By Suzanne Jaszcz:
There has been a surge of small independent films being made here in Buffalo as local film makers realize the wonderful assets this city can provide. The latest film to come across my radar is Buffalo Boys. The film is based on a true story about a teenage boy who gets entangled in a plot to kill a 67 year old woman. The main character also goes through an identity crisis when he finds out that his father is not his biological father. I had a chance to talk with director Raymound Guarnieri about the film and the rewards to shooting it in Buffalo.
BR: Who wrote the screenplay and what inspired this particular story?
RG: Some years ago a high-school friend of mine, at the age of 15, became entangled in a plot to murder an old woman to collect on her life insurance policy. Buffalo Boys is inspired by his life story. In 2009, after I had graduated high school and moved to NYC, he was killed outside a Halloween party. Around this time my producers and I (Matt Tester, McKenzie Trent, Jason Montalvo) had just completed a few successful short films and were considering what to do for our next project. When I told them the story of this young man’s life we realized that it would make for a fantastic movie.
BR: Why do you think there is this misconception that Buffalo is a difficult town to make a movie in?
RG: I’m really not sure why anyone would think Buffalo is anything but the perfect place to make a movie in, but I’m positive that those who do are basing it on assumption or rumor. Buffalo has so many great things going for it-and I think one day it will be a burgeoning productive hub for filmmakers in the Northeast and beyond. The WNY region is very diverse environment. The cost of living is markedly lower than it is in NY or Chicago, and it’s close enough to both that resources and talent can be brought in from either. And I can’t fail to mention the NYS Tax Incentive for Filmmakers – a huge added bonus for working in the region.
BR: What is your monetary goal for the kickstarter campaign and what will the funds be used for?
RG: We’ve launched a new Kickstarter in order to raise the money for festival submission fees, which can add up quickly. In order to make that happen we’ve devised a list of great rewards for those who back us on Kickstarter – everything from copies of the DVD & T-Shirts, to walking the red carpet and round-trip plane tickets and hotel fare to the World Premiere. We have until March 17th to reach a $7,500 goal, and I think we will.
BR: When and Where will the film premiere?
RG: The World Premiere of Buffalo Boys is Saturday August 24th at the world-renowned TriBeCa Grand Hotel in NYC. Again, tickets are available on our Kickstarter page; where you can see the official trailer as well. As far as a Buffalo Premiere- entering the 2013 Buffalo International Film Festival is very high on our list of priorities, however our success or failure on Kickstarter to raise money will determine how many/ what film festivals we can submit to.
BR: What were the positives of shooting the film here in Buffalo instead of another city?
RG: Because Buffalo Boys is inspired by a true story that took place in WNY, there was an added advantage of shooting it here in terms of authenticity. Many people from the community who knew about the true story were also interested in supporting our efforts and they have continued to do so to this day. I also like to think that, in some small way, it gave me an opportunity to give something back to the community. There are a whole lot of talented people in the region and they don’t necessarily have as many opportunities to express it as they might in NY or LA. In the end- my true purpose was to tell this fascinating story as well as I could, and I would have done whatever it took to make that happen, but it was even more rewarding to be able to accomplish this goal by bringing in over 150 people from the WNY community.