rotten", a benefit for the Paraclete Arts Center in Middletown! So dust off your fedora and be ready for dinner and theatre to die Valentine's Day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Our good friend Peter Gregory, departing director of the Orange County Business Accelerator, is moving back into the private sector, but plans to continue to encourage business growth and development in the area! A major booster of film and TV production, Gregory was instrumental in bringing us to the accelerator, which seems to be transitioning from an incubator into an aggregator of resources in the region! Willy Gilly will continue to work with both the OCBA and Peter Gregory, wherever he may be!

In other news, this afternoon we meet with Dorian DeHaan of the Artisan Discovery Foundation (, an organization committed to developing artisan crafts in third-world markets (specifically Peru)! We will be creating programming related to the development of the Peruvian connections to bring fine-woven textiles, ceramics, sculpture, furniture and other fine items, created by indigenous cultures, to US markets! They will be holding a charity wine-tasting, "Wine Into Water", on Sunday, October 7th, from 1-5 pm. It will be held at the DeHaan family compound at 1389 Kings Highway in Chester! Tickets are $75 in advance (before October 1)and $85 at the door. Checks can be made payable to Artisan Discovery Foundation. Join us...we'll be there for fun, food and music!

This morning, we were honored to attend the Habitat For Humanity "Faith, Our Blueprint For Building" Annual Breakfast at Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor (! Attorney Maureen Crush, president of Habitat in Newburgh, presided over a gathering of hundreds of enthusiastic supporters! Habitat has rehabilitated many homes for local residents, and has a goal of producing fifty renovations, or new homes in the city of Newburgh in the next five years...thus far, they have provided 305 local residents with beautiful new homes to replace the decaying accommodations in which their families were forced to exist previously! It is truly an extraordinary organization, one that should be wholeheartedly supported by all of us in the community!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The clock starts on "36 Hours"!

"36 Hours", the movie, is now on the move! We are waiting on confirmation on talent commitment to continue the packaging and financing process. A number of 'names' are being tossed around, ranging from Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Mark Wallberg, and Jeremy local talent home-grown right here in the Hudson Valley!

While no firm commitments have yet been received by Willy-Gilly Productions (and our partners at Raj Productions of Middletown), the principals are most confident that those confirmations will be forthcoming in the near future! The preliminary budget, set at ten million dollars, may increase significantly before all the players join the parade!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Do it, don't talk about it!

Where is the money? Never mind the votes...where is the money? Are we supposed to hold our breath until after the election? Where is the American spirit of entrepreneurial endeavor? We hear talk all day long about jobs, jobs, and TV production (and post-production) generates the most jobs in the quickest time: 100-150 jobs per million dollars spent! Furthermore, for every dollar spent on a production, four to five dollars are generated in the community! This is not pie-in-the-sky...these are the facts!

What's more, these jobs are sustainable and are non-exportable. With eighty percent of all recorded entertainment sold in the world being made in America, it is incumbent that we make hay while the sun shines! (We're sure all you farmers will understand that...and we're not talking Farmville here!) While the sun has set on America's popularity abroad in general, American entertainment has never been more popular! But, if you want the money and the jobs here, then the money that's here has to show itself! You can't get into the game if you don't ante up!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Let's play catch-up!

Yesterday, the Orange County Tourist Board held its annual meeting; in attendance were all of the local PR firms, as well as other advertisers and promoters of Orange County as a tourist destination. The meeting was held at scenic Arrow Park...if you haven't gone there, you definitely should!

The meeting was conducted by Susan Hawvermill, with special guest Cindy Perman of CNBC's weblog, "Pony In Here Somewhere". Cindy is also the author of "Curious New York", a humorous book about the oddities and idiosyncrasies all around us here in New York State. Her quirky and rapid-fire style was very inspiring to those in attendance who believe that the Hudson Valley at large (and specifically Orange County) has something extremely unusual and unique to offer! Her readers are, for the most part, well-read and educated, predominately financial types. (Lord knows we could use the money here!) It was both enlightening and enjoyable!

