By Suzanne Jaszcz:
Buffalo’s film community just keeps growing and getting stronger every year. Multiple films are currently in the works showcasing Buffalo as the next great destination for aspiring film makers. Arlington Place Pictures, owned and operated by Scott Andrew Kurchak, is one such company hoping to make its mark on the local Buffalo film scene. I recently sat down with Scott to find out more about his company and what projects he is currently working on.
BR. How did you come up with the name Arlington Place Pictures?
APP. I live on Arlington Park and this is where this new adventure in my life began for me. When I was shooting my first short film “Audition Day” I needed a name for my production company and I thought that Arlington Place would be a great name.
BR. What made you want to make films?
APP. I love to tell stories and I love movies… I have always wanted to combine the two right from an early age. This was inspired by my mother…she loved movies and I loved watching them with her. I have fond memories of being very young – very little and sitting on a blanket in the living room with a bowl of popcorn watching an old movie when it would come on television… especially Hitchcock movies… I so remember watching The Birds with her and being totally captivated and totally frightened… But loved every second of it! Then in my high school years in Toronto, it was wonderful to have the Bloor Cinema and other great repertory movie theatres. I would see everything that I could and I thought “That is what I want to do!” I want to make movies. I want to tell stories and entertain people and as soon as I’m able, no matter how long that takes. I love theatre and I love plays but let’s face it not a lot of people go to see plays anymore and this saddens me but everybody watches movies whether on the television, in the movie theatres or online. It’s a very accessible medium and it’s a great way to reach an audience and this is what I want to pursue. I am now getting over my fear of seagulls.
BR. Why did you choose Buffalo for this venture?
APP. Simple… because I’ve been living here for the past 11 years and making it my home (after 12 years in NYC) and because it’s so affordable to live here and to be able to pursue this. We have terrific locations to shoot, extremely talented local actors and crew and an abundance of energy to make a project come to life.
BR. What projects is your company currently working on?
APP. I have two movie projects now in post production, a short film based on a story from the War of 1812 called A Cows Tale: The Laura Secord Story due out for the 200th anniversary of the story in June of 2013 and we have just wrapped shooting a feature called Give & Take by Gail Golden also due out next year. In the meantime, in addition to the web commercials/web content videos we do for small businesses, we have just launched our new service for families which makes me very excited! It’s kind of a personalized movie that we are calling Tribute Videos. It’s a collection of your photographs, home movies and other materials (creatively edited and skillfully blended with titles, graphics and transitions with music to tell the story of a life of someone special. These are perfect for so many occasions. Commemorate a special anniversary, graduation, retirement, memorial or honor a special family moment. You can get information on these services at our website www.arlingtonplacepictures.com or our facebook page at www.facebook.com/arlington.placepictures.
BR. Who has inspired you most in the film industry and why?
APP. I’m very lucky to have grown up in a time where I’ve been able to see so many of the great directors Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, the comedies of Mel Brooks and the way they bring such rich emotion through their actors. Again going to the Bloor Cinema, I remember how I felt seeing Bill Forsyth’s “Gregory Girl” or the films of John Sales and especially John Boorman’s “Hope and Glory” the simple honesty of the films and wanting to make films like those! Today I love the imagery and visual story telling of Korea’s Chan-Wook Park which is very powerful and very exciting.
BR. What are the challenges and rewards to making films in Buffalo?
APP. The biggest challenge is finding the money or, if you will, an Executive Producer to take a project up to the next level. There is also the challenge of getting distribution but we will get there! The rewards are being in an arts community that encourages and nurtures so many great people from the theatre community crossing over to work with us. Nobody standing over you saying “who do you think you are to be doing this?”
BR. How is directing a film different from directing a play?
APP. There are a lot of similarities such as working with all the various artistic departments to get what you want visually and to help the actors create the real humans in the given circumstances of the script they are playing and bring out the best truthful performance. The difference is not having a long rehearsal period to get the actors to where they need to be. The actors really have to do their homework and show up ready on the day. Also shooting the film out of sequence is very different from stage. The big job is to make sure everyone on set clearly understands what we are doing and is on the same page.
BR. What are your goals for the company in the coming year?
APP. The biggest goals are to build our audience, customer base and release our films. We are looking to develop our next big project, a feature length being written right now called Dyngus Day which is a cross between “Love Actually” and a Bollywood Movie but with Polka Music!