(Message Board contributors will be randomly chosen to receive Buffalo Bushido apparel or memorabilia.)

 
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This has to rank as one of the most diverse & outrageous indie casts ever assembled!  When can I see this movie?

-Gary B. Los Angeles, CA (10-20-07)

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Buffalo Bushido will world premiere on the film festival circuit in 2008. Currently, the film is being scored before it will eventually be mixed over the winter. We'll certainly keep everyone informed about the premiere on the website so stay tuned.

 

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You can add the word “hottest” to describe the cast in this film.  Jesse Martin is the man and the other hotties definitely hold their own on both sides.  Can’t wait to see this film!  What’s it going to be rated?  Ha, ha, ha…

-Trish, NYC (10-27-07)

 

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We can’t speak for the MPAA but let’s just say that there is some material intended for mature audiences.  In terms of getting to see Buffalo Bushido on the big screen, that will depend on the type of distribution the film gets. This is a true indie film made outside of the studios.  However, since you live in New York City you should be in good shape for being able to catch Buffalo Bushido on the big screen either at a film festival or afterwards in its theatrical release.

 
 
: I’m intrigued.  From what I’ve read, Buffalo Bushido sounds like a serious drama and yet I’m looking at my childhood idol Superfly Snuka in a safari suit giving what looks to be a post title match interview with some samurai freak.  Absolutely classic!!  But what shakes?  What genre are we talking here?  But honestly, it doesn’t matter because I’m going to see this film no matter what.  Snuka??!!  You got to be kiddin’ me! Fantastic brutha!!!! 
-Chris D. Philadelphia, PA (10-30-07)
 
: Glad to hear from a true Snuka fan.  If you grew up in the 70’s, 80’s, or even 90’s how can you not be a Snuka fan and be found guilty on occasion of making Jimmy’s trademark “I love you sign” before pummeling your younger brother or friend?  Without a doubt, Snuka’s cameo appearance added a lot of texture and specificity to our film.  Our crew could not stop laughing throughout his entire shoot and Jimmy is a blast.  A full length scene was written in knowing full well that it would need to be cut down in the edit but hey, when you’ve got the Superfly, why not pan for gold?  You can be sure that his entire performance will appear on the DVD and let me tell you it’s an absolute gem for any outtake aficionado.  In terms of genre, Buffalo Bushido is definitely a drama at heart but with comedic extremities.   Along with Snuka’s cameo, John Savage’s performance as the neurotic, stalking "officer", Vendetti, is totally off the wall and brings a comedic edge to a film that’s pretty heavy.  But like anything, two people can see the same thing and have totally different opinions.  Buffalo Bushido is one of those perception based films where one person will have tears swelling up in their eyes while another person will be holding back a laugh.  Welcome to the world we live in.  Enjoy your Bushido T-shirt and take it easy brutha!
 
: I was on Imdb and I noticed that you have a lot of child actors in the cast.  This is very ambitious for a low budget film especially.  I also read on your Production Page that there are a lot of flashbacks in the film which I personally like a lot.  When flashbacks are done well they can be extremely powerful and set films apart like “ Mystic River ”.  Like the rest of the people who have commented, I look forward to seeing this film.  I get the sense it’s going to be moving.
–Scott A. Cleveland, OH (11-01-07)
 
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On the subject of flashbacks, they are often looked down upon as momentum killers in a film and a lot of writers and directors stay clear of using them.  But f a flashback moves in the same direction as the drama and advances the story then you really can’t call it a “flashback”.  In “Buffalo Bushido” the memories rush in and affect the main character’s choices and present state of mind.  They are absolutely key to the lens of the film in terms of having the audience understand how the main character, Davis, sees the world and how he came to be in his present state.  As the film unfolds we come to expect flashbacks and they keep us on our toes occurring in real time.  Thanks for a great note- definitely worthy of a Bushido souvenir!
 
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I don’t think people quite get how difficult it is to make a feature film on your own.  Sure, who doesn’t dream of making their own movie but when you actually hink about every little detail that goes into it, well, you realize why it just doesn’t happen.  Where do you even start?  The fact that McGennis has done it twice is amazing and his cast on “Buffalo Bushido” proves that he’s well on his way to breaking into the most difficult industry on the planet on his own.  Thanks for being the exception and reminding us that we can all follow our dreams.
–Jonathon G. Rochester, NY (11-04-07)
 
: Wow.  This is what it’s all about…  Inspiration.  Success is not some elusive finish line or having power over somebody else.  Success is inspiration to be shared.  Making films allows a filmmaker the opportunity to inspire such a broad array of people while putting one’s character to the test.  The true independent filmmaker should enjoy the process as much as the final product.  If you enjoy the process then all of the sacrifice is worth it.  In terms of answering your question “where do you even start?” I think there are two answers.  Ultimately it all starts with you (what you’re about, what you want to accomplish, your attitude, etc).  After that, it’s all about the script.  That’s really the map and where things ideally should start.  A really good script should speak to everyone (actors, designers, camera, sound, etc) and beg to be brought to life.  Thanks for your note.
 
: I have written a few scripts but never shown anyone.  Sometimes I wonder what’s the point but obviously I’m fulfilling a need.  It’s great to see what can happen when an artist steps out and shows other people their work like Peter continues to do.
–Rene T. Chicago, IL (11-06-07)
 
: Hey, an artist is free to choose whether or not to show other people their work.  Coming out and showing people a script, a completed film, a painting, or anything for that matter can be scary.  There’s always rejection and a fair share of tomatoes to take in the face but it all gets back to you.  If it matters to you and you put something out there that previously didn’t exist then it is art and the world needs more of it.  Everything else is opinion and we all know we have more than enough of this.  Keep on writing and enjoy the Bushido lid!
 
: Wicked indie cast.  Nice diversity brutha!  Love your Production page.  McGennis is a man with a plan.  Major cahones!  When do we get to see the trailer and more of the bodacious Arcieri?
–Andre D. Los Angeles, CA (11-08-07)
 
: Thanks for the note!  There’s been some cool thoughts for putting together a couple different trailers but currently we are still waiting for the music and our sound design to come together.  These two elements will definitely influence the shaping of our trailers so we need to let things play out a little more and see where it takes us. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rough trailer put up on the Buffalo Bushido website by the end of the year.
 

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I must confess, I’m hooked. What a fun, sexy, and diverse cast. Can’t wait to see who steals the show! Love the web site and can’t wait to see this movie.
–Carla R. Los Angeles, CA (11-12-07)
 
: Thanks. Enjoy your Super Cute Bushido Cut Cap Sleeves Tee!!!!
 
 
 
: I have a question, what was your true inspiration for making this unique and amazing movie? Also, do you plan to extend Buffalo Bushido with a sequel, spin-off, or anime? I have one more question, how did you find such a great and unique cast? I am looking forward to seeing this unique and amazing modern day epic drama. 
–Max R. Syracuse, NY (11-22-07)
 
: Buffalo Bushido is inspired by real people, places, and events that influenced my life and sparked my imagination. Armed with clarity and emotion, the story evolved as I tapped my unconscious mind using my childhood as a departure point. I know this sounds pretty heavy but it's actually where you want to find yourself as a writer. There was such honesty about the thoughts that would come to me and I know the answer lies in the fact that I lived through pieces of this story and imagined other parts as a kid. Now it's hard to explain why all of these inspirations & memories took life in the estranged character of Davis. I suppose that I've always been fascinated by the outcast. The character who tries to come home or find freedom against the odds. I'm sure this stems from my affinity for movies of the 1970's where this theme was really explored. Buffalo Bushido is really the same type of tree except it is rooted in my twisted reverence of my own childhood. 

I feel that Buffalo Bushido is a stand alone story and piece of art so I can't say that I have plans for any sequel. However, as I mentioned in the Comic Book Page of this website, I have plans to launch the first issue of "Samurai D." to coincide when Buffalo Bushido becomes available on DVD. I will be working with illustrator, Marvin Mariano, a little later on to put this Comic Book together which really, as you say, is a "spin-off" of the film but in a different media. What would be the cat's meow, is if I can find a way to include the first issue of the Samurai D. comic with the DVD when it comes out so true film aficionados can get the whole shebang. Great questions!
 
: For all of us dog lovers out here, tell us something about the dog John Savage is holding. How many movies has it been in? Breed? Looks like a shitzu to me. Smart move putting an adorable dog like that in the movie. I'm sure it will attract a lot of dog lover/movie goers to the film.
–Dan M. Depew, N.Y. (11/22/07)
   
: It is true, John Savage’s character, Vendetti, has his one and only friend & sidekick, Sophie, a shitzu. This is Sophie’s film debut. Honestly, it’s a gamble when you write in a dog into the script. It can spell disaster especially for an independent film that can not afford to drag and waste film. But when it works, a dog can really introduce another character and add to the texture of the whole film. One of my favorite shots of the film is the image of Vendetti and Sophie through the windshield in the back seat of his 1972 Cadillac. This is John Savage’s last shot and the dog makes it priceless. We made sure that we had Sophie’s owner, Lois, present for all of her scenes and Lois actually appears in the film as the thruway Toll Lady who is given quite a memorable reception by Vendetti!! All said, I am so glad that I stayed committed to including the dog in the film contrary to advice given to me. Sophie really is a character in Buffalo Bushido and really helps to take John Savage’s performance over the top! By the way, her real name is Chewy.

Chewy on the set of Buffalo Bushido

 
: I adore Jesse Martin (especially in Rent). That man can sing and I keep waiting for his Marvin Gaye movie to come out. I know Buffalo Bushido sounds pretty crazy but can you give me a little hint of what we can expect from Jesse and if we get to hear his amazing voice? 
Rachael F. NYC (11-26-07)
 
: Check us out when we play on the big screen in New York City (hint: and make sure to stick around through the end credits). Your wish shall be granted. Until then, enjoy your Bushido Tee.
 
: I get the feeling that this film is pretty dark. 
–Kierstin H. Charlotte, NC (11-28-07) 
 
I am wondering if this film has a darker tone to it. I especially noticed this when I saw that picture of Lezley with blood in her mouth. Soup is my favorite character because he looks so creepy and unique. Can't wait to see this.
–Max R. Syracuse, NY (11-29-07)
 
I get the feeling that this film is going to be intense and psychotic. Can't wait! In order to understand inner rage, we need to see it portrayed honestly in movies and not glorified.
–Larry M. Chicago, IL (12-01-07)
 
: Buffalo Bushido is a psychological portrait of a man trying to come home. Home exists as a state of mind where there is both illumination and darkness. We seem to live in a society where everything needs to have a name or a prescription. Such in the case with Davis and his condition. His words, "there's a plan for all of us" fall on deaf ears. He is beyond the present having surrendered himself to some impenetrable mystery that seems so dark to us and yet points to the ultimate realization of humanity.

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Would you please, please be so kind as to give us another pic of the gorgeous Leila Arcieri and the naughty Ms. Zen?
–John S. Nashville, TN (12-03-07)

Since you said “please” twice, here’s your early Christmas present.

 

 

 
: I heard that the last scene on The Peace Bridge is unforgettable and the ultimate testament to “balls out” guerilla filmmaking. For you folks who don’t know it, this is a major international crossing between the USA and Canada. Talk about guts. Way to go. You deserve an award just for this. this is a major international crossing between the USA and Canada. Talk about guts. Way to go. You deserve an award just for this. 
–Phil J. Toronto, ON (12-08-07) 
 
: Ain’t that the naked truth. The bottom line is that we must do what the script requires. Fortunately there are people out there who respect this.
 
: What’s your next film? I read that you want to do another film set in Buffalo.  That's awesome.
–Greg M. Rochester, NY (12-10-07)
 
: Right now I’m thinking either gritty cop noir (with a 1970’s feel) or a comedy. Both of which would be filmed in Buffalo. Which one do you think should come first? I’ll tell you what, we’ll set up a contest box and which ever one gets 100 votes first will get the call. Sounds good? In terms of Buffalo, it’s true that after “Buffalo Bushido” I’ve kind of been won over in terms of doing more work here. As the world knows, Buffalo is an underdog and people here are fired up to get behind anything that is positive, contagious, and worthy of pride. I witnessed an enormous amount spirit and vitality that our film brought to our community. Why not keep bringing it? Hopefully, my work will fertilize the soil here for other organic projects to take root. We all find our own ways to contribute and give back. Thanks for asking your question!
 
