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Red Cross shoots a pair of TV ads in Buffalo Part of 60 movies and commercials filmed here in 2006

Buffalo served as the backdrop for two television commercials for the Red Cross filmed last week, part of a regional campaign to attract younger blood donors.

The commercial shoot builds on the Buffalo Niagara region's growing reputation as an attractive location to make movies and ads.

"Buffalo is a great place to shoot for companies. It's a lot easier to shoot in than other places, like New York City," said Tim Clark, Buffalo Niagara film commissioner.

Within the past few years, the Buffalo Niagara region has been used as a location for several major motion pictures.

Most notably was "Bruce Almighty." Additionally, scenes for "Pirates of the Caribbean III, At World's End," "The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King" and most recently "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," were filmed in the area.

Directors of smaller films and commercials also find the region attractive.

"So far this year, we have had dozens of small films and commercials shot in the area, like the ones for the Red Cross," Clark said.

In 2006, more than 60 commercials and movies has portions filmed in the region, according to Clark.

Working with Planet Production, a local film production company, Buffalo native film-maker Todd Bellanca shot two commercials in the area last week.

Bellanca, director of the commercials and a 15-year film industry veteran, was happy to come home and film.

"I loved shooting in Buffalo. It's a great location and is a fresh place to shoot, especially with the old, historical buildings," Bellanca said.

"Everyone in the area was welcoming and I love coming home, and being able to see my family," he said.

The first commercial, shot on Wednesday on location at a house on Woodridge Avenue, took 10 hours to film.

The second was shot Thursday along Hertel Avenue and took between 12 and 14 hours to film.

Although it rained on Thursday, the filming went smoothly.

"I was actually happy it rained. The commercial could have been shot with the weather being clear and beautiful or when it was raining. We actually had equipment with us to simulate rain," he said.

Both commercials are scheduled to air in August.


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