It’s not very often that a big Hollywood production comes to our region.  But, that’s exactly what’s happening right now.  Switchback is the name of a movie being produced in the North Country. 

Executive Producer, Lori Bailey explains, “We’re up here in the North Country to film a movie, titled Switchback, which is the history of this area.  The mining history, in particular, and the takeover of the unions and the dissolve of that industry, and the dangers of that industry.    

Bailey said although it sounds like it could be a documentary film, it is not. 

“I’ll say it’s a dark drama because there’s 3 generations of people that we follow here, and they do all perish, as you would in that industry, said Bailey.

E.J. Snyder, an actor best known for his role in Naked and Afraid has a leading role in the film.      

“It’s a great story.  It’s a period piece, the 1930’s about the mining industry and how brutal it was and the collapse of it.  Such a great story,” said Snyder.  “I’m playing the role of Seamus Lafferty, and Irish miner.   It’s a very pivotal role in the beginning of the movie.  I won’t give much away, but it sets the stage for everything.”

If the movie plot seems familiar, that’s because Bailey also produced the 2010 film, Mineville.  That film, set in 1930’s and 1940’s, also in upstate, New York, tells the stories of small-town mining families and their struggles.  Switchback will end up being a prequel to Mineville. 

“I would actually say it’s more of a prequal.  Sequel would have continued past the 1930’s and 40’s after unionization and the dissolving of the mines.  So, this is prior to that, more of a 20’s into 30’s, where they really were working hard in the industry, dangers of going underground.  So, it’s more of a prequel than a sequel,” said Bailey.

No movie would be complete without a bad guy, right?  That’s where actor, Shane Lewis, comes in. 

“I play the main bad guy.  I’m Charles Weston, who is the owner of a steel company.  I’m just a nasty, nasty, early 1900’s aristocrat. Everybody’s beneath me.  It’s amazing.  I love playing bad guys. I love creating characters,” said Lewis.

The crew starts filming the movie on Saturday.  It will take about 3 weeks to film all the scenes.   Bailey said she hopes the film will be released within a year. 

If you are interested in getting involved, there are still lots of opportunities for extras and crew.  You can e-mail Joel Oman at