: Cute guys. Looks like they get to play real people too. Cheers to smart movies with hot men!
–Heather S. Syracuse, NY (12-12-07)
 
: American cinema usually does not allow men to expose their vulnerabilities and tap into their own femininity. It’s a shame but it makes sense when you think about actor egos, cultural stereotypes, and power struggles on set. Fortunately, we did not have any of that and the film is allowed to breathe as the actors reveal themselves. Cheers to smart fans! Enjoy your Bushido tee.
 
: I’m impressed with McGennis’ musical resume. Collaborating with the late jazz legend Jimmy Smith and writing original music for Maria Muldaur on his first film? Even Scorsese can’t claim this feat as a musically influenced director. I’d say keep on the musical path. It’s definitely a unique attribute that will set you apart as a filmmaker and give your work a signature worthy of the highest respect. 
–Brent J, Cincinnati, OH (12-14-07)
 
: Wow, what a nice thing to say. For the record, I wish I was there for “The Last Waltz” (even to sweep up the floor) but at 6 years old I was still watching The Electric Company, H.R. Pufnstuf and Saturday cartoons. However, my musical influences would come soon enough and over the past 25 years I have had the pleasure of seeing most of my favorite performers and bands that came out of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It is unbelievably gratifying to bring their inspiration into my films. Such was the case with Jimmy Smith who I had seen play everywhere from Buffalo and Cleveland to Los Angeles. I recall listening to “Got My Mojo Working” over and over again in the Cozy Craft van that my dad took us down to Florida in over Spring Break. I must have played my imaginary Hammond B-3 on the dash countless times. What a privilege to have the opportunity to record with Jimmy right before he passed away. I’m still figuring out what to do with the soundtrack because it’s too good. Thanks for your words of wisdom and yes, I will continue on the path of writing original music and inviting these inspirational music legends to participate in my work.
 
: What's the hardest part writing, directing, acting, or producing? 
–Sam S. Akron, OH (12-18-07)
 
: Each phase presents its own challenges and requires a full commitment. Unless you are surrounded by an experienced circle of pros, acting in a lead role and directing at the same time is very difficult. That said, producing on your own is the hardest of all because it's a marathon. I try to approach producing creatively and personally but it still requires a ton of patience and positive attitude in order to deal with the stress and not to become some soulless freak. To this day, I still know myself and have kept the faith. 
 
: What are your goals for next year? 
–Gloria M. San Diego, CA (12-23-07)
 
: In terms of filmmaking, I am excited to complete Buffalo Bushido by spring and to be able to world premiere at a film festival with cast and crew in attendance. It's been such a journey over the past year and half and one that I could not have made without the help of many giving people. I also feel that it's important to show folks what I'm doing in Upstate New York. I would also like to build a relationship on the distributor side of the business not only for Buffalo Bushido but for my future work. I realize that my work is not mainstream formula but I'll find a home for my organic and evoking work. On a more important scale, my personal goals are to continue to become an inspirational parent, husband, friend, and person who makes this world a brighter place in my own ways. This goal drives everything else.
 
: I ran across your site while browsing sites which follow Jessie L. Martin's career. I enjoy his character on Law & Order and I'm always looking for his newest projects. He's so debonair and appears to possess a very humane, pure personal character. It was really nice to hear how on this set he was inspirational and just a pleasure to work with. I will definitely look for this film! Since I'm nowhere near New York, what's my best bet in catching it upon release? 
–Jamil T. Jackson, MS (12-29-07) 
 
: I can't say enough about Jesse. Talent, attitude, grace, everything. I very much look forward to working with him on future collaborations. Hopefully, Buffalo Bushido will get to screen close to you either on the film festival circuit or if a distributor picks it up and decides to give it a limited theatrical run. Otherwise, it'll have to wait for DVD release. Thanks for keeping on the look out.
 
: Happy New Year! How’s the film progressing? Do you have a completion date?
–Dave S. Detroit, MI (01-03-08)
 
: Currently, the filmed is being scored by our composer. We will be recording with musicians and placing music throughout February. During this time, our visual effects (VFX) are also being finalized. The film scored huge attracting sound editor Stuart Stanley (Notes On A Scandal) to come on board. He is also working away as we line up doing our final sound mix in early March. After that, all that will be left will be to scan the original negative to bring it into the world of HD for color correcting. By April we should be finished which will mark nearly two years since we first shot. What a marathon huh?
 
: I wish I could see the film right now. Have you done any test screenings? How are people reacting?
–Joy S. San Francisco, CA (01-07-08)
 
: Yes, we have shown a few folks the film as it has evolved over the past year as a work in progress. Some of these people were previously familiar with the film and some had no idea what to expect. The feedback was very much taken into consideration and helped us to recently arrive at our locked picture (where all of the picture content is embedded in the film in the correct sequence). This is very much a film that had to shaped in the edit to become an interesting and moving psychological portrait. The recent feedback has been awesome. There seems to be unanimous consent that Buffalo Bushido is a film that you’re still thinking about the next day because of the story and the characters. All of the main characters are memorable which is definitely a compliment to the way they were written and to the special performances that were delivered by the actors. It is so cool to hear people talk about the performances whether it’s John Savage, Bruce Glover, Jesse Martin, or anyone else. When I hear people say these things and watch them laugh and get emotional during the film, I know that all of the extra time editing was well worth it. Plus, this is even before we add our score!!! A lot of films, without music, well they just don’t pack a punch. So as much as I want to finish, I realize that the music must have its time to develop and evolve like every other element that plays a huge part in this organic, state of mind film. Thanks for your question and if you were in Buffalo, hey, it would be cool to get your feedback. How does 10 degrees sound to you?
 
: Quick question: What was the hardest part about playing Davis?
–Keri R. Memphis, TN (01-11-08)
 
: Davis is one of those “glass head” roles where the audience must be allowed to see into the character’s inner being in order to understand and to empathize with him. The fact that Davis is reticent and removed from the outside world makes this a challenge. Davis has been forced to build walls around him and we must feel this. Sadie says, “He’s been living so unspeakable, he’s numb.” As an actor, when you can’t verbalize and physically act out this inner struggle, you can run the risk of being boring to an audience because they really can’t see into your head. You also run the risk of not “connecting” with other actors in the conventional ways that they might be used to. So throw Meisner and Method Acting right out the window because with Davis everything isn’t spontaneous. That’s not the basis of martial art’s discipline. Davis is both the calm within the storm and the storm itself. He is unaware of how his polarity takes all of the other characters out of their own orbit. So how to embody Davis is a big challenge for even an accomplished actor. I think my familiarity with the script really kept me focused throughout the whole process. I recall the first scene that I had with Leila Arcieri at Louie’s Hot Dogs which is the first time the two characters, Davis and Sadie, had sat down in fifteen years. The scene is really about Sadie and Davis’ wiring is just starting to pass current again. I recall giving six identical takes because I knew where Davis was at right at that moment. There was Leila, in character, sitting there looking radiant and ready to connect, and there I was as Davis present but not really there. It was a bit awkward but real. The cool thing was that we stayed pretty much in sequence and scene by scene there’s definitely a gradual opening up / shedding of the skin for Davis. By the time we reach the Break Wall Scene, Davis is opening up to Sadie as much as he can. He is willing to let her understand the importance of the Bushido. Unfortunately, Sadie doesn’t see herself as having a place in this world as it does not fill her needs. She presses Davis further until their relationship takes a turn in the last act. Finally, I think there’s a part of Davis that we can all relate to. We all have a human need to connect no matter what we have been through. That’s the universal meaning of the film. Thanks for letting me talk about the role!
 
: John Savage looks insane! What did you do to him?
–Rich T. Burlington, VT (01-17-08)
 
: All I can say is that John found Vendetti. It was very interesting, although sometimes uncomfortable, watching him get worked up, accelerating his heartbeat, and putting himself in a mental corner to become Vendetti. Come the last few takes, boy oh boy was he there and collectively John delivers an unforgettable performance. He became the walking angina with a five o’clock shadow and a bad comb-over that I had written for Vendetti. His character really adds a tremendous amount to the film and makes the final act fly with unpredictability.
 
: Leila is one beautiful woman. So glad to see her in a role with substance. I can’t wait to see this film.
–Blaine W. Detroit, MI (01-23-08)
 
: There’s no question that Leila melts the screen. What was great is how she allowed us to see a darker, vulnerable, ugly side. This is when good-looking people become far more interesting at least in my eyes. Leila definitely tapped into the vulnerability of her character Sadie allowing the story to go where it needed to go. We see her instinctively forfeit control of her life in order for a chance to go back and fill a void in her own life. Her discovery hits both she and the audience like a cannonball.
 
: How’s the music coming along?  From your first film, www.in-themovie.com I like how you approach things with your composer.
–Lou M. New York, NY (01-28-08)
 
: Thanks for the compliment. It’s true that my approach to music tends to stray off the beaten path. I feel that creating music for a film can be more than just fitting in songs or booking a composer for a block of time where what you get is what you get. You must let the music evolve and find its roots as opposed to saying things like, “we gotta be done in six weeks.” You just never know and this should be the fun part of the discovery process. I like to remain open and fortunately I have this opportunity when I am producing on my own. I have a wonderful relationship with my composer David Kane who prescribes to this thinking. He has such an eclectic, rich history having put out dozens of albums since the 1970’s. David is also a historian in my eyes as he is constantly learning and open to new ideas. When I told him that I was looking to create and intertwine both a Buffalo and Bushido theme as a constant synapse, David was up for the challenge. We researched traditional Japanese instruments (koto, biwa, shamissen) and looked for ways to layer them with Western instruments creating what would ultimately become a sound collage. This is what I want to achieve for our psychological portrait. We need the music to be an extension of the main character’s mind. To answer your question, the music is going well. We have actually have set a date to record with Japanese Master, Yoko Hiraoka, in February. Yoko is the only master living in the United States and this is such a privilege. She will add tremendously to the texture of our music and hit the heart of the Bushido theme. More on this later. Thanks for your note.
 
: What’s happening this month? I like how you take the time to map out the whole process for making this film. It’s really interesting.
–Marguerite S. Cayce, SC (02-03-08)
 
: This month is busy across the board. Our Sound Supervisor, Stuart Stanley (Notes On A Scandal), is jamming away at smoothing out all of the dialogue before he then tackles all of the backgrounds for the film. Musically, our Composer, David Kane, will be recording our “Rusty String” section and layering the main themes with Yoko Hiraoka’s traditional Japanese string instrumentation. We will be recording with Yoko in Colorado later in the month. As for Visual Effects, Jeremy Appelbaum, has a full plate bringing to life our comic book anime as well as all of the other effects. No doubt, the month will fly by. Lastly, I’m glad these chronicles of the “Buffalo Bushido” journey interest you. It’s cool stuff and when you have an opportunity to work with great people, it’s even more rewarding.
 
: Will I laugh or cry?
–Shelly T. Columbus, OH (02-07-08)
 
: Can’t say. Probably a little of both. It all depends on you. The film has a strange beauty to it that’s hard to spell out. It’s elusive and poetic. When you finally see it, let me know, okay?
 

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While we wait for the film to get through post production, how about one more still of Leila Arcieri from the film?
–Greg T. Milwaukee, WI (02-13-08)

I hope you like this one as much as I do.

 

 

 
: Who are the bad guys in the movie?
–Eric W. Portland, OR (02-17-08)
 
: The voices of reason.
 
: I have heard through the grapevine that the final scene on the bridge is 100% balls out and as gutsy as it gets. Are we talking Virgo Mortensen “Eastern Promises” balls out?! Hats off to you buddy because unlike a controlled set in the shower stall, we’re talking the busiest public international border crossing between the USA and Canada! Are you kidding me?! Talk about the ultimate fear factor! I’ll be looking for “Buffalo Bushido” in the program at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival this fall. Right on. 
–David H. Toronto, ON 02-26-08
 
: As an artist, one must do what is required for the work. In terms of fear, once you realize that that’s all it is, you’re ready. As an actor, the key is to keep open and not let your natural defenses build up as scar tissue that keep you from feeling things as if they are happening for the first time. That said, was my heart pounding up on the bridge? Hell yes!!! Hopefully, we will get to screen up at Toronto this September and, as the timing seems to be falling in place, this may be the first festival that we are ready for. Can’t think of a better place to world premier! Enjoy your Bushido T-Shirt.
 
