PKGO Getters

PKGO Getters are events are meant to inspire members of our community while celebrating those who are working hard to continue to make Poughkeepsie a thriving, and growing city.

Past Events

PKGO Getters Featuring A Panel Discussion with HBO – November 4th, 2019

On November 6th, 2019 we came together for an evening of film and fun as students from The Art Effect interviewed members of the production team from HBO’s upcoming series “I Know This Much Is True,” filmed here in Poughkeepsie.  We heard from professionals what it’s like to work in film and what it takes to make it in the industry.  The night also featured screenings of short films produced by Poughkeepsie youth, use the links below to check them out!

Meet the Panel

Marshall Johnson (Assistant Unit Production Manager) was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He began his career in film production by working as an unpaid intern on a movie that was never released. Throughout the ensuing 15 years, he has worked on a number of films and television series including Blue Valentine, Place Beyond the Pines, Beasts of No Nation and You Were Never Really Here. 

Rita Powers (Extras Casting Director) was a SAG agent who has worked in the industry for many years placing talent in everything from Broadway to national commercials, films, television shows, voice- overs, print advertisements, as well as feature and independent films. Rita was the casting director for the critically acclaimed “Half Nelson”, and the 2011 production of “Musical

Chairs” with Academy Award winning Director Susan Seidelman. Based in Tribeca, Ms. Powers has been surrounded by influential producers and casting directors. Since 2003 Rita Powers Casting Group has been working on casting projects for principle, featured and background talent.

Nicholas Pray (Assistant Location Manager) is a child of film crews. His mother is a set decorator; his father is a best boy-grip; and his uncles are costume designers. He grew up in LA on the sets of Surviving the Game, Jerry Maguire, Blade, and many more, before moving to New York in 1999. His first internship was with Magnolia Pictures in 2008 and he graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Art Photography in 2013, working in the Locations Department for film and TV ever since.

Nicholas has worked on projects including Bridge of Spies, The Knick Season 1 & 2, Paterson, You Were Never Really Here and most recently on the Poughkeepsie-based HBO production of I Know This Much Is True. When Nicholas is not working full time, he is writing and producing his own short films and feature films with friends and fellow collaborators. A short film he co-wrote and produced entitled The Hungry was recently selected for the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival. He is currently writing his first short film that he will direct himself.

Steve Grivno (Location Manager) was born and raised in Southern California and attended NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education for Media, Culture, and Communication. Preferring hands-on media production after graduation, he found work location scouting for low-budget indie projects through his film school friends. Since 2006 he has continued as a location scout and manager, working with various networks, studios, and streaming services. Most recently he was the location manager for HBO’s limited series “I Know This Much Is True” in the Hudson Valley. 

Jeff Bernstein (Producer) was born and raised in New York. He attended The Ohio State University. He began his career in film production almost 30 years ago as a production assistant and has a long history working on successful films and TV shows such as The Sopranos, Divorce, Daredevil, Julie and Julia and Forrest Gump. He recently finished production on the upcoming HBO limited series I Know This Much Is True which was filmed here in the Hudson Valley.

Kim Dang (Assistant to Producer) was born in Germany and raised in Switzerland. She went to Zurich University to study film and mathematics. After a career in academia, she decided to start over in film production. She has been working for the last 4 years on movies and TV shows as production assistant, production manager and assistant to producers, including Bushwick, Wildlife, Wormwood, 2nd Act, The Dead Don’t Die or Lost Girls. She also produced a tiny indie movie called Everything is Wonderful.

Student Films

Below is a synopsis of each film shown at the event accompanied by a link that can be used to watch the films again.


Runtime: 07:03

Based on a true story, The Lockdown tells the tale of two friends who have grown apart who become trapped in the locker room after an ominous warning.


Runtime: 03:29

A young man struggles with his mental health, family life, and academic performance while issues like loss, grief, and addiction threaten to tear him apart. 


Runtime: 4:20

Individuation is a formation of the Self (the whole personality) as a result of the union between the conscious and unconscious mind through dreams, revealing the unrecognized parts of our psyches to help us become whole and gain insight into the wonderful complexity of dreams.


Runtime: 5:31

What happens when the child becomes the parent? In this look at intergenerational trauma and battles against addiction, a therapist trying to help his young patient recalls his own past struggles.


Runtime: 1:03

In this experimental short, a sense of space and place are constructed through creative camera work, giving us fresh eyes onto the imaginative possibilities inside an ordinary errand to the laundromat. 

PKGO Getter featuring Jessica O. Matthews – April 4th, 2019

On April 4th, 2019 we got a chance to host our first PKGO Getters event and hold an interview with Jessica O, Matthews, Founder & CEO of Uncharted Power. This event also included performances fro the Poughkeepsie High School Chorus and Step Team, as well as, a time to honor the Poughkeepsie High School Boys Basketball team with the first ever PKGO Getters award for their State Championship win. Check out this video to see Natalie Quinn’s interview with Jessica.

For more videos of the night’s events head over to our youtube channel!

Check out the podcast covering our first PKGO Getters event featuring Jessica O. Matthews, and discussing the power of play with members of our community.
Thank you to the Art Effect for creating our first PKGO Podcast!