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BeHoLD the Winners

The six local filmmakers of BeHoLD Pictures are making their mark on the local film industry. As the winner of Best Film in this year’s Buffalo 48 Hour Film Project and being voted the Audience Favorite in 2007, they will be competing in the National 48 Hour Film Project this fall.
“We’ve got great gear and great people and we know how to make a movie,” said Jordan Lema, the director of photography.
The group also includes Drew Boeing, writer; Aaron Bourker, production manager and producer; Dave Dutchess, director; Jason Holler, editor; and Dave Lesinski, best boy. Each of them grew up in Buffalo and attended college here, except for Bourke who moved here three years ago from Maine after attending college in Long Island.
The group connected to form BeHoLD Pictures through previously being friends, attending Canisius College and/or working at Full Circle Studios. “I almost sat this one out this year and they pulled me in, and I’m glad,” said Dave Lesinski.
“BeHoLD, I think someone told us after the fact, that I am really upset about, is similar to what N Sync did,” said Jason Holler, explaining that BeHoLD represents the first letter of their last names, with and ‘e’ and an ‘o’ in each last name as well.
“It was a bad idea we came up with after staying up all night. It dates back to the last 48 Hour Film Festival,” said Boeing.
The 48 Hour Film Project has competitions in several cities, where the winners all compete in a final competition. In 48 hours, the teams need to make a film involving a genre, a prop, a character and a line of dialogue that is given to them.
“The strength of our team is that everyone brought their own kind of creativity to the process and took on a role we predetermined ahead of time,” Boeing said. “We all knew going in what we had to bring to the project and take on once we got rolling. It’s a creative process where you need to solve problems on the fly, in 48 hours. You don’t have time to overly plan; you’ve kind of got to be in the moment and problem solve.”
Telling of problems that have occurred in the past, Aaron Bourke explained their time-crunching dilemma in their first competition. “We had a desktop computer and five of us crammed into a PT Cruiser, with the computer hooked up to the cigarette lighter and a converter to burn the final copy. Going 80 MPH down the 190, we got there with five minutes to spare.”
Boeing added, “There is a certain amount of luck involved in doing a movie in 48 hours. We don’t win Best Film if all our stars don’t align.”
This year’s competition wasn’t short of obstacles either. Boeing said, “Come Saturday morning, if your actors don’t show up, it’s good to have someone with a list of people we can call.” Luckily for them, when their main actress didn’t show, Dave Lesinski had that list. “We ended up with an actual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) actress, Tracey B. Wilson. She was in town magically,” said Boeing.
“She gets here, reads it and literally didn’t screw up her lines once. It was amazing that she could get here and help us out like that,” said Holler.
Both of their films feature Buffalo landmarks, and they look forward to showcasing Buffalo in the national competition. “Why not show the prettiest places around?” asked Lema. “You might as well go to the waterfront and parks, and take advantage of Buffalo’s nice architecture.”
Holler chimed in with, “There are a lot of faces to Buffalo, the industrial side and the architecture. There is no hard way to shoot something in Buffalo.”
In addition to viewing their films from their website, www.beholdpictures.com, you can catch it on television also. “Our film, along with two others, will be aired on WNED next spring before the next festival,” said Dutchess. “It will be broadcast in Buffalo and Ontario, so we get a lot more exposure.”
Dutchess also recently submitted their film to the Sundance Film Festival. “We are a long-shot submission to Sundance,” said Lema. “But we believe that the only way to accomplish things is to try and try again. If we don’t try, we have a zero percent chance at accomplishing our goals.”
In the future, they hope to work on a project together without time constraints. “Ultimately, we all just have a great time. Although it is work, it doesn’t feel like work. So, I’m sure at some point we’ll collectively come together and work on—if not a feature—a short story,” said Boeing.
“A good budget and talented actors will be pivotal to our success,” explained Lema. “We are currently kicking around some fund raising ideas, but would love the aid of some wealthy benefactor with a soft spot for film making.”

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