: I think what you’re doing is amazing. How do you focus on the acting while directing and producing? Any advice for a young female actor who just moved to LA looking to break in? 
–Stacey M.  Santa Monica, CA (03-02-08)
 
: I could go on and on about acting even though you probably already have heard it all before. First, never forget that acting is a craft. You must constantly be working at it from all angles. You might not get the role but you can prepare and give your best audition. Networking and hanging out with movie people has nothing to do with the craft. Still, luck, timing, connections do enter the equation of getting work so you can’t get discouraged. You must stick up for yourself and never stop believing. One step illuminates the next and you never know where the journey will take you. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with good people and positive influences. I would also suggest avoiding believing that you can only have a career in acting (or film). There are many ways to enhance your craft working in other areas. This way you are always moving forward doing something well that you also believe in and this will add to your strength as an actor. So don’t forsake the craft by racing around and getting passed around for the sake of “getting work”. It will only be a matter of time before someone with a brain takes notice that you are an actor. Finally, we never stop hearing about all of the bad scripts out there. Just because it’s a bad movie doesn’t mean that you can’t deliver a great performance. A lot of great actors have pieced together their careers this way. Be humble, make your moments count, and be sure to wear your “Buffalo Bushido” tee-shirt all over town.
 
: What comes to mind as the most gratifying part of making this film?
–Gina G. Oakland, CA (03-08-08)
 
: Being able to share such a personal journey with so many wonderful people. This film has been a very special collaboration or as Bruce Glover called it a “generosity of visions”. It still blows me away to think how everything in the film was created from scratch. Every day I would try to push things forward in some area. If I’d get stymied in one thing I’d switch to doing something else. There’s something to be said about perseverance. On another note, making a film in one’s hometown really gives glue to the community. It brings together people who might not cross paths as they contribute in their own ways. Pumping spirit and vitality into my community is very gratifying. 
 
: Bruce Glover is one creepy dude! I love his voice. Diamonds Are Forever… Need I’d say more Mr. Kidd?
–Clark T. Pittsburgh, PA (03-14-08)
 
: Tell me about it. We just finished our ADR session out in Los Angeles and, once again, Bruce stole the show with his voice. It’s absolutely creepy and one of a kind. Being a Glover fan, you are in for a big surprise when you see what Bruce delivers in Buffalo Bushido. Being a huge Bond fan, I can still say that Glover’s performance is no less memorable in this film. He shines taking on a multi-faceted role that I have never seen him tackle before. He brings so much to the film and I’m fortunate to have his inspiration and even more fortunate to have become a close friend. He’s a special guy.
 
: It’s amazing how many different phases go into making a film.  I would have guessed this to be the case but the account that you give on this website really puts it into perspective.  Good luck and I’ll be looking for “Buffalo Bushido” when it comes to California
–Roger S. Santa Cruz , CA (03-26-08)
 
: Thanks for the acknowledgement.  It’s hard to explain but in some way I feel that it is my obligation to map out the way that I make films.  It’s a part of the process for me to know that I’m doing my part to inspire other dreamers out there.  I don’t believe inspiration is to be coveted.
 
: You must be getting eager to finish.  It’s coming up on two years.  Talk about dedication.
–Christy M. Phoenix, AZ (03-30-08)
 
: It’s actually been longer when you take into account casting and of course the writing phase. But you know, this film has never gotten flat for me. It just keeps getting better with new discoveries here and there. It’s still happening as we insert music and visual effects. I’m sure it will continue when we get into color correction too. What’s been challenging is constantly readjusting the pace in which I can work on things. Right now I’m working nights with my composer and an engineer who both are working other jobs. It’s what’s available to me and I roll with it. Now when we get close to the mix, the work will get much more concentrated and I’ll be able to kick it into high gear. I’m always adapting in order to make progress. Sometimes there are deadlines and sometimes they aren’t but regardless every day I get closer to the finished work.
 
: Great website.  Lots of passion and creativity.  Peter McGennis is a true maverick filmmaker.  I hope “Buffalo Bushido” turns some heads and he emerges in similar fashion as Waters, Jarmusch and the other true mavericks of US indie cinema.  Be lookin’ for ya!
–Sarah W. Seattle, WA (04-05-08)
 
: Thanks and that’s good company for sure.  I was actually watching “Polyester” recently which was John Waters’ first 35mm effort.  That film was shot for exactly the same budget as my first feature “In” that I pieced together in leftover 35mm short ends from the production of “Runaway Jury”.  I confess feeling humble in comparison seeing that I was able to shoot on 35mm on my first feature while John cranked out so many great films prior to being able to shoot on 35mm.  It’s a  testament to how film really changed over 20 years especially in its accessibility for first time filmmakers.  While not much has changed in regards low-budget resourcefulness (i.e. shooting at a friend’s house for free and pissing off the neighbors with police cars in the middle of the night), I must pay my respects to Waters for making inroads for the next generation of independents to know that they can get their films made.  He was a real maverick at a time when the business was pretty much off limits to outsiders.
 
: I was reading about your first film In and it looks like on that one you raced through production. Buffalo Bushido is an entirely different story. Which way do prefer to work?
–Gary L. Philadelphia, PA (04-11-08)
 
: You are right- the strategies for “In” and “Buffalo Bushido” are different. It was a six months from the time we started filming “In” to when we had our first print. That’s a fast turn around. “Buffalo Bushido” evolved from a different strategy. To answer your question, I enjoy working fast and also working slow. Urgency produces results and time allows for constant improvement. Honestly, I’m just happy to be making feature films so what’s the rush? As long as the commitment level remains strong, I like discovering new things and pushing the film farther. On this film, I am becoming more and more aware that the process and collaboration are as fulfilling to me as crossing the finish line. I guess that’s the artist talking. That being said, I am very excited to finish “Buffalo Bushido” this summer and see where it takes me. Thanks for the question.
 
: The script sounds fantastic and it must be to have attracted the actors that you did. Can you give one word to describe where your inspiration comes from as a writer? 
–Gordon J. Ottawa, ON (04-17-08)
 
: Fragments.
 
: Will you act in another one of your films?  Or someone else’s?  If you got the chops, I say go for it, because honestly from what I can tell you got everything else going on.  Honestly, you look amazing and that’s a hard thing to do when you are paired up next to two beautiful people the likes of Leila Arcieri and Jesse Martin. 
–Robin P. Columbus, OH (04-24-08)
 
: You’re too kind and to answer your question, yes I’d act again if my wife will let me!  Whether it’s my own work or someone else’s isn’t an issue.  It’s a question of the role and the project.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t do things half ass.  It’s all or nothing because anything in life that’s worth something requires a full commitment.  I look at taking on a role the same way.  It’s a total commitment and you do whatever is required (yes, even dropping trow on an International Bridge ).  Money is just an outcome for possibly doing your job well but for me it has little to do with taking on a role.  We only have so much time so we must prioritize and balance our art with the other important stuff we have going on in our lives.  When the opportunity comes up to take on another role, large or small, I will be open to it.
 
: I hope this film makes it over to Europe .  Maybe it will do better over here as it doesn’t sound like a typical American story.  Your writing seems more personal and specific like French cinema and I think it is great that you took on the role.  You are bold Peter and the French look for this in film.  Good luck. 
–Beatrice S. Toulouse , France (04-28-08)
 
: Thank you for your kind note and I often have thought that Buffalo Bushido might be better received outside the US .  Given the subject matter, structure, and levels of meaning, it is not a typical mainstream American movie.  It is personal and specific and I do think an American audience will identify and feel moved.  However, for its symbolism and universal message, the film might be embraced more openly in other countries.  I very much hope to share Buffalo Bushido with a French audience. 
 
: I like your approach to making films.  You seem to find great satisfaction working with different people at each phase of the project.  Best of luck and I enjoyed finding your website. 
Dan M. Albuquerque, NM (05-03-08)
 
: Yes, I very much enjoy the collaboration and the fulfillment is amplified working in my hometown.  Right now, I’m working with two old friends of mine from high school.  One happens to be a professional music engineer, Geoff, who is mixing the music for the film and the other is a visual effects artist, Jeremy, who is doing our animation.  I had no idea when I started that this film would reunite me with my two old friends.  At the same time, I’m working with some new faces and building friendships & relationships to carry forward into the future.  Talent and relationship are so important in this film business.  I am fortunate to have been able to pass this project through so many talented hands and, at the same time, to work in the company of friends.  It is a “generosity of visions” as Bruce Glover wrote on the inside cover of my Buffalo Bushido memoir book.
 
: If you had to make a bet, would you put money on your next film shooting in Buffalo?
Connor T. Clarence, NY (05-05-08)
 
: If I had to bet…  I’d say yes.  I look forward to stretching the canvass here and creating another film in Buffalo.  I’d like to dig deeper into the soil and tap the roots.  There’s so much history, architecture, and culture here.  There are stories to be told.  I’m working on a gritty script right now that steps back in time and goes for the jugular.  It’s a little more ambitious than Buffalo Bushido especially from a production standpoint but what the heck, why not raise the bar?
 

:

 

 

 

:

Mucho cojones!  Wish I was there to see it.  How do you just walk out & film on the Peace Bridge?
–Christa K.  Toronto , ON (05-08-08)

 

 

Discreetly.

 
: Wonderful to see so many young actors in your film.  How were they to work with?
–Heather G. London, ON (05-12-08)
 
: The kids were fantastic and so were their parents I might add.  Because we were shooting on and off for well over a year, it was important that the kids were accessible in Buffalo.  It didn’t make sense to have to constantly make travel arrangements for both child and parent coming from outside the area.  The local casting effort through high schools and local theatre companies really worked out.  Every time we got back together to shoot it became almost family style and the kids became more and more comfortable with each other and the situation.  I think it is really cool that we have father/son, mother/daughter, mother/son, and brother/sister combinations captured on screen.  The younger actors actually went to the same schools as both Peter McGennis and Jesse Martin so there was a familiarity of place which helped the kids identify with their roles.  Watching the kids mature was also great to witness and they recognized more and more how special this opportunity is for all of them.  They bring so much emotion into the film which helps the story hit closer to home.  They should all be very proud and I encourage them to pursue their dreams.
 
: As an illustrator, it’s very cool to see you showcase the talent of your animation department (Mariano & Appelbaum) on the same level as your cast. The same holds true for the music of your film.  You get that film is collaborative effort to be shared (credit included).  Great example for others to follow.
–Kenan M. Providence , RI (05-18-08)
 
: Thanks.  Like I said, the process matters as much as the product for it is the true indicator of a filmmaker’s character.  It comes down to people, always has and always will.
 
: Bruce Glover?!  Tremendous.  Probably one of the most underrated actors of our time.  Killer that the two of you bonded & you brought his wisdom into the film.  What fun.  How ‘bout a pic of the two of you?  Can’t wait to see this film!  Totally respect your approach to making films.
–Graham J. Villa Park, IL (05-24-08)
 
: I can’t say enough about Bruce.  I look forward to working with him again.  Here’s a picture that I think sums it all up.  Thanks and enjoy your Bushido T-Shirt.

 

 

 

 
: What’s this film about?  Looks interesting.
–Jamal E. Queens , NY 05-30-08
 
: This film is really about our need to come home, what is home (community, a state of mind, etc), and what is required to get to that.  How do we accept someone as estranged as Davis ?  I think most of us can identify with his character in our own lives whether it’s a family member or a stranger on the sidewalk.  Often we look for answers about ourselves through those who are disenfranchised because it’s safer than being vulnerable to something unknown to us.  Ultimately we have little claim over ourselves and like Bruce Glover’s character Soup says, “you can’t choose your own cross.”
 
: Are you getting closer this month?
–J.J. B Cleveland , OH (06-04-08)
 
: The film is in really good hands this month.  Stuart, our Sound Designer, will be overseeing the Foley, adding the ADR, putting in our music, and preparing for our Mix.  It will be awesome to finally hear the sound for the film in more depth as it has existed with only production tracks & temp music for a long time.  On a picture note, the negative of the Final Cut will be getting scanned for our DI work.  After the Visual Effects are completed in film rez, we will conform and begin working with a colorist.  This is where the fun begins experimenting with the “look” of the film which has awesome possibilities between the present, flashbacks, fantasy, and anime layers of the film.  This is my first 2k DI experience and I’m excited to see what is possible.
 
