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Performing Arts

Lights, Camera, Action – From A SUNY Campus

film set

The school year is gearing to start-up again and with the end of the summer comes the end of the summer blockbuster movie season. But that doesn’t mean SUNY is cutting ties with it’s relationship to film. Here at SUNY you can learn about movies, learn how to write movies, and learn how to film them. A wide number of SUNY schools allow you to study all aspects of film, at a variety of levels. But did you know SUNY’s relationship with film is not just through study? A number of studio, student and independent films have been filmed on SUNY campuses! In fact, earlier this year it was announced that actor Ron Perlman was locating a film production company to the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries at SUNY Poly.

With more to come in the future, let’s look at just a few major film productions that have been filmed in and around a SUNY campus. Which is your favorite?



The Departed

Filmed in part on the SUNY Maritime campus, The Departed, a Martin Scorsese film staring Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon was released in 2006. This film was a remake of the earlier 2002 Hong Kong film, Internal Affairs. In this version set in Boston, two men, one working for the Boston police, the other for an Irish Mob, infiltrate the other’s organization. It quickly becomes apparent to both sides that they have a mole in their midst and they must hurry to discover one another before they themselves are caught. This gritty American crime drama, an Oscar winner for Best Picture, Director, and Writing, is definitely worth a view.


The_Amazing_Spiderman_2_posterThe Amazing Spider-Man 2

Also filmed in part on the SUNY Maritime Campus, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was the much anticipated sequel to the comic reboot. Starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, this movie was released in 2014. Praised for it’s special effects and excellent casting, this movie shows Peter Parker go head to head with his most formidable enemy yet, OsCorp. Although the franchise was cancelled in order to bring Spider-Man in to Marvel’s expanding cinematic universe, fans of this particular iteration of Spider-Man will remember the film fondly.



The Rewrite

Filmed and set in large part at Binghamton University, The Rewrite is truly a delightful watch for Binghamton alumni. Staring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei, this film was not only shot on a SUNY campus, but written and directed by SUNY Alum Marc Lawerence!  The story focuses a washed-up British screenwriter (Hugh Grant) who begins teaching a screenwriting course at Binghamton University and learns something about himself.




In this film, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) goes on the run after a Russian spy accuses her of being a double agent. Although at first her boss refuses to believe it, her actions quickly begin to raise doubts. Many begin to wonder, just who is Evelyn Salt?

In an early scene from the movie, you can see the parking garage of the SUNY System Administration building in Albany. But Albany was just playing the stunt double for Washington DC, where this scene takes place.


Bonus: HBO’s Girls

An episode of the popular HBO TV series Girls was filmed at SUNY New Paltz in 2014. Students and staff at SUNY New Paltz were even cast as extras in the episode, getting a first hand look at the technical production of a hit television series.


Written by Kay Broughton

Kay is a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media. She is a University at Albany undergraduate working towards a double major in English and East Asian studies with a double minor in communications and film.

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