Cappuccino Jones brings the 70s back to SUNY Buffalo State

Najee Walker, Associate News Editor

A new television pilot is coming to SUNY Buffalo State, an original story brought to the campus by the Television and Film Arts department.

The latest TFA 450 class has decided to go on a trip through time, back to the 70s to revisit the old black detective genre of television with their own spin on the genre, Cappuccino Jones.

Each year, the TFA 450 class is tasked with creating an original, all new, 22-minute television pilot to be worked on. From fundraising, to casting, to filming, to editing, the class is responsible for the entire process.

Cappuccino Jones is the story of a modern 70s crime detective and his partner solving crime in a more recent era. The pilot is a tribute to shows and films like Shaft, Dolomite and Black Dynamite. Cappuccino Jones was pitched by senior TFA majors Ian Lorretto and Nile Meyers.

“Cap Jones,” as some in the class call it, was pitched to the class alongside some other ideas. It was unanimously decided that Cappuccino Jones would be the idea the class produces.

Another idea included a story about a girl living in a big city who writes dating advice for younger women. The pilot would have been called “Dating Declassified”.

“I think that Cappuccino Jones was our most ambitious pilot,” Devan Brady, a senior in the TFA class, said. “I am confident it will turn out professional.”

Brady put together the “Dating Declassified” idea for the class.

At the moment, the class continues to work on a few different aspects of their production, however, their biggest goal, of course, is money.

“The more money we can raise, the better,” Lindsay Utnik, a TFA senior, said. “We’ve raised just about $1,600 so far using GoFundMe. It is a lot of work, but it’s coming along really well so far.”

Utnik, in addition to being the fundraising coordinator, is also working on the team as a storyboard artist and art director, and will also be doing the hair and make-up for the cast.

The GoFundMe is not the only way the students are making up their money. Two events were hosted this month to help raise money. $500 was raised at a “Beer Blast” event held at Checker’s on Hertel Avenue. In addition, the Bob Evan’s on Transit Road in Williamsville donated 15 percent of all sales to the students.

It didn’t stop there, however. The students have also organized a bake sale to help with their hiring of actors. Senior students Devan Brady, Emily Thalmayr and Candice Simone Thomas were all present. They sold out of brownies.

Perhaps their most successful endeavor, however, is their GoFundMe account. Donations can still be made, and in only a month of being available, 33 people have donated up to $1,640 to the students. Each donator will receive a special place in the credits for their name to be seen at the end of pilot.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Utnik said. “It goes to show that people are really supportive of our shows.”

The pilot, when finally finished, is set to premier in the Social Hall of the Student Union on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.


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