: What are your goals for your next film?
–Bridget M. Wash, DC (06-12-08)
 
: Well, I have many goals for sure. At the top of the list, I’d say just having the opportunity to do it again is a huge goal. To be blessed with good health and to be able to balance all of my other priorities in order to make another total commitment… it’s an awful lot. But like anything in life that worth it, 100% dedication is just part of the equation and making an original film from butt scratch is no exception. 

As an artist, my goals remain the same and that’s to inspire both in process and product. It’s how we do things that matters as much as what we do. I’ve been writing away at the new script that takes place in Buffalo. It’s got a lot of Buffalo Bushido trappings and I hope we’ll see some new and some familiar faces in front of the camera. It would be great if the sale or distribution of Buffalo Bushido will help finance this next Buffalo affair. I’m already planting the seeds and once the script is ready we’ll be on our way.
 
 
: Having recently wrapped a 30 day indy shoot as a principal actor, I am reeling from the amount of energy and commitment that the prod/writer/director/actor/chauffer/lunch coordinator/etc, etc (you get my drift) put into the film. Like you, he helmed the project from concept to screening and beyond. You are to be recognized for that level of achievement! What I am interested in is the assortment of equipment you employed to capture and edit the film. Camera choices (how many?), any special lenses, lighting and sound considerations, digital video / HDV, editing software etc.?? Please share and best regards on this and the next film you create!
–"Uncle Mertz" NYC, NY  (06-19-07)
 
: Thanks for the nice words.  We were fortunate to have a 1 ton grip & lighting truck package available to us out of Rochester every time we shot.  It made the off and on filming strategy possible.  Trusty Marc, our commuting Key Grip, would regularly pick up the truck the night before and make the one hour trip over where we’d have a six pack waiting for him on ice.  The lighting package itself had pretty much what we needed- Kinos, Chimeras, even an HMI.  We also built in our Super 16mm camera package from the same production house.  I would normally pick up the camera two days before in order to have our First AC test it.  It had a nice Zeiss zoom and a monitor.  Film came factory sealed directly from your friendly neighborhood Kodak.  For sound, we rented a DAT package out of Buffalo from our Gaffer.  Everyone brought what they had!  We couldn’t afford film dailies but we had the telecine house dub to miniDV from the DigiBeta masters for our viewing pleasure.  These same tapes would be what we used to edit in Final Cut.  Working together with the resources available to us in the Buffalo-Rochester area we were fortunate to be able to pull off a full length feature film production with the proper equipment.  Good questions, enjoy the tee, and spread the good Bushido word!
 
: Hopefully you’re enjoying your summer Pete.  You’ve been running hard for a couple years now and you deserve a break (or is that word not in your vocabulary).
–Christina T. Hartford, CT (06-26-08)
 
: I take breaks every day.  Singing in the car, going for a jog, watching movies.  I also draw enormous strength from my family especially my wife Susan. She’s been my soul mate for half of my life now and we keep busy with three young kids.  We laugh a lot.  She puts up with all the movie distractions and I owe her a lot.  With love, friendship, balance, good health, positive attitude, and faith you can really bite off a lot in life.  I wish everyone in the world can find this in themselves and bring it out in others.  Thanks for your kind words and for reminding me of what’s really important.
 
: As a producer, I congratulate you on pulling off a production of this caliber on your own.  Not only with cast but with the level of postproduction and other elements (animation) that you incorporated into the film after principal.  Your approach and style are inspiring.  Good luck and I’ll be looking for Buffalo Bushido.
–Natalie B. Richmond, VA (06-30-08)
 
: Kind words from a peer. Producing… it sure can be as creative an undertaking as writing, directing, and acting. You just keep pushing things forward with sincerity and a smile. It can seem like a mountain too high to climb especially when you embark with a script and a mission. But as you map out a strategy an order of things materializes and you begin to chop down the list. The bigger the scale production, the bigger the list. I would be interested to team up with another producer for my next feature and see what we can accomplish together pooling our resources.
 
: Love the use of veteran actors (Glover and Savage) in principal roles.  Seems these days if you’re not Morgan Freeman or Michael Caine, you’re left out in the cold if you’re a veteran.  Hollywood needs to appreciate its treasures instead of catering to brats with little talent.
–Joe P. Madison, WI (07-06-08)
 
:

Michael Caine recently said “Actors don’t retire from movies, movies retire actors.”  It’s an interesting commentary but yes, I agree.  There’s a wealth of veteran actors out there willing to throw their hat in the ring.  The thing is that the scripts that get made have to have good roles for them.  Personally, I don’t think actors get interesting to watch until they reach at least 30 when life hopefully begins to sink in along with perspective.  You can’t put a young head on old shoulders and too often Hollywood casts young actors with no access to the honesty of the role that they are taking on.   Of course, there are exceptions in the indie world and Maria Full Of Grace with Catalina Sandino Moreno comes to mind.  I continue to write roles for veteran actors in my scripts.  As for Bruce Glover and John Savage, they brought so much to the film as you will see,  Here’s a nice buddy pic of the two them from our ADR session in Los Angeles .


 
: Will you be done this fall?  That would mean we can look for festival appearances starting in 2009, right?  Keep us posted.
–Anne S. Lancaster , PA (07-14-08)
 
: Yes, it appears that we’ll be finishing this September.  We actually just scheduled our Sound Mix starting August 11th We have the privilege of working with Reilly Steele ( Brokeback Mountain , etc) who will be our mixer and this is a huge score for the film.  On the picture side, Deluxe is on board and our color correction is on the slate for September.   Our VFX artist, Jeremy Appelbaum is jamming on our animation (look for our Animation Page to be up soon) and he will be wrapping up this month.  The talent on board in post has been well worth the wait and the film has exceeded my expectations in the way that it has evolved.  I would say that we will finally have a finished film to submit to festivals by the end of September.  I’ll certainly keep everyone posted.
 
: What about your next film?  When would you start to think about casting?
Joe “The Fan” Venice Bch , CA (07-20-08)
 
: I’ve actually been thinking about potential cast ever since I started writing “Brinker” (working title) the new Buffalo film.  I’m pleased to say that I finished the first draft this week which is a huge milestone in the process.  I think as “Buffalo Bushido” began to empty from my think tank, space opened up for something new.  It was kind of surreal to just arrive with this new completed script since my primary focus has been supervising the postproduction for “Buffalo Bushido”.  Still, I made it a point to sneak in writing time on a daily basis over the past several months.  Sometimes it would be a couple pages, sometimes a couple lines.  The plan would be to get started in 2009 on “Brinker” while “Buffalo Bushido” makes it way through the festival circuit but it’s hard to predict.  When you do it the way I do it, the structure takes shape on its own as I make progress.  Stay tuned.
 
: What do you want people to say about you after seeing this film?
–Greg J. Albany, NY (07-26-08)
 
: Hmm, haven’t really thought about this one.  I’ve thought about what people might take away from the film but not really about me.  I suppose that it would be nice if people feel that I have an original voice and that I am capable of delivering honest, original art (performance, writing, music, etc).  I want to inspire in both process and product so hopefully they’ll be some folks who take away something from what I’ve accomplished and they go out in the world and create art and other good stuff.  Passion and good vibes are contagious.  Hopefully, they’ll be some people who want me to make more films.
 
: I don’t think I’ve come across a film with name cast where I’ve seen one person take on as many roles as you have.  The idea of writing, directing, solo producing while starring in a film seems impossible (or a nightmare) and yet here you are alive and full of energy at the finish.  Are there any other major capacities that you took on that you’re not telling us?
–John M. Baltimore, MD (08-02-08)
 
: Yes, I am alive and full of energy at the finish even though it was a long haul.  Next time, I may look to pair up with another producer to help ease the load and to pool our resources but we’ll see.  In terms of major capacities, I would have to add Post Supervisor to the list because it really is a huge coordination effort.  I guess I kind of parked this job under the enormous producing umbra that I’ve come to know.  The good news is that when all was said and done, I took my time in post and it really paid off.  I must stress again that if you take on a lot you really need to have time on your side or, like you say, it can become a nightmare and a stress.
 
: Congrats on making it to your sound mix!  Break a leg while you’re here in New York!
–Jen I.   NY , NY (08-08-08)
 
: Thanks.  The Sound Mix is really a time to enjoy what you’ve created, be open, and explore some new possibilities.  Buffalo Bushido has a really organic, complicated sound design and I am so excited to share this experience with my Sound Editor, Stuart Stanley, who has given this project his all across the board.  Sound is a half a movie and we really do some cool & experimental things in this film that work for our story.  The mix is awesome especially when you’re bouncing new ideas around and you don’t have one person taking over which is how things get screwed up.
 
: Hotties all around.  That’s all I need.  Let me in!
–Val J. Denver, CO (08-12-08)
 
: You’re in.
 
: How amazing it will be to see the Real Buffalo on film *coff Bruce Almighty*. I got here by way of checking out Fred Weller's IMDB listing. I have fallen completely in love with him from his USA series. And Jesse is an amazing, talented and hot actor as well. Filmed in Buffalo, two of my fave guys in it: it could be two hours of someone reading the phone book and I'd be interested in seeing it! Thankfully, from what I can gather from the site, it looks to be a tad bit more layered than the phone book reading. My fingers are crossed that we get at least an airing here, if not the premiere. And that your hard work pays off with some festival viewings and a distribution pickup. Best of Luck ~ I'll be checking back to see how things are progressing. Heck, email me if you get news of a showing!
–Beth E,  Buffalo , NY (8-19-08)
 
: I’m glad you stumbled upon us in cyberspace and I find it very cool that your search led you right back home to Buffalo.  Absolutely, there will be a local premiere to celebrate what we all accomplished.  This film passed through many hands and it’s important to stress the community component of the process that fortunately also found its way on film.  Nothing but good things to say about Fred.  He came in and nailed his part as the cute, anal-retentive, pedantic voice of reason.  Hopefully, we’ll have both Fred and Jesse in the house at the New York premiere down the road.  I’ll keep you posted for sure.  Might give you reason, or two, to make a special trip to NYC.

 

 
: Hallo from Germany .  I like reading about your filmmaking.  I hope to see “Buffalo Bushido” over here.  You seem happy to make films in New York but you should come to Germany sometime.  Good luck.
–Karl D. Munchen, Germany (08-29-08)
 
: I’d love to make a film in Germany and anywhere in Europe for that matter.  I actually came pretty close a couple years ago in Northern Ireland before the US dollar took a plunge.  You know I recall Bob Dylan once talking about feeling comfortable with his “limited space” (referring to his songs, singing and guitar playing) as if that’s all he needed to create honest work.  I think of one of my favorite painters Maurice Utrillo who painted street scenes of Montmartre throughout his life.  He didn’t have to travel far, and even when we wanted to in his mind, he’d paint foreign places from postcards.  I can see myself working in much the same way for awhile here in Buffalo / Upstate New York.  This is my canvas and ideas seem to take root in the local soil here.  This fits my life right now with a young family and certainly I know this dot on the map well.  There may come a time however when I pack up and take the show somewhere else (don’t forget my first film “In” was shot in New Orleans ).  Germany would be a great place and we’ll see where “Buffalo Bushido” gains attention.  I’m sure I’ll be influenced by where the film does well and I’ll want to give back.
 
: I am eager to see this movie!  My kids and I went down to the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium to be extras.  They were filming a scene of the younger character going in to see a wrestling match and told people to come on down if you wanted to be an extra.  They said come dressed in your best 80's outfit and hopefully be a wrestling fan too.  We are huge wrestling fans and wouldn't have missed the chance to be in a movie and also meet "Superfly Snuka"! We sported our Roddy Piper t-shirt and leather jacket, Madonna hairdo's, and jean jackets.  It was a lot of fun and something the kids will never forget!  Peter and his crew were very nice to everyone!   It was quite an experience!  I don't want to miss this!
–Ronda M. Buffalo , NY (09-05-08)
 
: A big thank you for showing up that evening in costume.  The shoot was actually during a Buffalo Sabres playoff game and we sure confused a whole lot of people.  The Superfly is such a great guy and even though he wasn’t in that scene, he wanted to come downtown to the old Aud to greet fans and to sign autographs before we took him to the airport.  His cameo in the film is a real memorable one.  It was also nice to be a part of Memorial Auditorium history as it now being demolished to make way for a parking lot.  This Buffalo icon will now forever be preserved on film.  “The Natural” gave props to War Memorial Stadium and I kinda felt that I should do my part paying respects to The Aud.  We’ll keep you posted about the premiere.
 
