New Film to be Shot in Port Henry

An independent filmmaker who grew up here in the North Country is coming back home this fall to shoot a new movie. Lori Bailey filmed her last movie, on serial killer Robert Garrow in Essex County 5 years ago, and before that she filmed the movie “Mineville” that was released back in 2010. This fall she’s going to shoot a sequel to “Mineville” titled “Switchback” based on the rise & fall of the iron ore mining industry in Norther New York in the 1930s.Two ofthe actors who were part of the Garrow cast are returning, Mark Valley & Jay-Alan Christianson, they’ll be joined by actor E.J. Snyder who stars in the Discovery Channel series “Naked & Afraid”.

Bailey is looking for locals to be in the movie, and is holding a casting call next Saturday, September 23rd from 11-4 at the Hancock House Museum in Ticonderoga. Tandem Cage Productions plans to film the new “Switchback” movie this fall in October & November in and around Moriah & Port Henry.

Official Casting Call:

Tandem Cage Productions LLC is proud to announce that it will be producing the
feature film SWITCHBACK. A period piece that examines the rise and fall of the
Iron Ore Mining Industry in upstate New York. Pre and post Unionization. Circa

The production company will be filming in and around the Adirondack Park
region of New York state in October and November of 2023.

An open casting call will be held on: Saturday, September 23rd, from 11:00 AM –
4:00PM at: The Hancock House Museum ( LOWER LEVEL ) Ticonderoga N.Y.
The following roles are available.

*MEN of all ages to play Iron Miners ( some speaking roles and some as
background players)
*Mrs. JENKINS (local store owner and neighbor)
*PADDY(Local Pub owner. A rugged man that no one should mess with)
*EXTRAs (Men and Women and children of all ages to play local town folks,
Congregation in the funeral scene. Wedding scene and Annual Festival scene)
*PAUL (Large speaking role. Best friend to Michael. Works in the mines. Hates
the Unions and hates his station in life)
*TOM O’Roarke (Immigrant mine worker. Large important role. Loses life in
mining accident. Father of Michael O’Roarke)
*MARY O’ROARKE: (Irish immigrant. Wife of Tom. Mother of Michael. Forced to
work for Weston’s after the death of her husband.)
*RICHIE O’ROARKE: (Brother of Michael. A quick wit and a bit of a pocket thief.
*VINCE (Speaking role. Works for Weston Company as a foreman. Friend of John

This film will feature actors; Deaken Bluman, Cade Guillory, Jay Alan-
Christianson, Mark Valley, Thomas Caifa, Bob O’Brien, Joel Plue, Kyra Bradford,
Lauren Gough and EJ Snyder of the wildly successful Discovery Channels
series; Naked and Afraid. EJ will be playing the role of Seamus Lafferty.

Here’s what EJ had to say;

“I am super excited to be joining the Cast and Crew of the feature film entitled,
“SWITCHBACK”. It’s an amazing story that I can’t wait to be a part of telling. I
will be playing the role of Seamus Lafferty… a Miner of Irish roots and the Best
Friend of Tom O’Roarke. The friendship they have is as solid as the Rocks they
mine. I feel so honored and privileged to lend my talent to this project. I also
bring with me the Star power of being the most recognized face, and voice on
the Discovery Channel, which I believe will help in promoting, and moving this
film along. Although I will be having an Irish Accent… my mug is unforgettable. I
am ready to hear just one thing now… “Action!” ~ EJ Snyder

Additional cast, crew and information about this film can be found on the website under the title SWITCHBACK.

Story Synopsis:
Based on actual events, SWITCHBACK is a dramatic period piece, set at the turn of the
century. This story will look at the rise and fall of the iron ore mining industry in New York
State. We will follow the lives of several Irish and Italian immigrant families and their struggles to survive the hardships of this dangerous and unregulated industry. Our story will often revolve around the hansom charismatic Michal O’Roarke and his pursuit for equality, justice, and safer working conditions for all immigrant workers.
SWITCHBACK has much to offer both thematically and visually. As a dramatic piece it offers
the viewer an exploration of the working classes of the past century that risked life and limb to build this country to what it is today. As an independent film it allows us the freedom to explore this subject with infinitely more realism and grit; an odyssey into the world of these immigrant miners whose lives hung precariously in the balance, with slim chance of seeing the light of another day. We can explore how these men and their families lived, their fear, terror, and claustrophobia as well as their courage, determination, and desperation. This is the story of bringing up iron ore from the belly of the earth, a fitting allegory to the industrial workers of this country who built the skeletal foundation of America.
Visually the film will give us a vibrant and photographically dazzling irony. The workplace these miners offer is a dark claustrophobic setting; amber lamps cutting meekly through the dark tunnels, graphic visuals of miners trudging forlornly down into the miles of underground catacombs – this was the life of the iron ore miner. And yet, outside, up under the sky, the landscape is one of stunning natural beauty; Lush forests, fern-strew fields and babbling brooks. What would it mean to be a child growing up amongst this splendor, only knowing a future of inevitably toiling in the bowels of the earth?

Our main character for SWITCHBACK offers us a sort of displaced perspective towards the
subject matter and locations of the film. The character of Michael O’Roarke does not want to work in the mines but knows he must live that doomed life if he is to survive. Michael sees and feels the injustice played upon the local immigrant miners, and yet feels powerless to do anything about it. Having witnessed his own father’s suffering and eventual death from black lung disease, Michael will ultimately choose to become an icon for the working classes of the industrial United States. Angry and justifiably so, Michael will battle the grave injustices of the avarice and greed of the ruthless business of a nation building itself. LKB
The story of SWITCHBACK is based on the lives of my family members that immigrated here
to America and worked in the Iron-ore mines of upstate New York.

“My father worked in the mines. His carbide lamp cutting meekly through the impenetrable
darkness. Owned by the company and controlled by fear, he was driven to provide for his family.
“This is the story of his life.”

Lori Kelly-Bailey