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Buffalo Cinematic Trust: Rallying Those In Our Film Industry

With a the now focus on wooing filmmakers to shoot in NYS, there are some in the local film community who are chomping at the bit to get organized, so that when the industry does look at Buffalo, we are prepped to participate. Often times studios can’t rely on the cities that they embark upon, unless they are assured that there are enough resources to rely upon. Buffalo’s Film Commission is just a piece of the puzzle, securing film gigs, scouting locations, etc.

When it comes to the local film community, there are plenty of actors, directors, producers, set designers, editors, writers, equipment and tech resources, animation wizards, film scorers, costume makers, food trucks, etc. who are willing to jump in to create a professional film package, or fill the gaps where needed. Many of these seasoned Buffalo pros like Peter McGennis and Justin Sammarco (aka Justin Ocrammas) have been living and working here for years, while others such as Jeff Wilber and Wildcat Christi are new to the scene and are looking to connect. We can’t forget about the fresh grads on the street, looking for gigs in their hometown – we need to catch them before they flee to another city.

I recently connected with a guy named Garrett Vorreuter (photo left) who has his heart set on helping to wrangle together anyone who is interested in becoming part of something more organized. We talked about proximity to NYC and Toronto, the recent buzz in local indie films and festivals, and the need for collaboration to be of some assistance to the film commission. The Buffalo Cinematic Trust would tap into resources such as Squeaky Wheel, regional colleges and universities, and any other established entity in tune with anything film related.

This may be a large undertaking, but if you talk to anyone in the local film industry, they will tell you that there is a disconnect when it comes to sourcing resources. If you’re new to Buffalo where do you event start? If you’ve been living in Buffalo, you might be jaded. Regardless of your station, your bent or your outlook, we would like to invite you to join us for an evening of networking at The Back Room located behind Hardware on Wednesday July 6th at 6pm.

The Back Room @ Hardware 245 Allen Street, Buffalo NY (716) 882-8843

Message from Garrett:  

Buffalo is not Hollywood, and that’s a good thing. In the past those who wanted to make movies or be an actor thought it was necessary to move to places like LA or NYC, where the film industry existed. Consider that the stone age of modern movie making. Now with the development of digital technologies, which replaced the skill sets of what were trained professionals, makers are able to do more with less and in ways Hollywood would never dream achievable.

With the decentralization of the film industry, Buffalo like many other cities could potentially develop itself into a hotbed for the next generation of modern moviemakers, by embracing the digital wave as it unfolds upon us. This sort of a development of a “hot bed for digital cinema production,” would require more than just a community of local film and video makers. What it requires is awareness, acclaim and a critical lens to illuminate the local makers, their achievements and the development of a model of behavior for others making work in this city (to learn and succeed from). Buffalo, like any other city looking to achieve this, can’t do it with only one local maker, making something great. For instance, Vincent Gallo made Buffalo 66, which saw a great deal of acclaim and in itself could have served as the original step towards turning Buffalo into a city where the film industry is embraced. However it takes more than just one Vincent Gallo and their individual acclaims to achieve this. There needs to be a follow up by other local makers, who create work that will gain acclaim, and thus bring attention back to the City as a place for makers to achieve this. This is what’s needed to create a positive model of behavior for makers to feed and grow from as part of the local film and video making community.

In creating a local community of makers that will work together to promote the city as a developing hotbed for the new wave of digital filmmaking… we can go ahead and skip the step that normally brings attention to a city by means of an individual’s work receiving accolades and attention. Instead we could move ahead by coming together as a working collaborative community, creating a mutually beneficial model of behavior: for makers to learn and feed off of, as they grow, develop and create their own work individually. Inevitably over time one of these local makers will arise to create a locally made work, which will be good enough to receive some sort of acclaim. This is good, that’s what was intended in creating a collaborative community that not only helps, but also challenges its local makers to create the kind of work that will bring attention from outside the city’s community. But just like the case of Mr. Gallo and his film Buffalo 66, there needs to be another (preferably many others) who goes on to create work that will receive accolades and acclaim in order to direct a critical lens on to Buffalo as a hot bed – not only for Buffalonians- but for the larger new wave of modern American cinema production.

Please join us on Wednesday July 6!

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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