: Every art form has it innate challenges but I’d have to think filmmaking presents the steepest hill to climb.  I hope you make a lot of films outside the studio umbrella.
–Calvin M. Los Angeles, CA (09-13-08)
 
: One of my best friends is a novelist (John Wray).  He has often said to me “why don’t you try writing a book?”  Of course, writing has its own hurdles (like getting published) but he was saying this to me witnessing how hard it is to put yourself out there to make films the way I do.  It is a steep hill especially when you’re just embarking.  Writing a novel is certainly something I would consider pursuing down the line but right now, with the fuel that’s in my tank, I’m prepared to make films.  The collaborative value of making a film (with many people) would seem to outweigh the personal value of writing of book.  The fact that I work outside of the studio affords even a greater degree of artistic and structural freedom.  I’ve always regarded the opportunity to make a film as the ultimate privilege which makes everything else, including the work, seem secondary.
 
: This Message Board is great.  A real wealth of information.  It is clear that you really enjoy the process of making films.  Keep at it.
–Joan W. Augusta, ME  (09-19-08)
 
: You really should enjoy the process if you’re going to make films.  It’s such a personal experience both in process and in product.
 
: Do you consider yourself to be self-taught?
–Piers H. Glasgow, Scotland (09-28-08)
 
: Cool question.  Yes, absolutely.  The best way to learn to make a film is to make one even if you don’t know how.  Have something to say and do it.  It takes a lot more courage to do this then to go to film school but that’s my advice.
 
: Happy birthday Peter… :)  Are you finishing this month?  We’re waiting for the NY premiere.
–Jennifer G. Potsdam, NY (10-02-08)
 
: Thanks for the love Upstate.  Yes, we’re doing some amazing things right now with Deluxe Labs that will take us through the month.  We are doing a Digital Intermediate Post Production which allows us to digitally set the look of the film.  This is my first DI experience and I’m blown away at what is possible and how we can get that much closer to the soul and guts of the film.  The different feel between and color corrected shot and an non-color corrected shot can be huge.  I’m so glad we shot in film because it’s looking great.
 
: How do you run your sets?
–George O. Providence, RI (10-07-08)
 
: The set needs to allow for discoveries to be made by instinct and intuition. Perhaps I lean a bit too far on the organic side but I do come prepared knowing the soul of the material so I can take some chances and shoot a little bit from the hip. Communication is key and crew (especially camera) should be on the same page going in. That said, however, the set is the most volatile thing and, as a director, I only present the illusion of control. This is an exploration after all. I like to focus working with the actors often trying different directions with each take. Accidental decisions can often tap gold. You can’t plot your exact course but you know it when you see it. Hope this makes sense.
 
: You must be eager to finish your work after almost three years!  You’re not the typical American who gets bored after thirty seconds.
–Katrina B.  Prague, Czech Republic (10-16-08)
 
: Thirty… you give us too much credit. I don’t think a filmmaker should complete a work until every last detail has been given its due attention. I learned this on my first film when I was, at the time, proud of myself that I moved quickly through post production. Buffalo Bushido benefited tremendously from having time away from the project and then coming back at it. The film’s unique structure actually was cultivated in post and this would not have been possible if I was eager to cross the finish line like before. This is a real advantage that we independents have over the studios because they are always rushing to meet release deadlines. To have been able to maintain both control and a personal connection to the original idea of the film from conception to final product is the heart of the art form. The choice, not to mention the financial sacrifice, to pull off a full tilt DI really shows on the big screen and it’s true that the finishing touches make a big difference. I have learned that productivity does not necessarily mean being able to move on to the next film. It means doing whatever needs to be done until that task is completed. It takes discipline sustained over a long period of time.
 
: Terrific Message Board. Still don’t know how you do it but I can sure feel your passion come through. Your photos look pretty serious, is that the real you?
Jim R. Denver, CO (10-24-08)
 
: Actually, I’m kind of a clown but you’re right, a lot of the production stills caught me either in character or in the trenches. Here’s a photo of me thinking happy thoughts. In terms of how I go about things, I think you just need to have the right approach and attitude. Independent filmmaking is a process of one’s own development. I’ve learned that it’s not just about making a movie (although there is a lot to be said about your first time). With creativity, sheer will, and resourcefulness you have to work within the space that you have and make it come alive. It’s hard to put into words but I feel that I succeeded in living out this personal story (both on and off camera) and transplanting my mind as the film’s unique structure. From writing the script all the way to the finished product, I was able to stick the original idea and transmit it as an experience. I really hope to be able to get this close to a work of mine again.
 
: What makes this film different from everything else out there?  We don’t even go to the theatre anymore where we live because it’s all the same.  Same formulas, same dumb down content.
–Craig T. Omaha, NE (10-28-08)
 
: What makes this film different is that it comes from a specific place that I had access to.  The thought process of the main character becomes the structure of the film and because I played this role I was able to transmit the idea of the film through acting and directing.  This closeness is very unique and I can only hope to be able to get this close to a work of mine again.  The film came out of, an inner voice you might say, and I think once you shut your ears off to that inner voice you lose what’s innovative and you become like everything else.  Everything else isn’t why I make films and likewise, to your credit, it isn’t what you’re looking for when you go out to the movies.
 
: Wowzaaaa! : )  Love the effort and the message you send.  Sending good vibes your way and hope you catch a break.
–Motown Girl (11-04-08)
 
: Many thanks for giving props to the message here.  There’s too much finding fault out there and we need more people creating stuff.  In terms of catching a break, I can’t tell you how excited I will be when I know what film festival we will have the privileged of world premiering “Buffalo Bushido” in 2009.  When you’ve carried a project for so long it’s important for the psyche to celebrate the accomplishment with those who made it possible and to get the work out there.  I’m ready to bring my A-game to wherever I get the call and you better believe, we’ll have a kick ass time.  I’m just starting to send out submissions so wish us luck.
 
: How you making out with post?  Glad to see you’re doing it right going digital intermediate.  Keep us posted!
–Glen S. Miami , FL (11-12-08)
 
: Post is almost finished and I’ve learned a ton about the DI process by working with the great folks at Deluxe.  This is actually my first experience with digital color correction as previously I cut negative and went the traditional route of making a timed print.  As you know, with a DI, you scan the film and never cut the negative.  So, you shoot on film to get the look of film but you color correct in the digital realm where film gives you the latitude to adjust color saturation and contrast to a greater extent than if you shot on HD.  HD is getting there however and has become the medium of choice for commercials and videos partly because of the savings (no stock, processing, scanning, etc) and the fact that all roads lead to an HD finish in post anyway.  In my opinion, however, there is still no equivalent to the look and latitude of film.  I am very pleased with what we did on Buffalo Bushido giving the present day material a contrasty look and the flashbacks a full 80’s style color saturation.  We exposed grain for certain shots and, as if working in Photoshop, we isolated certain sections of the frame to alter the light for mood or to even change the color of something.  When you’re in the DI Theatre, it’s really magic and a whole lot of fun.  Now, we’re just working through all of the scratch removal that needs to be painted out frame by frame.  This is an unfortunate attribute associated with film that would be avoided shooting in HD which may be in the cards next time around.
 
: When do you expect to get started on your next film?  Great to see a filmmaker get it on hometown style the way you do.
–Mara J. Cleveland , OH (11-18-08)
 
: I’m looking to get my feet wet towards the end of this winter shooting some material in snowy Buffalo .  Although the next film takes place in the winter, let’s face it, it’s tough to draw folks here in January when we’re in survival mode.  So seeing that winter here lasts through April, I figure we’ll bring some folks here under the guise of spring (which doesn’t exist).  Thanks for the nice hometown words and yes, I’m a big believer in embracing one’s limited space and making things happen here.
 
: Great website!  Cast, animation, content… you got it going on and count me in.  Please let us know when the film is playing in town. Good luck with the festivals. 
–Chrissy C. NY , NY (11-24-08)
 
: Will do. Crossing my fingers that we’ll get the invite to screen in NYC and spread a little upstate inspiration.
 
: Your film looks really cool.  Read about Jesse’s stuff getting stolen in your hometown.  What a shame (but you did get a ton of publicity).  Did someone stalk you guys?  What happened?
–Gene R. Dallas, TX (11-30-08)
 
: You know I’m still trying to figure out what happened.  I know we weren’t trailed because nobody knew when I was going to pick up Jesse from his hotel.  We didn’t even know where we were going to breakfast.  I actually recommended my favorite place but Jesse had a soft spot for his favorite place growing up so we went there.  So how does the back of my truck get dismantled in a full parking lot at 9:00 AM on a Monday morning and nobody sees a thing?  I found it odd when the management informed me that Monday is the one day of the week when the parking attendant is not on duty.  Oh well, that’s about all there is to it (not really national headline material if you ask me other than the irony of the cop who arrived on the scene asking Jesse for his autograph).  The lesson here is an old one: “it’s not what happens to you that matters but, rather, how you handle it.”  After the shock, I was pretty bummed out because as a producer, it’s my job to ensure that Jesse is in good hands during his time here.  So, it was one of those “not on my watch” kind of blues.  Jesse, on the other hand, took the whole thing in stride and his unflappable spirit really gave me boost.  That’s what makes him the awesome person he is and looking back, we both get a laugh out of the whole incident.
 
: Good to hear that things are still alive and kickin' in my old hood (Buff State Grad). Sounds like you got plans to do another Buffalo joint. Sweet. Are we talkin' next year? Keep meposted. I might move back with the folks to be an extra in a Lezley Zen scene!
–Jack S. Baltimore, MD (12-06-08)
 
: Ah, you're a dirty ole' man Baltimore Jack and it's great to hear from Buffalo peep. Yes, the plan is to begin filming the next project in 2009 and complete it n 2010. It's a period piece set in the winter of 1980 so we'll see what's possible this winter and finish the rest next winter. I just completed the second draft and it's going out to certain folks. I'll keep you posted about cast as they fall into place and I can assure you that we'll have a diverse, talented bunch once again.
 
: Phenomenal solo producing! I'm impressed. Especially in this recession when nobody's giving it up, to pull off a film of this scale on one's own without a net is remarkable. Any advice to lend for a creative way to put together the financing?
–Brandon J. NY, NY (12-12-08)
 
: Well, there's always the old fashion way, inheritance but if you're like the rest of us and need to think outside the box try The Lezley Zen Car Wash.
 
: How's Bushido looking as 2008 draws to a close?
Shelly B. Dayton, OH  (12-19-08)
 
: We're in really good shape and a lot has been going on this month. We are set to finish the sound mix on Jan 3rd in NYC and we will also be mixing the trailer that I recently put together. We wanted to leave a mix day open to us after we had finished our color correction with Deluxe just to make sure everything was right with the final picture. What we found was that we lost some levels taking the surround mix and folding it down to a stereo mix (which is what you'd here on your television). So after this sound session, we will have completed our sound and we will only be looking at a few days of video mastering with Deluxe which is more or less cropping "pan and scanning" the wide screen image to fit into television format. There is also some scratch removal work that is finishing up so by the end of January we'll be good to go. I'm also putting together some outtakes, deleted scenes, and blooper reel material for the DVD extras so that I present distributors with as much cool material as possible. Next stop will be world premiering on the festival circuit, a year later than anticipated, but with a finished film that has exceeded my expectations.
 
: I was hunting for Pete on FB, but no-go. Then I came across this. Hmmmm......very interesting....is there a trailer anywhere? How about a release date? Any chance of a screening in NOLA?
 
Fred Weller's a great guy...a buddy of one of my ex-bandmates. I'm thrilled to death to see him work. And beyond Fred, man, what a great cast! A porn star, no less!! And a damned busy porn star at that!
 
Lovely. Excellent. Congrats and Godspeed to you and Buffalo Bushido.
–Brian G. New Orleans, LA (12-24-08)
 
: To all my extended family & friends down in New Orleans, all the best this holidays. I certainly hope that I will have a chance to screen "Buffalo Bushido" at the Prytania, the oldest theatre in New Orleans, and where I actually world premiered my first feature "In" which we shot right before Katrina. I know what it means to miss New Orleans. As for a release, we'll have to see how distribution goes but video aside, I'd be thrilled to cart the film down to New Orleans again for the Film Festival or for a private engagement. Maybe a double feature with "In" opening!
 
