Filming to resume in WNY this week

LISTEN: Tim Clark talks phase four guidelines for media production companies

Mike Baggerman
June 29, 2020 - 3:00 am

Main Street in Akron gets "facelift" for filming of A Quiet Place 2. July 9, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Movies, television shows, music videos, and other productions are eligible to resume again in the Buffalo Niagara region beginning Tuesday. While the average consumer won't notice anything different in the final product, Buffalo Niagara Film Commission's Tim Clark said that it will be a different time for many professionals tasked with creating entertainment.

"With movies and television, it's a lot different because you're dealing with actors and the proximity of a makeup artist to that actor," Clark said. "All of the sudden, you're in a different territory than you were a few months ago. It's the same thing with extras. When you have a crowd of people, for instance, say you're shooting at a stadium somewhere and you need big crowds. I think a lot more of that is going to be done digitally now than gathering actors and things like that."

The region has grown in popularity over the years in the film world. Last year, John Krasinski filmed "A Quiet Place II", a sequel to the well-received first film. Prior to the pandemic, Guillermo Del Toro and Bradley Cooper were seen around parts of Downtown Buffalo filming Nightmare Alley. Both productions finished their work in Buffalo, though Krasinski's film release was delayed due to the pandemic.

Once phase four begins in Buffalo, Clark said there will be smaller productions that will begin work in Buffalo including projects by the Travel Channel. In August, a movie will begin filming around the region.

"Hopefully by the fall we'll be up doing the bigger stuff again," Clark said.

There was one notable project in the works in Buffalo that was impacted by the pandemic. A film by Judd Apatow had to postpone their production because of coronavirus.

"They all kind of fled back to their home towns and waited it out," Clark said. "We're hoping we'll see them back in the fall or early-2021. They're taking their guidance from the studio."

Clark said Western New York will continue to see film productions because of the tax credits that are associated with it in New York State. He also said this region is beneficial to productions because it is less dense than New York City.

"(They're) likely to look Upstate a little bit harder and say they can do this in places like Buffalo," Clark said. "You have a crew base that is second to none...You just have an easier way of getting around and doing things. They really want to operate in a bubble. They love to be able to shoot in a sound stage that has an office connected, that has catering and everything right nearby, as well as hotels. We have all that in Buffalo."

Buffalo could take its cues from production crews overseas that have already begun working as restrictions lifted. Clark said there's rampant testing, temperature checks, limiting travel, and utilizing more local crews.

"I was talking to a colleague of mine in Iceland," he said. "They have a Netflix show up and running over there. So far so good. No problems. It's a little bit of a pioneering spirit. It's going to take a few of these big studio productions to go out there and do their thing that will help gain the confidence of all the other studios to go out and start to shoot the content again."

Guidelines for media production can be found here

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