Rochester / Finger Lakes Film Commission

Rochester, New York

Rochester is home to many outstanding world leaders in image technology and scholarship, including Eastman Kodak, Xerox Corporation, Bausch & Lomb, International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, American Video Institute, Visual Studies Workshop and many more. The George Eastman House holds one of the world’s largest collections of archival films and is renowned for state-of-the-art film preservation technology. Almost 100 Fortune 500 companies do business in Rochester today, and with $15 billion in annual exports, the Rochester area accounts for 40% of New York’s total output, ahead of all but 11 states.

This concentration of activity has made Rochester one of the largest, most active film & video production centers on the East Coast. With its numerous sound stages, post production facilities, fully equipped grip companies and large pool of experienced crew, Rochester has more production-related businesses than its three Upstate neighbors-Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany combined. At the same time, costs for goods and services remain low; Rochester has the third lowest cost of living in the nation when compared to 14 other comparable cities.

Rochester is convenient to all the major production centers in the East, a short distance from both Manhattan and Toronto, within overnight truck delivery zones from Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Detroit and Pittsburgh.

General Information/ Demographic Data

Rochester is New York State’s third largest city; SMSA population is just over one million.

It is located in the Western half of the state, on the south shore of Lake Ontario, halfway between Buffalo and Syracuse.

The Genesee River runs through the center of the City, and the 96-foot high Upper Falls are within walking distance of Main Street. Within a 499-mile radius are 12 northeastern states, the nation’s capital and the two most populated Canadian Provinces.

Finger Lakes Region

The Rochester/Finger Lakes Film & Video Office serves 17 counties of Central and Western New York, covering some of the most beautiful, richly varied territory in the United States. Known for its spectacular waterfalls and gorges (downtown Rochester itself straddles the 96 ft. Upper Falls) the Finger Lakes is also the 2nd largest wine producing region in the country; its steeply sloping vineyards and clear blue lakes make it ideal for doubling the picturesque wineries and lush grape-growing valleys of Europe.

The region is equally rich in historic towns and 19th Century architecture, with an abundance of picturesque hamlets and harbors. Villages like Skaneateles, Hammondsport, Pultneyville, Angelica and Bath transport the visitor to the quaint country and seaside atmosphere of the last century.

There are a variety of specialty attractions as well, like a working steam railroad, a fully restored 19th century village/living museum, a Grand Prix race course and one of the worlds largest collections of fully operational WWII era warplanes. Old world wineries dot the hillsides, while unique Art Deco and Modernist structures abound in some of the larger centers like Syracuse and Elmira. Locations ranging from stately mansions to historic districts and high tech city centers can be found in Rochester and in the lovely cities and towns of the Finger Lakes. The area abounds with beautiful rambling farms and mills, and of course this is horse country. The Geneseo Hunt Club in Livingston Country hosts the oldest, traditional English-style foxhunt in the country. We have a location for every type of shoot.