: Glad to see this year go! Welcome 2009!! Feeling fine in 09.  Obama and Bushido!!!  Man’s got a plan!!  Not sure of all the particulars, but you obviously know how to get the job done without it being handed to you.  Love the inspiration coming through the website.  Keep it going. 
–Divine L. Gaithersburg, MD (01-02-09)
 
 
 : Thanks much for your inspiration and let’s hope our leaders think good thoughts, do good deeds, and set the bar high again.  It’s been a long time coming. In terms of getting the job done, I want to stress that working with a low budget doesn’t have to be a limitation.  In fact, in many ways working with less money is easier because you are forced to really sink your teeth into what you are working with.  “Embrace your space” has always been my own mantra and this is very important for indie filmmakers to keep that in mind and actually view as a strength and not a weakness.  All the best to you and enjoy the inauguration.
 
: This message board rocks!!  Nowhere better to learn the film-making process than from someone who’s doing it.  I’m majoring in film studies and I know this s kinda out there. but i have a favor to ask.  Can you recommend any classes that I should be looking at?  What is your background?  Oh, and hire me for free on your next film in any on set capacity! 
i–Sandy G. NY , NY (01-06-09)
 
: Thanks for the your interest and for your kind words.  You touch on something important here that I’ve been meaning to find a way to put up on the message board.  Looking back at my schooling, I think there is a void in fine arts programs that they do not tell you that it’s okay to make money with your art.  Not that I have a found a way to do it yet, but we artists tend to get so jazzed & absorbed in the craft / creative process early on that we miss the boat on how to balance our art with the demands of the real world.  So, maybe take a few business classes, as blasé as that may sound, just to know how the clock ticks.  During my summers off from college, I flew out to LA and worked on several films for free.  It didn’t even dawn on me as I was making the two hour drive into the scorching Mojave that I could be getting paid and that it’s okay.  Oh well, as you say, there’s nothing like experience.  Above all, enjoy yourself in school and invest in becoming the person you want to be (that’s what I did and I found my wife / soul mate).  I’m sure I’ll be working on something when you get out or over a summer break so keep in touch.
 
: I've busted into a good laugh reading this blog.   Great stuff and shall I add it will be missed when you dive into your next project.  Kudos on a stellar job making your second film, staying focused & multi-tasking and for your willingness to educate & inspire others who may share your dream.  You’re definitely one to watch.
–Jodie M. Boulder, CO (01-11-09)
 
: Yes indeed, one can never do enough inspiring.  This message board has brought me a lot of fulfillment as I chronicle my experiences & give my two cents of wisdom on the process.  It will be interesting when the comments shift to critiquing the film.  I’m looking forward to it and I do think that “Buffalo Bushido” is a film that brings out emotion and invites discussion.  So it should be interesting.  I will always try to keep up with the comments that come in from the various channels.  In many ways, your comments bridge & spur me on to the next production.  I’m gearing up to embark on another project and I know that the Bushido Message Board has been a source of motivation for me to have reached this point.  Thanks again.
 
: Working in post sound, I am blown away by the caliber of sound production that you were able to achieve for “Buffalo Bushido”.  Dealing with clients everyday, I understand budget restrictions and what a lot of independents don’t get is that the big boys will open their doors to you if you work with them.  Congrats and I’m sure you got a terrific mix with Sound One.  Reilly Steele and Stuart Stanley, that’s top shelf.  Any stories from the mix?  Good luck with distribution.
–Jim S. Hollywood, CA (01-15-09)
 
: The mix at Sound One was a tremendous experience and I can’t say enough good things about the folks there.  Over Winter Break, we finished the mix as we had set aside a time for my editor (Bill Kruzykowski) to screen the film with Stuart, Reilly, and myself.  Bill had been working on “Marley and Me” all summer/ fall and wasn’t able to attend our mix.  It was important for us to screen the film together and address any notes that we had accumulated.  I thank Sound One for recognizing this and allowing us to finish the film in the company of friends.  As for stories?  We joked around every day as you would expect when you lock three guys up in a room for 10 hours.  Here’s a good picture of where Stuart was at on the last day of the mix.


 
: My heart goes out to you.  What an incredible DIY accomplishment.  What do you think the future holds for indie films in this struggling economy?  Keep it going.
–Phil J. Bellevue WA, (01-23-09)
 
: Thanks for the note.  Yes, I do think the model of independent filmmaking in changing now.  The reality of the business climate has already shown the majors pulling out of the indie market.  The cost of marketing continues to go up and the majors need to bank on the odds which interestingly enough means pouring more marketing dollars in their 100 million plus blockbusters than cultivating a small “indie” film.  This may actually be good for the true do-it-yourself (DIF) filmmaker who can better stand out with fewer indie films getting made while the well is dry.  Also keep in mind, that when you talk about a DIF filmmaker, you are usually referring to someone who follows a passion model rather than a business model.  They may be aware of crossover potential but ultimately it is not what is driving them.  Success remains a possible outcome for their hard work, talent, and resourcefulness.  They will continue to make art first and then find their audience.  That’s independent filmmaking.
 
: Great to see John Savage alive and kicking!  You got him looking like a mad dog.
–Clark H. Phoenix , AZ (01-26-09)
 
: Yeah, John really stepped into Vendetti’s shoes.  Here’s a nice buddy pic after he released his character’s anxiety in the backseat of a caddy.  His face is still red!


 

 

 
: Are there any qualities / people skills that you think get overlooked when it comes to directing?  I’m really impressed by the way you make films and do let me know about the premiere.
–Jen G. Atlanta, GA. (01-29-09)
 
: Thanks for your kind words.  A quality that comes to mind is security or, in other words, how comfortable the director is with him or herself.  Why I say this, is that the more comfortable a director is the more he or she will be open to feedback on set and throughout the creative process.  Great ideas can come from the most unlikely of sources and I do think it is important for the director to allow this connectivity to happen by being open.  This isn’t to say that a director shouldn’t have a vision.  A director needs to inspire and set the stage for discovery.  An insecure director will likely cut off the circulation of great ideas.  Crew also feels more invested when they feel that their ideas are respected and being received.  Filmmaking needs to be fun! 
 
:

When will we get to see this labor of love?  Are you finished?

- Kelly H. Youngstown, OH (02-04-09)
 
:

After we had finished our color correction, we came across some additional paint work that needed to be done in order to remove some hairs & scratches.  The film needs to be pristine before rendering out of the color space & mastering in HD which will be what we shop around to distributors and send to festivals.  We’ll be a press of a button away from a film-out if a theatrical print is required for an art house release.  It’s common indie practice to wait and see who is in interested before incurring the expense of making a 35mm print and Dolby printmastering.  Of course, I’m dying to world premiere on the festival circuit and aggressively seek distribution but finishing right remains the top priority.

 
:

Lots of lovin’ energy around this project.  You are very fortunate to live the inspiring way you do.  Is “Buffalo Bushido” dedicated to anyone special?

-Grace B. Charlottesville, VA (02-10-09)
 
:

I’m surprised that I haven’t gotten this question and thank you for asking.  The film is dedicated to my best friend’s brother Brendan Pfalzgraf who passed away at too young of an age after he was struck by a car.  He was an extraordinary, charismatic kid bound to do great things in life.  He used to tag along his older brother, Dave, and I growing up in Buffalo in the 1980’s.  The first thing anyone would notice about Brendan is his red bushy hair that instantly warmed your heart.  He took his fair share of lumps hanging around his older brother and we all knew that it was only a matter of time before he would come into his own.  Buffalo Bushido is dedicated to Brendan and it is an honor to remember him through my work.  The on screen dedication at the end of the film evokes a sense of the everlasting as the shot is up in the air over the dazzling waters of Lake Erie.       

 
: It’s so awesome to have a feature filmmaker living, working and “drawing inspiration” (as you put it) here in Buffalo.  You are the inspiration!  Much respect my Buffalo brother.
- Cam M. Buffalo, NY (02-11-09)
 
:

Thanks for the local props and it is my intent to do some magic here in the hood.  There’s so much texture here to tap into.  In “Buffalo Bushido”, the poetic sorrow and desperation come out from my response to location as importations my own psychological state of mind.  It’s a beautiful thing.  This is how I create the world and imagery of the story.  I am doing the same type of landscape evoking on my next film here entitled “Queen City”.  It’s a different Buffalo, more musical than poetic, pulled from the same core.  More on that later!

 
: It's Oscar time. Any particular film that you take a liking to? Anything that reflects your style?
-Greg O. Cleveland, OH (02-21-09)
 
:

I recently watched "Rachel Getting Married" and I was impressed. Besides the honest performances, it was great to watch Jonathan Demme embrace a small film, often regarded as an "independent" film, in a way tha's palpable to me. He succeeded in creating a world that on the surface revolved around a wedding weekend but deep down hit the family core. The way that he brought different moving elements into this world, especially the music, reminded me of how I go about creating a sense of place. Small, specific, honest, patient these are words that allow an audience to relate to a film through their own lives. "Rachel Getting Marrie" gets to that. There's a lot to take away from this film other than Anne Hathaway's desperate performance. It was clear that Demme really got into this work and hats off to him for making this film. He stripped it down to a level that independents like me inhabit and he made the most of it. There's a lot to be gleaned making a smaller film.

 
: John Savage with a shitzu?! Count me in as long as the dog doesn't get squashed.
-Paul T. Calgary, AB (02-27-09)
 
:

No worries, no "Amores Perro" in this film (which is an excruciatingly great film by the way but be forewarned dog lovers). I get a lot of e-mails about Sophie the Shitzu. Iíll never forget how several crew wanted me to scrap the dog in the script concerned that it would slow us down. I'm so glad that I followed my instincts as I can't imagine Savage's character, Vendetti, without his side kick / audience. 

 
:

Any word on a New York premiere?

-Shaundra N. NY, NY (03-04-09)
 
:

As of March, I have finally completed "Buffalo Bushido"!! Screeners will now be going out to festivals as it is time to celebrate and get the word out. I'm dying to screen the film in NY and there appears to be an opportunity in Brooklyn around June. I'll keep you posted. 

 
 
:

I'm not sure if I made "the cut" but I played a small bit part as a security guard, controlling the unruly crowd,with Jimmy "The Superfy!" Snuka. I am a local Pro Wrestling personality in the Buffalo, NY area who has actually interviewed "The Superfly" on several occasions in the past. It was my first time being involved in a real movie so it was a great experience! Thank you Peter for allowing me the opportunity to "get involved". I hope to be there at the premier!

-Joey "The Bruiser" Tenebruso Amherst, NY (03-10-09)
 
:

Yep, you made the cut and the end credits!!! Thanks for coming in costume!! We'll keep you posted about the premiere. 

 
:

What’s your take on the festivals for real independents? You hear words like “Sundance” get tossed around way too much. Don’t you think it’s become a marketing arm for Hollywood?

-Jim L. Victorville, CA (03-16-09)
 
:

Festivals are a great way for independent filmmakers to gain traction. When I say “traction” I am not referring to distribution and, in fact, distribution is really not likely to come directly from festivals. From the couple thousand entries to Sundance & Toronto every year, you have a couple hundred films getting in, and from that maybe 5-6 films get picked up for distribution. It’s that slim. I was talking to a producer last week who sold his film at Sundance a couple years ago and he has yet to break even. However, festivals provide networking opportunities which can lead into fruitful, future relationships. It’s all about the next film. This window of networking is especially important for folks working outside of Hollywood like me. The festivals also provide an audience which is the ultimate destination for the work. After often years of dedication, the festivals allow the filmmaker a chance to enjoy and share what has been created. It’s a huge psychological component of the process and we are grateful to every festival out there that holds the spirit of independent filmmaking in high regard. Finally, if you want my opinion about Sundance and Hollywood, yes I do agree that it has to some degree become a high-profile slingshot for Hollywood “independent” films. Take “In Bruges” for example. It opened Sundance in 2008 while “coming soon” posters were already hanging up in art house theatres across the country. These festivals do need their high profile films to create their own buzz. However, they do look at every film submitted and they do accept a lot of unknown works. It is really Hollywood that has forced a natural order of selection relying on Sundance to pan for gold. Hollywood certainly doesn’t have the time to screen thousands of films. Good by consensus at any festival (but especially the big ones) gives Hollywood better odds if they want to acquire a film but it is still no guarantee for success.

