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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Film crew shoots in White Sulphur Springs

By Matt Shortall  - editor

The Shuroo Process was being filmed in Sullivan County last week and is expected to be released next summer.
Cast and crew for an upcoming movie, The Shuroo Process, were busy filming at the White Sulphur Springs Inn on Sunday, August 25. They were wrapping up some 12 days of shooting throughout Sullivan County and the Catskills.
Written by Emrhys Cooper and Donal Brophy, The Shuroo Process tells the story of a young freelance magazine writer living in New York City. “Frustrated with the pressures of a failing publishing world and a less than promising romantic life, she becomes infatuated by a wildly charismatic self-help guru which sends her on a journey of self improvement with catastrophic consequences,”
Cooper said he first got the idea for the film about two years ago while visiting his friend's farm, where the majority of the movie takes place. “Now we've come back here filming where the idea originally came from.”
Cooper is well known for his on-screen performances in Mamma Mia, Till We Meet Again and Person of Interest and CSI:NY.
He is making his directorial debut with The Shuroo Process and also appearing on screen as the character D'Arcy.
The film draws from some of his own experiences growing up around a culture of gurus, retreats and communes.
“There were a lot of charlatans who came into my mother and father's lives and they took a lot of money. My mother nearly died of a heart attack because a guru told her she no longer needed to take her high blood pressure medication. It was pretty horrific,” Cooper said. “There's a lot of people who have great gifts and abilities to help others, but there's also a lot of con artists who use people's vulnerability.”
Despite some of the serious themes the movie deals with, Cooper described the project as a “love letter to the Catskills” which attempts to capture some of the bucolic, almost mystical, beauty of the area.
“The locations are so picturesque and everyone has been super welcoming,” said Brophy, who in addition to co-writing the film also portrays the charismatic antagonist, Guru Shuroo. “What's interesting about this area is that it holds a certain fascination with people outside of America. They've seen old classic movies like Dirty Dancing and things about Woodstock. When we chose this location we wanted to piggyback on that wonderful lore that attracts people throughout America and abroad.”
The movie's production staff did a lot of work to turn the White Sulphur Springs Inn into Daddio Sugar's bar, which becomes the focus of a manic, drug-fueled scene during the movie.
Fiona Dourif, who has appeared in When We Rise and Blacklist, plays Parker Schafer, the seasoned journalist who finds herself drawn into the orbit of Guru Shuroo.
“Parker's journey is both funny and tragic, and I really like that about the character,” Dourif said. Currently based in Los Angeles (Ca.), Dourif is originally from Woodstock, New York and her father attended the original Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. “I have a great affinity for Woodstock.”
Hakeem Kae-Kazim, who has appeared in such works as Hotel Rawanda, Black Sails and 24, plays a character named Willie who gets involved with Guru Shuroo after working at the United Nations and experiencing personal tragedy.
“It's been a great way to spend a couple weeks in upstate New York,” Kae-Kazim said of the filming process.
The rest of the ensemble cast includes Tommy Dorfman from Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, Brad Dourif who received an Oscar nomination for his role in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Youtube Star Olivia Sui, Cornelia Guest from Twin Peaks, Taylor Bagely who has appeared in Vogue and other fashion magazines, as well as Lynn Mancinelli from The Price for Silence and Bad Frank.

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