When it comes to learning the art of writing, directing, producing, and acting, a lot of times it’s best to head to the cities that make it possible. For those who have wanted to follow the paths leading to careers in film, TV, etc., it is now possible to do so right here in Buffalo, thanks to a new initiative being headed up by Torre Catalano of Buffalo Film + Television Workshop.
Catalano, an award-winning filmmaker and Buffalo native, wanted to provide something of value for his hometown, for those who are looking to pick up skills in writing, directing, producing, and even acting. He set out to develop classes for beginner and intermediate talents, who were interested in upping their game in the industry. Instead of asking people to travel outside of Buffalo to take the classes, he opted to set up shop where he grew up.
In order to pull off this feat, Catalano enlisted the help of a number of industry professionals, who all bring to the table unique talents and skills. The team that Catalano has amassed is as follows:
Ryan Pratton has been a working actor for almost 20 years. He is the star of Hollywood’s longest-running sketch comedy smash “Top Story Weekly.” Ryan’s incredible experience and keen sense for comedic acting has made him one of the most sought-out teachers in California.
Torre Catalano has been creating some of the most compelling content in the film industry for 15 years. From live concert films, to music videos, to documentaries, Torre’s work has earned numerous awards, including an Emmy for Will I Am’s “Yes We Can”.
Allen Kelley is an award-winning producer with a decade of experience under his belt. From the biggest reality shows like “Ice Road Truckers,” to the biggest cable series such as “Prison Break” and Cinemax’s “Outcast”, Allen is at the forefront of logistics and budget overview.
Pratton says that the students that take the class will be fortified with the skills necessary to enter into the world of film. Pratton has also done his best to keep the costs down, by more than halving what it would cost to take similar fully immersive workshops in Los Angeles (typically around $4800 – not to mention getting there, hotel accommodations, etc.). The Buffalo summer workshop is being offered for $1,200 with the code BUFF.
I caught up with Torre earlier today, and he told me that one of the reasons that he has put together this offering is that when he was younger he was afforded the opportunity to take a similar workshop. “I knew that I wanted to work in the film industry, but I didn’t know how to break into it. The workshop was a crash course and taught me a lot of what I needed to know to move forward – I learned how to write a script, and I learned what to do with it once I wrote it. This workshop has a ton of information – there’s nothing else like this in Buffalo.
“More than anything else, I wanted to offer an opportunity to people who might not otherwise be able to take a workshop such as this. I have an incredible team – these guys are all professionals… they have a lot of industry experience, and are great instructors. I’ve worked with them before, and I’m excited to show them Buffalo. I am hoping to shoot my next film in Buffalo next year, which is another reason that I want to host the workshop there. And I also want to grow this workshop in Buffalo for years to come. There’s no reason that a smaller city should not have the same opportunities as NYC and LA. We’re going to be teaching people everything that they need to know to navigate the industry, from the resumes to the pitches. If you’ve ever thought that the film industry is something of interest, this is the perfect opportunity to take the next step.”
The upcoming workshop takes place between July 22 to August 2. To learn more, go to this website and apply for the workshops. Once you pick your class/s, someone will get in touch with you about the details.
The workshops will be held at Dash’s Market – in the new Upstairs Community Space on Hertel Avenue. For more information on the classes, email email@example.com.
Lead image by Jakob Owens