 
: Found information about "Buffalo Bushido" when I looked up Lorna Hill in an IMDB search (I occasionally need a Buffalo "fix" kicking around in Philly these days) -- she starred in a locally produced film titled "My Dark Lady" that was a thrill to see at the North Park theater on Hertel Avenue. I hope that my travel schedule allows me to see Buffalo Bushido in Buffalo, a place that will always be home to me no matter where I live. All the best, Peter!
-Chris V. Philadelphia, PA (03-18-09)
 
:

Thanks for the hometown props. Yes, Lorna Hill is a local icon and a real mover and shaker. She currently heads a wonderful radio series on public radio called the UNCROWNED QUEENS RADIO PROJECT. A little trivia for you, Lorna played Jesse L. Martin's mother on a local television commercial early in Jesse's career. So, "Buffalo Bushido" marks the second time that Lorna has played Jesse's mother. Speaking of icons, the North Park is the last of the single screen theatres left in Buffalo. It's a grande dame holding I believe over 800 people. I try and see every film that plays there and the owner, Michael Clement, is a good friend and supporter of independents. It would be great to see you at the premiere!

 
: Congrats on finishing your film. As an artist, I also get a tad sentimental putting a work to rest. I suppose it’s the same with a film approaching the process the way you do- as an artist. I like the idea of a filmmaker / artist in residence and how you turn your hometown of Buffalo into a canvas. Very cool. All the best.
– Candice G. Sacramento, CA (03-26-09)
 
:

Thanks for getting it. Yes, the end is more like abandonment than a finish line / completion date. I put so many layers into “Buffalo Bushido” until it felt whole, underpinned, and complete in its thought. With every step the discoveries kept coming and I never knew when I would actually finish. After setting the look of the film (color grading at Deluxe Toronto), I watched the movie with the sound mix and it felt complete. It’s a calm feeling of closure. It’s all there, I did what I wanted to do (and more). Thanks, I like the title of “artist in residence” and I do think it is fitting. Writing, living, and making art here in my hometown Buffalo, New York, things come from a very personal and specific place. I bring this into the relationships I am fortunate to build along the way.

 
: My favorite film web site that I've stumbled upon when it comes to content. Great insight into the process. It's tough to find thought-provoking films these days not to mention thought-provoking filmmakers. Hope this one makes it to the Cedar Lee.
- Margie B. Cleveland Hgts, OH (04-01-09)
 
:

Thanks and yes... The Cedar Lee. Know it well and have seen many films there back in the day when I was coming to Cleveland every other weekend to see my future wife and soulmate. I would love to show Buffalo Bushido there and do a little Q&A afterwards. Might even show up in samurai gear.

: I think it's fantastic that you used young actors from the same schools that both Peter McGennis and Jesse Martin attended. What a way to inspire kids and show them what is possible. Great work.
- Deshaun M. Rochester, NY (04-05-09)
 
: To be able to inspire kids while doing something you love to do... how does it get any better? All of the kids had a blast and I've stayed in touch with many of them. I even had the priviledge of writing a recommendation for one of them. Thanks for recognizing this special opportunity. Here's a pic of Jesse with one of our talented, young actors.


 

 

: I've been watching Buffalo Bushido online building momentum and sounds a great project. Could you tell me if this will in fact be released in the UK?
- Russell F. Yorks, UNITED KINGDOM (04-13-09)
 
:

With a finished screener finally in hand, beginning in May my efforts shift to securing distribution for the film. While there are as couple different paths to choose as a solo producer, I'm am looking to build a relationship on the sales side with a producer's rep (who essentially is a sales agent for the film). The strategy will first be to find a domestic distributor as the caliber of domestic influences the value of foreign. Several domestic distributors do handle worldwide so you do not always have to split your domestic and foreign. Foreign sales often focus around the big film markets (in the US it is AFM in November) so I would estimate that it will be around that time when Buffalo Bushido finds its way into Europe. In the meantime, there is always a chance that the film could be screened at a festival in the UK which sounds like a whole lot of fun. However, with my focus also concentrated on shooting another film this fall in Buffalo (as well as my other family and business commitments), I will not be going on tour for a year screening the film on the festival circuit. Above all, my passion for making films must be balanced with my family and other responsibilities. It ain't all about me. I'll keep you posted and hopefully we'll get the Bushido over the Atlantic soon.

: It's always been my dream to make a feature film. I am entering the Undergraduate Film & TV program at Tisch this fall. I came across Buffalo Bushido through a friend of mine (Jon) who worked on the film and had an awesome experience. I've absorbed a lot from this website... stuff I'm sure that I won't find out until I'm out of school learning firsthand. Thanks! I can't imagine what it feels like to complete your own feature film
- Laura R. NY, NY (04-22-09)
 
:

Congrats on being accepted to NYU. You're going to have a great time. True, the rewards of making a film (let alone a good film) are internally special as you'll find out after you make your first one. Unlike training for a three year marathon, the process is so collaborative for me that my joy comes from having worked with so many people guiding this film along to become the art that it is. I also find gratification in having made an honest film and knowing that I gave it everything that I had. "Buffalo Bushido" is my best effort, no regrets, and it surpassed my expectations. Good luck with your own path, it's a road of many discoveries

: Cheers to you Mr. McGennis! You are a true independent and I dig the organic style of your movie-making. I especially like your message of embracing your space & limitations... this is always where the best art comes from. Keep at it brother... Word will get out of what you're laying down in Buffalo. Hollywood follows suit anyway
- Harold P. Ithica, NY (04-30-09)
 
:

Thanks Harold. Yes, "embrace the space" is definitely my mantra. Yes indeed... Buffalo... home of the underdog... I can't think of a more suitable place to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty making art. What's special about film is how it weaves throughout the community tightening the fabric. Across the board, the way in which I work is totally in synch with the gritty environment here (tailor made material, real locations, shooting on film versus digital, etc). I feel good about the level that I'm working at right now. It forces me to make the most with what we have. I'm looking forward to doing it again. A "10" is a "10" whether it's big budget Oscar winner or a kick-ass little, indie nugget with soul. Gotta use what you got.

: Incredible accomplishment. Like others have said, I do think you're on to something musically that sets you apart from other writer/directors. That's a real gift to be able to write words (script) and music (songs/score) for your films. What a great way to define your talent and give your work a "McGennis" feel. Your ability to connect with the high caliber of musical talent that you have, so early in your career, speaks volumes. I encourage you to stay on that note because you will be heard!!
- Paul K. London, ON (05-06-09)
 
:

Thank you. It's really valuable for me to hear how people view not only what I'm doing but how I'm doing it. I think "Buffalo Bushido" has put my approach & style on the table (screen) for people to absorb and comment on. I agree that something musically is oozing out of me that's tangible and does give my work a feel, voice, and style. My next film "Queen City" sprung out of this quality and I know that it will push me farther down this path. Again, thank you for picking up on this and for putting into words this defining trait o' mine.

: Looks like "Buffalo Bushido" has a cult following already. Great job with the website. Is the film scary, or borderline scary? Hope so. You should try to get your film into the Toronto After Dark Film Festival which runs right before the star-studded TIFF which frankly has gotten too big for my taste. We had a blast at Toronto After Dark last year and my partner and I would gladly make the trek again from BC to see "Buffalo Bushido" (besides she wants to see you hang ten on the Peace Bridge). Cheers.
- James R. Victoria, BC (05-14-09)
 
:

I can't think of anything scarier than my naked booty on the Peace Bridge. There is definitely a haunted air that hovers over the main character and his confusion/schizophrenia (the duality of worlds both real and imagined). The performance by Bruce Glover is definitely creepy but, at the same time, it is refreshing and critical to the state of mind of the film. Thanks for recommending Toronto After Dark and I'll definitely check it out. I spend a lot of time in Toronto and there are a lot of folks who worked on the film living there including comic book artist Marvin Mariano who added so much to the film. Nothing better than celebrating what we accomplished together. Hope to see you there.

: What can I say other than cute guys inspire me to write... Very cool approach to making films I must say Peter. Magnetic with no male ego, it's hot (don't know why I'm sharing that). See you on the flip side.
- Jackie S. Corinth, TX (05-20-09)
 
:

Lego my ego... I hear you. When you're talking about a style that's organic, spirited and collaborative there's no room for a big head. A crew is a family and everyone must be respected. It is such a privilege to make a film, it's like finding a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's factory where you get to live out dreams. Why be an asshole and go down the bad egg shoot?

: Wowed by your workhorse genius and so glad that you are pleased with how "Buffalo Bushido" turned out. The fact that you have maintained this message board throughout the entire production is proof of your commitment to give back. What better way to make art, share your gift and live your life? -
- Gail S. Eugene, OR (05-29-09)
 
:

I'm wowed by your words. Thank you for such a compliment. I want to say more but your words hit the nail on my head

: I'm sure you hear this all of the time but how do you balance making films with everything else you do? Married with three kids... I also notice that you coach youth hockey and that you run a luggage business that you started from scratch. As an artist with no children, I barely have time to go to grocery store. What's the secret to your magic? Do you ever sleep?
- Shay B. Fullerton, CA (06-06-09)
 
:

TMy wife will tell you that I love to sleep and that I'd take a nap every day if I could. I think it's my passion and the ability to multi-task at work that has groomed how I embrace the day. And when I say multi-task, I don't mean doing two things at once... I mean the ability to finish one thing and jump to the next. Full focus and follow through have to be there. Especially in the movie business, there are a lot of folks who have their personal and professional lives seamless and this is not me. I'm too raw a person to pretend that I float on air (my spirit lies in the trenches). Trying to be everywhere leads to nowhere and when, for instance, I'm on the ice with kids (I assistant coach three teams), I am there 100% bringing the heat trying to inspire. Same holds true with my film life and more importantly with my family. Changing shirts regularly keeps them all clean. Ancient Chinese secret, huh?


: Lucky dog to have Leila Arcieri as your co-star. How about a sharing a pic of both of you (close-ups preferred)?
- Wade F. Highland Park, NJ (06-10-09)
 
: Here's one from high atop the Lenox Hotel.


: I'm an LA actress who would love to break into film by working on one of your projects. I really like your approach. In this economy, it's really tough right now for young talent to catch a break especially in television. Good luck with "Buffalo Bushido" and your future work.
- Kayla T. Santa Monica, CA (06-26-09)
 
:

It's true that television has traditionally been the stepping stone for emerging talent to be discovered. The rules have changed in this struggling economy. We're seeing more and more name actors seek shelter in television as the industry contracts and major studios close down their independent wings, scale back on their smaller projects and rely on comic book fare, comedies, kid movies, and sequels. It has become very hard to strictly work as a film actor. For the same amount of money, networks can now get name talent, even A-listers, as opposed to unknown talent. It's kind of a no brainer and it is unfortunate especially in the eyes of someone like myself who prioritizes film as the new frontier medium. Hopefully, we'll see independent film fill in for television to a greater degree as the emerging talent platform. Best of luck pursuing your dreams and send me your headshot.


: Greetings from Spain! I look forward to seeing "Buffalo Bushido" over here. I am interested in the inner perspective of the film and how you make that happen with the animation and fusion of elements. We love this type of experimentation and "Buffalo Bushido" appears to be one of these innovative films. I also like your poster. Good luck.
- Blanca S. Madrid, Spain (06-26-09)
 
:

Great to hear from you. I'd love to make it over to Spain with "Buffalo Bushido". I like your word "fusion" and it is an appropriate assessment for sure. Let's add "clash of genres" to the description as well. It is a perspective, state-of-mind film that uses mixed media as a vehicle for its uncomprising human observation. I was led to this discovery while making the film (as opposed to having an exact intention). Through process this is often how an artist pushes the envelope.


: Fascinating process and I can't imagine how challenging it must be to serve so many capacities. There are so many parts that go into making a film but you have a found your own way surrounding yourself with talent and taking on what you want to handle. That's real talent to find that balance. Aside from film, is there any one thing, or skill, that you'd like to do? I'll keep on the lookout for "Bushido Bushido" and future McGennis films.
- Beth R. Akron, OH (07-03-09)
 
:

I agree that finding the balance for how to best serve the film utilizing your own talent while knowing your limitations is crucial. Your own degree of capacity may differ from project to project depending on the scope & needs of the film and who else you have on board. It's a constant evaluation especially when you are working with a limited budget to make the best film possible. "Buffalo Bushido" had that balance and, again, I have to stress the importance of taking my time. In regards, to something that I'd like to do... I'd love to play a wicked Hammond organ. It's such a forgotten, old school instrument that came out of the 1950's with players like Jimmy Smith who brought the Hammond out of the church and into jazz. By the 1960's & early 1970's the instrument had arrived to R&B and rock and roll with such groups harnessing its sound like Yes, Santana, ELP, Allman Bros, Springsteen as well as funksters like Sly. I just saw Rod Argent do his thing up in Toronto with The Zombies and it was great. I also had the privilege of working with Jimmy Smith on the original soundtrack of my first film "In" before he passed away. The sound of the mighty Hammond coming through Leslie speakers is a talent I wish I had picked up along the way. Something to learn down the road.


