On the local level, I recently noticed a York Film Office account sending out links about local movies on Twitter. This is just the latest sign of the area's growing interest in movie-making.
In August, The Prometheus Film Festival screened more than 50 films - from around the corner and around the world - at the York Little Theatre. And York has been the background for everything from locally produced music videos to full-length features.
Through the years, I've interviewed several directors and even visited a few movie sets. Most projects have ties to York County, but now the area is attracting film projects from other states.
Heather Ferreira of New York was recently shooting at Albright College in Reading. A hunt for a large bed and breakfast brought her to York, and she decided to shoot her new full-length project "The Revelation" in the city.
The catch: The story is set in Texas.
Ferreira said the movie is about a small town possessed by dark supernatural forces. Two folks from New York - a priest with psychological issues and an atheist with some secrets - head down to Texas to see if they can help.
"It's a lot more than they bargain for," Ferreira said.
The idea is intriguing, but I couldn't help wonder how Pennsylvania will look like Texas.
"The spires, the steeples, the skyline, the trees," Ferreira said of the aspects of York
that will translate well on film. "A lot of it is very flat. It looks like the heartland. There's no mistaking it."
But it often snows in this state during the winter. That doesn't happen too often in Texas.
Ferreira said that probably won't be an issue. She's been doing pre-production for about three months in New York and has been to York to film some test scenes. She's carefully selecting professional cast and crew, so she said filming likely won't commence until spring - after the threat of winter weather has passed.
In the meantime, she said she'll be busy with other projects, including three music videos. One is for a New York-based pop artist, and the others will be for her as a way to get her name out to labels. It will be a change of pace for Ferreira, who's usually behind the camera. But she said she's open to exploring all avenues of film to move her career forward.
Hollywood already came knocking once when Ferreira was a teen living in Covington, Ga. It didn't pound on her door, but kind of took over the town, she added.
Burt Reynolds, who was born in the area, brought studios to the state. "Dukes of Hazzard" and several other movies and TV shows were filmed in and around Covington. As a teen, Ferreira was working in a library and given a few cameos in the series "In the Heat of the Night," which ran from the late '80s to the early '90s.
"One day, I complained out loud that I wanted to learn what goes on behind (the camera)," she said. A cameraman heard her and gave her some pointers. Ferreira was hooked. She went to Hollywood for a time and worked at a talent agency by day and on creative projects by night.
In 2009, the New York Times profiled her and her struggles making ends meet as an aspiring director. At the time, she was working on a children's series. Now, Ferreira is studying at New York University. With a business partner, she's launched an independent production company, Sellino Films. "The Revelation" will be her third film.
Ferreira said York has been accommodating.
"It was a very nice shoot," she said of some initial takes. "Everyone was friendly. There are a lot of good locations."
She decided to shoot music videos in York because she felt good energy. She's looking for locals to get involved.
Judging from previous interest in movie and video shoots in the city, that shouldn't be a problem.
PopEye is a bi-weekly column focusing on the ever-changing landscape of popular culture. To reach writer Erin McCracken, call 717-771-2051 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to be in a video?
Heather Ferreira is planning to shoot three music videos in York. She is looking for locals who can dance and provide other talents in the videos. For details, contact email@example.com.
For details about Ferreira and her company Sellino Films, visit www.sellinofilms.com.
Write your own script
Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center and the Penn State York Theatre Program are sponsoring the fifth annual playwriting competition. It's open to all Penn State York students enrolled for 2012.
Original plays of 10 to 30 minutes are being accepted. Students can submit up to three scripts.
Contact English instructor and Penn State York Theatre Program director Stuart Stelly at 717-771-4185 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to submit enties.
Scripts will not be returned. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 15.
Prizes of $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place will be awarded, and scripts might be used for a production or reading by the Penn State York Theatre Program in spring 2013.