This morning, we traveled to another part of the county for a manufacturer's roundtable at Mount St. Mary's College. (That's right, film and video are considered manufactured products in New York!) The morning session was conducted by Dr. Bill Daggett, CEO of the International Center For Leadership In Education, an organization committed to raising American educational standards. While the information he shared with us was disturbing, it was in no way a surprise. America is in deep trouble when it comes to our overall education!

According to Dr. Dagget the prescription for raising America's standings in the world (we rank 29th overall), is to engage our young very early on in content that entertains (i.e. TV and video games, etc.) and educate to a purpose, which is not necessarily going to school! Stating that the mandate is now geared toward college and career, and that the reading skills required are much higher than in previous decades, it behooves us to look at how we can use entertainment to more effectively get the message across. It seems that we have chosen the path of least resistance to get where it's taken us, which is to focus on making it easier for the teachers to teach, rather than making it easier for the student to learn. We will definitely be talking to this guy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

O Fraptious Day!

"36 Hours" may not seem like a lifetime, but it's taken a lifetime to get here! The new film, currently in development by Raj Productions (under the watchful eye of Willy Gilly Productions) is on track to secure major talent, through their best efforts, and begin the pre-production process. The film, about a jihadist plot to kidnap the next projected Pope, is expected to begin shooting sometime later this fall with a major cast (including a superstar). Currently budgeted at about ten million dollars, the producers are looking forward to making the film right here in the Hudson Valley, providing hundreds of jobs for local residents!

In the meantime, Broadway has received "Grace" (at least in preview)! We are looking forward to attending the opening of the play later this month. Longtime friend and David Wilson's former co-star (The Bronx Zoo) Ed Asner is back on stage for the first time in awhile! We are sure he's doing a great job! Everybody get your tickets at the Cort Theatre; the play also stars Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon! Word is on the street that "Grace" is one of top three Broadway plays to see this season!

On another front, "Collar" has been selected to be featured at the Beacon Film Festival in February! We will be meeting with them to discuss the presentation of the film and also the possibility of staging a new live production at the Beacon Theatre. Things are happenin' in the HV!

Also, we met with Congresswoman Nan Hayworth at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce Breakfast this morning. While there, we received a firm commitment from Rep. Hayworth to promote and support entertainment development and production throughout the region, and to stand for the re-instatement of IRC Rule 181c, tax deductions for independent film and TV production. Ironically, that package of tax benefits was dropped from the Jobs Act this past spring, with a promise to revisit and vote on specific elements later this year. Now it appears that HR 5793 is stuck in limbo, with no action scheduled in the near future. However, that bill, which being sponsored by Rep. Dryer of California, and specifically the film tax breaks for independents, has been vehemently opposed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the major networks.

The bill, originally intended to stop production from leaving the US, has resulted in spawning huge financial incentives throughout the lower 48 states, leaving California high and dry. New York, currently ranked number two in US production, stands to lose a significant number of independent films and programs if things stand as they are. This can mean the loss of tens of thousands of jobs here in our state, owing to the fact that this deduction is critical to potential investors!

With the elections on the horizon, stay tuned...because it means so much to the future of film in our county, our region and our state!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Get a AAA rating!

Acting Anyone Academy commences classes this week for adults, youths and young adults! Beginner's Level 1 Adult Class starts tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 18th, at 7:30pm. Learn the basic Meisner Technique, that you can apply in any endeavour. Youth classes (ages 8-11) begin Thursday the 20th at 5pm. Our young adult classes will be starting Saturday the 22nd at 10am (for Level 1) and at noon (for Level 2), followed by a young master's class at 2pm! Become a complete actor, using the finest, healthiest technique for developing your craft!

On the production front, Willy Gilly will sign contracts this week to begin shooting "Chasing G", the new reality series with a twist! After scouting locations last week, we can safely say this will be one reality show you won't want to miss!

Meanwhile, the feature film "36 Hours" is moving forward with principal casting; we have contacted big-name talent (TBA) on both coasts to secure the players necessary to make this budget work, and deliver great performances! Yo can't have one without the other!

After last week's Hollywood box office debacle (the lowest in years), it might be time for a wake-up call to put better product on the screen and stop living in a comic-book world! To that end, congratulations to Paul Thomas Anderson and the Weinstein Company for the film "The Master", which broke all records for one-week take per house: an eye-popping $730,000 in just FIVE theaters! Now that's what we're talking about...!

