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The Buffalo Niagara Film Commission

The Buffalo Niagara region is
comprised of beautiful landscapes, rich culture and friendly people.
Buffalonians know this. But so do numerous film and television directors and
producers. In 2009 alone, the film, television and commercial projects that utilized
the region totaled 469 production days.

The Buffalo Niagara Film
Commission
, managed by Regional Film Commissioner Tim Clark, is responsible
for the promotion of the area in addition to the coordination of various requirements
for production crews.

Clark’s job includes multiple
roles. One primary focus is the marketing of the eight counties that the
Buffalo Niagara region encompasses. According to Clark, the Film Commission is
very proactive in its promotional efforts. The Film Commission already has advertisements
in production guides and magazines. Each year, Clark participates in trade shows and studio meetings in
order to attract executives to Western New York. When time and the budget had
allowed, he has attended the Toronto International and Sundance Film Festivals.
 

The Film Commission’s website
is presently being updated. Clark also encourages potential clients to consider
that films and television shows that shoot in Buffalo can apply for the NYS Film Production
Tax Credit
. If eligible, productions can receive a tax credit to cover 10%
of a company’s expenditures. 

The Film Commission is
constantly receiving requests from directors seeking a particular location that
will match the vision for their movie or show. Clark travels to Buffalo Niagara
locations on a daily basis to photograph potential settings for prospective
clients.

Another aspect of Clark’s role
as film commissioner is to help production crews with the practical logistics
of filming in WNY.  After a movie or
television show has decided to utilize the Buffalo Niagara region, it is
Clark’s responsibility to arrange a variety of services, which includes
everything from temporarily closing down a street for filming purposes to
recommending a good restaurant.

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Each production company chooses
which Buffalo businesses it will use and support. However, the Buffalo Niagara
Film Commission does partner with the Buffalo
Niagara Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
(CVB) and the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
to offer prime hotel locations and other necessities for non-local crews. Although
he does not employ a staff, Clark does work in conjunction with the CVB and the
Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development.  

Clark has assisted with
numerous movies, but in his four years as film commissioner, he’s also been
involved in the production of many tv shows, catalog photo shoots, commercials
and music videos all shot in Buffalo. According to Clark, a large number of
accomplished directors have scouted Buffalo Niagara locations, which is
probably something people would not expect.

The Buffalo Niagara Film
Commission worked closely with the production crew of the comedy Henry’s Crime. The film, which stars
Keanu Reeves, was shot in locations including Kenmore, the Niagara Falls State
Park and the city of Buffalo. The
Film Commission assisted with many aspects of the movie, including arranging
the complicated authorization in filming in some underground tunnels.

theoffice-buffalo-ny.jpg 

The Buffalo Niagara region has
become a popular area in which to film. In 2009, the Film Commission assisted
with NBC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
and the wedding episode of The Office.
Other movies included Unstoppable
(starring Denzel Washington) and the Peter McGennis film Queen City. The Film Commission was also involved in the production
of television shows including VH1’s TRANSform
Me
and the Travel Channel’s Food Wars.
In total for 2009, there were 4 studio films, 9 independent films and various
television shows shot in the region, according to Clark.

Clark says several feature
films have already arranged to shoot in Buffalo in 2010. The movie Nicholas of Myra, which is being filmed entirely in WNY, is currently in
production.

Buffalo Niagara Film Commission | 617 Main Street, Suite 200 | Buffalo, NY 14203

First Image: ABC Television crews shoot
opening sequence shots for “Extreme Makeover – Home Edition” on the
steps of Buffalo’s city hall.

Second Image: Crews from Television
Network VH1 traveled to Buffalo last fall to shoot an episode of their reality
series “TRANSform Me.” The crew spent 3 days shooting here on Elmwood
Avenue, Delaware Avenue and Franklin Street.

Third Image: Actress Jenna Fischer
kisses actor John Krasinski in the one hour wedding special of NBC’s
“The Office” which was shot at Niagara Falls last summer. The extras
that surround them are locals from Buffalo who were paid for their appearance.

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