Buffalo NY may not be the most salubrious place that comes to mind when considering film locations, but for Raymond Guarnieri having grown up there himself, it was the perfect choice for his new feature release, Buffalo Boys. The film draws from Raymond’s very real life experiences and centres on suburban teenager IAN, 15, who is entangled in a plot to murder a 65 year-old woman.
Buffalo Boys is the lowest-budget film ever to be approved for the New York State Tax Incentive for Filmmakers and took just 23 days to shoot last August including a number of challenging night sequences. Here Director and Producer Raymond Guarnieri tells us how his story was told more effectively by using Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite for the overall look and Magic Bullet Colorista for the more intricate colour work.
“This was my first feature film and I’d spent two years developing the screenplay, including the time it took to speak with the families and friends of the people whom the true story was based on. We spent four months on pre-production, 100% on-location in Buffalo. Some of the locations we shot at were places where the real-life characters actually hung out. And contrary to belief Buffalo is a fabulous place to shoot films; because of its architecture, its low cost of living, 4 beautiful seasons in all their diverse, vibrant colors, and its relative proximity to both NYC and Chicago, said Raymond.
“The use of color made the telling of our story more effective in that it has allowed us to overcome some of the lighting challenges that we faced on a low-budget, independent production. It has enabled us to re-shape the look of key scenes to suit the “mood” and “energy” that exists within the writing and acting.
“There were many night scenes in places like “The Pits” (the local hangout spot in the woods) and “The Rave” sequence, which was shot in an abandoned warehouse with over 150 extras. It would be fair to say that our editor and colorist, Don Burns, found Colorista was helpful with the trickier challenges of lighting, even in some daytime interior scenes.
“Magic Bullet Suite made this possible because everything we wanted to do in terms of color could be done in just a few simple clicks and tweaks. Being on a small budget often also means being on a short deadline – this has been the case for post-production as well as production. Magic Bullet has allowed us to accomplish in weeks what might have taken months.”
Raymond and his team are also big fans of Red Giant’s PluralEyes, which he explains really speeded up the whole process.
“I have used PluralEyes for a handful of short commercial projects, but its true value was most apparent in this feature. Buffalo Boys was done on a 9:1 shooting ratio, which means we had about 90 hours of raw footage and sound. It could have taken us a month, or more, to sync the audio and sound manually. Instead, we were able to do it in 5 days!”
Raymond Guarnieri is a founding member of production company Better Stir Fry Productions. Co-founders McKenzie Trent and Matt Tester are both executive producers of Buffalo Boys, along with Jason Montalvo and Resnikoff. You can check out the trailer for Buffalo Boys on Kickstarter Page where they’re offering copies of the DVD & Tickets to the World Premiere in August. You can read more about Raymond Guarnieri here http://www.raymondguarnieri.com/.
Learn more about Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite, Colorista and PluralEyes.