We'll be back tomorrow to announce where and when you can see us live on the stage in a revival of a Broadway production (TBA), so stay tuned! Also, thanks to Bruce Roman at the Creative Theatre/Muddy Waters Players in Monroe for inviting us to see their production of "The Drowsy Chaperone", a wild and wacky live performance that we thoroughly enjoyed! Kudos to Bruce and the cast!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hear ye, hear ye, one and all!

Level 1 is coming! Tuesday night, September 18th, from 7:30-9:30, Willy Gilly will be holding a NEW Acting Anyone Adult Level 1 class!

For all those interested, spaces are limited. Open registration will be tomorrow from 10am to 2pm at the Willy Gilly offices, 222 Greenwich Avenue in Goshen, New York. The registration is for any and all classes and to meet with Mr. Wilson, but we will be starting the Level 1 classes on Tuesday nights.

Level 1 teaches the basic technique of the Meisner Method of acting, and will assist anyone who deals with the public in forwarding their communications skills! Whether you are interested in a career in stage, screen or TV, increasing your retail sales or telecommunications skills, the tools you acquire in the first level will give you an edge, and will positively impact your efforts! If you are a public speaker, running for office, or just interested in dealing with your own personal shyness in a crowd, come and join us to see how you can open greater possibilities in whatever may be your chosen field...and life in general!

For our younger talents, we will be having Youth classes (ages 8-11) on Thursday afternoons from 5 to 6pm. The starting classes will be posted next week...stay tuned! Our young adult classes (ages 12-17) will commence a week from tomorrow; check in with us for your section. Classes run from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Darn the torpedoes...full speed ahead!

Oops! We missed a great opportunity to exhibit at the Orange County Expo yesterday! Held at Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor, this year's show seems to have been a gigantic success! Yesterday afternoon, we attended as visitors and enjoyed a number of the booths, including K-Bear, a joint venture of Port Jervis businessman Joe Spina, Carl and Jackie Lentoni, and Chris Scibelli, owner of the Keller Williams franchise in Goshen, where we hold many of our workshops.

K-Bear is a new importer of eucalyptus-oil products that range from industrial cleaners to liniments and lotions. It looks like a really exciting opportunity for people to enjoy the benefits of working with truly organic products! Congratulations, guys! There were several hundred businesses represented at the Expo; we're sorry to say we weren't one of them...but we will be next year! Hats off to the Orange County Chamber of Commerce for putting on a great event!

On another front, things are charging forward on our new reality show, "Chasing G"! Based on a local businessman and his daily workaday life, it will be unlike any other "reality show" you've ever seen...this is one to watch!

Also, we will be attending tomorrow night's opening of "The Drowsy Chaperone" at the Muddy Waters Theatre as guests of producer Bruce Roman! We are looking to use the theatre, after his season ends in November, to stage a brand-new production, to be announced.

In regard to "36 Hours", we are in the process of closing name-above-the-line talent to secure our funding package and begin pre-production ASAP, which could be as early as next month! We are also awaiting word on the finalization of the major funding for the production of six films over the next three years. The work is here, the jobs are coming...stay tuned to this space!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lights, camera, action 101!

Willy Gilly Productions swings into gear with its production training program! Next Thursday, September 20th from 2:30 to 4:30pm, all those interested in learning about, and training for, behind-the-camera or behind-the-scenes work is invited to come join us! The program will begin with seminar training about the different departments and jobs available within them. Additionally, you will learn the communications skills required to facilitate full participation in this "team" endeavour. The tools that you will acquire can be applied in virtually every walk of life. It is no accident that all major corporations in the US have been studying production paradigms for decades. It is a rare opportunity to gain training in America's number one growth industry!

Beyond the classroom, individuals enrolled in the coursework will be given the opportunity for on-the-job mentoring on a Willy Gilly production! We are currently completing funding for six films, two plays and two reality TV shows...all of which will be open for hiring later this year! The full course is twenty hours of classroom (two hours per week) and twelve hours on the job prior to placement.

For more information about enrollment, contact us at (845) 294-7500 or

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Hudson Valley...really?

