Thursday, June 2, 2016

7 Movies Filmed In Buffalo

Buffalo, New York is often favored as a shooting location for filmmakers because of its diverse neighborhood setting options. Starting in the early 1800s, the city naturally developed around the east side of Lake Erie. The 19th- and 20th-century buildings across the city’s skyline work amazingly well for long shots from the water or aerial filming. The architectural diversity found in the city center continues through each of the 32 separate neighborhoods. The city layout is further complemented by the local climate, which has four distinct seasons. Filmmakers find they can frame any scene in the script by choosing an appropriate neighborhood and season pairing. The seven following movies showcase the way filmmakers use the setting options in Buffalo to their advantage.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2”
Route 33 running through Buffalo provides the perfect backdrop for the intense action scenes in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.” Moviegoers will instantly recognize the highway as the main thoroughfare used for the fast-paced vehicle and helicopter chase scenes. The filmmakers chose the highway because of its similarity to busy roadways found throughout New York City, the famous turtles’ hometown.

“The Natural”
By far the most well-known film shot in Buffalo, “The Natural,” director Barry Levinson brought together three great actors — Robert Duvall, Glenn Close and Robert Redford — to tell the story of Roy Hobbs. The fictional baseball biopic uses the War Memorial Stadium as a main backdrop for the riveting storyline. Important scenes are also filmed at the All-High Stadium, which represents Wrigley Field in Chicago. Because the film was set in the 1930s, the crew focused on using neighborhoods with vintage homes and storefronts, including the iconic Parkside Candy Shoppe. The website Forgotten Buffalo even outlines a tour of film sites to see.

“Two for One”
Buffalo also provides the perfect backdrop for a tear-jerking and heartwarming drama, “Two for One,” produced and directed by Jon Abrahams. The film starts out in New York City and migrates to Buffalo as the main character goes through transformative events after suffering enormous loss. Choosing this location was easy since the setting was already built into the script written by Michael Testone. Buffalo city leaders welcomed the filmmakers because of the economic boost.

“Hide In Plain Sight”
Filmmaker James Caan took full advantage of the Buffalo area by shooting “Hide in Plain Sight” across 60 different locations in the city. The movie was a fictional retelling of the famous Salvatore R. Martoche case, which allowed Caan to recreate scenes at their actual reported locations. The on-site recreations added realism to the storyline, despite the artistic license taken with certain events and interactions. Although the movie was shot in the spring, the crew had to deal with record low temperatures that dipped into the low 30s.

“Buffalo ’66”
Wintertime in Buffalo provided the perfect setting for the Vincent Gallo film, “Buffalo ’66.” The film follows a convict and a woman he kidnapped on the road to revenge. It opens at the Gowanda Correctional Facility and continues onto the streets of Buffalo. The crew selected diners, cafes, bus stations, bowling alleys and neighborhoods with an old-age look and feel. The careful cinematography allows viewers to dwell on the details of each shot location.

“Henry’s Crime”
The Keanu Reeves film “Henry’s Crime” is set entirely in Buffalo, though only a portion of the movie was actually filmed in the city. The movie follows a criminal’s journey as he attempts to repeat a crime that he was wrongly convicted of committing. The two-time target in question is the Buffalo Savings Bank. The main character also maintained a home in a southern neighborhood before heading off to jail the first time around. Neighborhood venues, like Jin Lan’s restaurant, were selected for interesting d├ęcor that matched the tone of the movie.

“Best Friends”
Filmmaker Norman Jewison took advantage of the winter snowstorms common in Buffalo while filming the romantic comedy “Best Friends.” Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn star in the movie, which shows two characters’ journey to mutual understanding as they travel from Los Angeles to Buffalo and then on to Virginia. The same bus terminal used in “Buffalo ’66” shows up in this film. The filmmakers had to work around birds living in the building because the terminal was long out of use.

The majority of the filmmakers on this list dedicated themselves to highlighting the distinctive appearance of the Buffalo area. With the city’s unique neighborhoods and venues, film enthusiasts can easily travel to their favorite settings to take commemorative photographs and videos. Many of the locations retain their unique atmosphere and appearance showcased in the films.

If you’re interesting in calling one of these neighborhoods home, contact one of our HUNT Real Estate sales professionals.