Buffalo State alumni film panel to take place Thursday

Reuben Wolf, Staff Writer

Between top-notch film festivals and major Hollywood motion pictures being filmed here, Buffalo’s film making culture is something that should not go unnoticed. In on this secret seems to be Pamela Voyer who has organized a panel consisting of five SUNY Buffalo State alumni who have jobs in the film industry to lead a panel on the subject.

The panel will consist of Production Designer, David Butler, ’84; Wardrobe Designer, Dana Calanan, ’94, ‘12; Writer and Director, Kyle Mecca, ’13; Actor and Producer, Brandyn T. Williams, ’11; and Director of Operations for the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, Rich Wall, ’94.

The most recent graduate on this panel, Kyle Mecca, has kept his business in Buffalo and wanted to emphasize how underrated Buffalo State’s Television and Film Arts program is as well as the value of being a filmmaker in Buffalo.

“The [TFA] program allows its students to make short films hands on, to create and develop stories, as well as help young filmmakers find which aspects of the film world they’d like to pursue,” said Mecca, “People from this program have landed jobs at Nickelodeon, MTV, NBC Universal, ABC, and many other major players in the entertainment industry, but I decided to stay in beloved Buffalo and still manage working in the industry.”

Mecca, himself, has grown quite following in Buffalo film circles.  His most recent endeavor being the screening of his latest film Dwelling as a special showing at the Buffalo International Film Festival this past October.

David Butler’s credits include contributions to films such as Sharknado 2 (2015), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2015), and the pilot for the series Why I Murdered My Roommate (2015);  Dana Calanan currently serves as president of the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees located in Buffalo;  Brandyn T. Williams most recent endeavor was the Lifetime Channel original movie A Mother’s Revenge (2016) and can be seen in the upcoming feature Marshall filmed in Buffalo; and Rich Wall is responsible for bringing many films to be shot in Buffalo, such as Marshall starring Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad, slated for release sometime this year.

The panel will take place this Wednesday, November 16, at the Burchfield Penney Art Center from 6-7:30 pm.  Although the event is free to attend, it is recommended that you RSVP, as seating is limited.  If interested, please RSVP by calling (716) 878-6001 or emailing [email protected].