No, not really...reality! Willy Gilly Productions and local businessman Gary Corts have come to a preliminary agreement for developing and producing a brand new half-hour reality TV show, centered around Mr. Corts and his enterprise, to be shot entirely in the HV! Although we can't disclose the exact nature of the content at this time, rest assured it will NOT look like any other reality show out there!

Both Mr. Corts and the principals of Willy Gilly share a deep commitment to God and community, so you can count on seeing the truth in reality, perhaps for the first time on TV! The program, called "Chasing G", is in pre-production now; the cameras begin rolling later this month.

In the meantime, plans continue to develop around the production of a slate of films, on a much larger scale. A funding proposal for fifty millions dollars to finish production on six new films is in the hands of an international financing group. Things look very favorable going forward; we anticipate completing principal photography on at least two of these films before the end of the year!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lou Grant's amazing grace!

Old friend Ed Asner returns to the New York stage this month, along with Paul Rudd, in "Grace", a new comedy about an evangelical who has a vision of a chain of "holy motels"! Sounds like it could be fun! Speaking with Ed yesterday, he expressed his trepidation about returning to Broadway after such a long stint away, but we know from having worked with Ed on "The Bronx Zoo", that he is a consummate professional and an American acting treasure. We are looking forward to getting together with him at the Cort Theatre later this month. Previews begin on the 13th of September...don't miss this one. We certainly won't!

On the "Collar" front, negotiations are underway to finish a soundtrack album. We are looking for a release to coincide with "Collar" the novel, and the re-launch of the film early next month. If you missed the premeire, you'll have a chance to see it again when it goes into broader release in October! Meanwhile, plans are moving ahead to get into production of the new film "Shadow's Serenade". This coming-of-age film is primed for a late fall startup, followed shortly by this winter's production of "A Hustler's Life", scheduled to resume filming early in 2013.

In the midst of all this filming activity, there are plans to set up a revival production of one of David Wilson's early successes. Willy-Gilly is looking for an appropriate venue to stage a revival of the play that launched David's career four decades ago!

Last evening's Acting Anyone workshop was well-attended. We are constantly pleased to find so many talented and committed individuals who step forward to participate in America's number one commodity: entertainment! We were recently told that America has an addiction to entertainment; if that's true, than the rest of the world is addicted, too! Even though recent reports show that summer box office was down four percent from 2011, first-run home viewing and on-line rentals of American film and TV product has jumped once again by double digits. The sky's the limit...America's wants movies, and we're making them!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Willy-Gilly's comin' to town!

Today Willy-Gilly scouted locations in the Middletown Business Improvement District for a potential home for the Acting Anyone Academy. Some locations discussed were the TD Bank Building, Mongomery Ward and the Thompson Building, all of which are under the control of the Middletown Common Council. Willy Gilly has a well-known commitment to bringing more production and media to the local environment. They would also very much like to include the Paramount Theatre sans current management.

Aside from the inept handling of much of the business surrounding the world premiere of "Collar" -- which was a resounding success -- the Paramount management has been derelict in filling the facility with quality events, having used it a total of 32 days so far in 2012. There remains also a major concern over the whereabouts of the alleged state-of-the-art digital projection and sound system, paid for out of the Orange County IDA treasury; it has failed to materialize in the six months since its authorization. (These are your tax dollars not at work, and we want to know why.) To paraphrase the Bard, something stinks in the city of Middletown. Willy-Gilly believes they can do much better in managing and utilizing this historic movie house.

A reminder: Willy Gilly is conducting a FREE workshop at Keller Williams, 2004 Route 17M (corner of South Street) in Goshen from 7:30 to 9pm tomorrow (Thursday). There will be refreshments and all kinds of information about what's coming, and how you can be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities which will abound! Mark our words!

Monday, September 3, 2012

New month, new look!

Starting today, here's a fresh new look for the Willy-Gilly blog...and for Willy-Gilly as well!

Check us out EVERY DAY! TODAY AT WILLY-GILLY will have the newest information on what's going on at WILLY-GILLY...the Hudson Valley's most dynamic creator and producer of film and television content!

And if you don't catch us here...check us out on Facebook, Twitter...and in your own EMail box!

TODAY AT WILLY-GILLY...make it your first stop on the web!