: I read on line that you are planning do another film in Buffalo. How about some details (title, start date, cast, plot, etc...)? Who else makes films in Buffalo... didn't know there was anyone left (except T.O., who?) Sorry, had to take a shot. Keep the torch lit and good luck brother.
- Craig P. Perrine, FL (07-17-09)
 
:

Good to see the Bills / Dolphins rivalry still alive (although it's been quiet for a while). Yes, there's more happening here than T.O. although he has certainly has caused a stir for the Bills fanatic fan base. My new film is "Queen City" and it is set in post-industrial armpit Buffalo circa 1979. The film deals with the struggle, both public & personal, of two detectives, a jazz singer and others and is very emblematic of those gritty times. Although the film is set in the late fall / winter, we are filming some interiors starting July 24rth when actor Lyriq Bent (Four Brothers, Saw films) comes into town for a club scene. I'm looking forward to getting the community excited again for another Buffalo film. Enjoy your Buffalo Bushido T-shirt and I'm glad I had one XXL left. Touché.


: How's the distribution search coming along? I've heard great things and I want to see "Buffalo Bushido" (love the title, by the way)!
- Dan H. New Orleans, LA (07-24-09)
 
:

After spending the past two months distilling interest from sales agents (often referred to as "producer's reps"), I'm excited to report that I made a decision to go with the LA based sales company Circus Road Films. These will be the folks who will present the film to buyers and distributors around the world. While it is possible to attempt to navigate distribution on one's own, I really believe that in today's tough climate you need a team with a good reputation and pre-existing relationships to be seen and heard. The folks at Circus Road really liked what they saw and approached me. Their referrals were positive and showed a real commitment to getting behind the films they represent. We are excited to set sail together starting in August after I get a mucho box of screeners together and get past my first day of filming my new project "Queen City" on July 24rth. Hopefully, they'll let me back into the New Orleans Film Festival and we'll see you this fall.


: Seems like the American drama has long since been forgotten. Nice to see a filmmaker think.
- Josh B. Long Island, NY (08-14-09)
 
:

I remember listening to an interview with Gregg Allman back in 80's talking about making "honest music" and never getting sucked down the pipe of the synthesizer crap that had infested music at that time. I'd like to think that I make "honest films" that are not affected by the fad of the day. The Hollywood machine will always pump out formula milk. The very least we can do is to out-think them, stay true to our stories and serve it up old school


: What do you look for in an actor?
- Maria C. Canoga Park, CA (08-19-09)
 
:

I look for talent, screen pop and a generosity of spirit. An actor who is drawn to content and who can make their own decisions. I like confidence as long as the ego doesn't interfere. I like positive, funny and kind people who can laugh while embracing the opportunity at hand. Givers not takers. While there is something to always be said for experience, nobody knows shit so I'm looking for actors who are ready to discover and run with it spreading a good vibe. Not being an asshole is part of your civic duty as an actor.


: Festival premiere please! Hopefully in NYC. I want to see this film.
- George A. Staten Island, NY (08-30-09)
 
:

I just sent out a slew of screeners all over the world for fall festivals. I'm all out of super-whammy Deluxe which is pretty stupid of me. I guess I'm sticking to the old Bushido code that "when your down to your last arrow, shoot immediately and you can't miss." Hopefully, this will land us in NYC this fall for our world premiere.


: I commend you for taking on the enormous financial risk, time commitment and every other sacrifice... your passion shows. I would imagine that the film business is hurting like everywhere else and money is scarce.
- Sarah M. Simi Valley, CA (09-06-09)
 
:

Thank you. Yes, sadly, many independent distributors have closed their doors this year and larger companies like Lions Gate are doing a full court press to secure financing partners to fund their own slate. It's a hard time to be selling a film. I know of one film that had two big stars and was made for 2.5 million. It was sold to an independent distributor for 1 million who then closed its doors and returned the money. Advances have become rare in this market. TV has also become very picky and flat fees for 3 year licenses have come down. There are still a lot of good buyers/distributors out there who are capable of returning a significant amount of money but there are no guarantees despite their good intentions. My sales agent and I still remain hopeful as we find the right relationship for distributing "Buffalo Bushido."


: What a great boost for Buffalo! "Buffalo 66" had its moments but it was at the expense of the city. Plus, Gallo's a deserter. It's been twelve years since then... too long... and this hard luck town needs something permanent & positive like another Buffalo movie to be excited about.
- Tim M. Depew, NY (09-15-09)
 
:

Good to see pride is still alive and kicking here. No doubt, Buffalo embraces its hometown heroes with open arms until they either get arrested or skip town. Fortunately, I have no plans to do either. See you at the hometown premiere.


: Do you plan to bring back some of your BUFFALO BUSHIDO actors for your new project QUEEN CITY? I find actor recycling very cool.
- Glen P. Dartmouth, MA (09-26-09)
 
:

Yes, it's already been done. I actually brought back actress Keilana Smith who appeared in my first film "in" down in New Orleans. She absolutely lit up her cameo appearance dolled up in a 1970's white fur wrap with actor Lyriq Bent from the "Saw" films and "Four Brothers." Jimmy Snuka was also in the house playing a badass bodyguard. Until actors are actually filmed out, I can't say anymore, but plan on seeing several familiar faces from my previous films. Working with the same actors helps to underpin a director's style since they are familiar with his or her approach. It is also nice to stay loyal to the core.


: Happy B-Day from the other side of Lake Erie. Hope you catch a break with Buffalo Bushido.
- Michael S. Cleveland, OH (10-02-09)
 
: Well, it looks like your thoughtful note came with a wonderful birthday gift. We have been invited to world premiere "Buffalo Bushido" at The Queens International Film Festival next month! This is fantastic news. I did not want to be deprived of world premiere in NYC and the opportunity to celebrate what we all accomplished together. This film was such an organic odyssey as it passed through so many hands both here and in New York. It's been three years and it's finally time to come up for air and get "Buffalo Bushido" on the big screen. Thanks for sending me good luck from Cleveland, my home away from home, where I discovered the best gift of all, my wife & soul mate Susan


: Hey Peter, congrats on the world premiere and soo look 4ward to attending!! I was an extra in "Buffalo Bushido" (Memorial Aud) and I had the greatest time coming to set. Like I keep telling people, Peter will win an oscar and I can say I knew you when!
- Brooke D. Buffalo, NY (10-08-09)
 
:

I am honored that you will be coming to the premiere in Queens. Come find me so I can give you an invite to the saki-sushi afterparty. I'm hoping that news of the premiere will give folks here that extra push to come to NYC for the weekend. It's such an amazing city and how often do you get to see a Buffalo film screen in NYC at an 800 seat beautiful theatre?


: Way to go, bro! The Bushido trailer is awesome. BTW... your Bushido poster is the best on the Queens Festival website. Love the 108 minutes running time. Why does it seem that every indie festival feature is 70-90 minutes max? Is that what distributors want? Great to see someone like you do it your own way.
- Kenny F. Bronx, NY (10-14-09)
 
:

Thanks for the nice comment about our trailer. Yes, a lot of indies come in with short running times. Certainly cost does weigh in for sure (more pages = more money) but there is an unfortunate & prevailing notion that indie films need to follow a 90 min (90 page) formula to attract distribution & fit into cable programming. Wonder if Scorsese was thinking about this when he made 2 1/2hr plus The Departed? I doubt it. Or Cimino's The Deer Hunter (182 minutes) which is one of my favorite films of all time. I think an indie filmmaker can do whatever the heck he or she wants to tell the story. A longer film gives you more content/value for your money. However, in today's landscape, a lot of folks don't seem to have the attention span to invest themselves on the big screen and therefore we are seeing a lot less thinking films and more 90 min formula crap that reinforces the boundaries for independents. I've always been a rebel so my advice to filmmakers is take however long you need because "they" (your imaginary distributors) view you as a threat and don't want your film anyway. If you are fortunate, and they do, it will likely be because you had the balls to veer from the norm and tell your own story. You are the mavericks/risk-takers/leaders, Hollywood moves by consensus.


: Great to hear about the NYC premiere. I've been dying to see this movie. I love Jesse Martin and wanted to show ur page some love.
- Shaundra R. NY, NY (10-22-09)
 
:

Thanks for the love. Hope you can make it to our premiere in Queens.


: How do you approach working with your actors as a director?
- Yara B. Sao Pablo, BRAZIL (11-02-09)
 
:

I look at working with actors as a two-way street. While I have a vision, it is my approach to allow my actors to expand on my conception, not imitate it. In this way, they re-create the role on their own and take it to a new place that I sometimes never imagined. I think this approach is particularly necessary for writer/directors to allow their scripts to breathe life..


: Can you point to another director who you like and why?
- Roger K. Bellefontaine, OH (11-10-09)
 
:

Cool question. There are many directors who I enjoy and who inspire me. I admit to being rather old school in this department as today's cinema, especially American cinema, I find lacking both in content and director vision. I'm going to list Kurosawa as an example of a director who I enjoy for his commitment to precise framing. You take a film like "The Seven Samurai" and look at it from the standpoint of composition and it's amazing. It doesn't even need dialogue to tell the story because the framing is sooo good. Kurosawa achieves a beautiful picture. I'll go into production having a slew of images in my head as a foundation for my film but Kurosawa is the epitome of mapping out all of his images into precise frames. For this reason, he is a master of the art form.


: Break a leg at the premiere this weekend!
- John F. Rochester, NY (11-14-09)
 
:

Thanks... The NYC premiere in Queens was great and I'm proud to say that we walked away a winner taking home Best Actress Award. Out of 200+ films, this is quite an achievement, not only for Leila Arcieri, but for everyone who worked on the film. It was a very special moment premiering the film in NY and I thank everyone who supported me in person and in spirit. It will be fun now to finally start getting e-mails from folks who saw the film!


: Congrats on your success at Queens. I couldn't make it out that night but from what I've read on-line "Buffalo Bushido" was well received and was the top feature narrative drama at the festival. I noticed you also were nominated for Best Producer which is well deserved. Looking forward to seeing this film next time you come to the city.
- Brian R. NY, NY (11-22-09)
 
:

Thanks for your kind words. It was great to watch the film do its thing on the big screen. I forgot how extracting the experience of the film is on the audience. From the Q&A afterward, it was interesting to gage the impact on the audience. I could tell that they were hit pretty hard and I took several questions on where the heaviness/inspiration came from.


: A very well done film. Personally, I become detached from a film the moment I know where the film is going and I get ahead of its thinking. Your film was working on several levels and I wasn't sure what lane we were driving down and where we'd wind up. There were some very powerful moments in "Buffalo Bushido" which is the key to a great drama. The music was brilliant especially at the end on the bridge and I remember being swept away. The best film I saw in Queens. Great indie filmmaking.
- Patrice S. NY, NY (12-02-09)
 
:

Thank you for your insight and your kind words. I'm glad you felt the powerful moments in the film.


: Wow, Mr.. Bushido, great work. First off, let me say that the acting in "Buffalo Bushido" was excellent across the board. Holy shit, what a performance you got out of John Savage, and if there was a Best Supporting Actor Award, he would have won. Yes, Leila Arcieri was very good but you deserve a ton of credit taking on a very difficult, understated lead role and nailing it. Playing a withdrawn, schiz and drawing compassion from the audience at the same time is hard and you did it in a very convincing fashion. For some reason, there was no Best Actor Award given this year at QIFF but yours was the best performance I saw over the weekend and "Buffalo Bushido" was the best film.
- Ken E. Queens, NY (12-07-09)
 
:

Thank you for coming out and for your kind words about the film. Being in NYC that weekend reminds me of how much art & entertainment there is going on in the city every weekend and how hard it is for any artist to stand out in a sea of competition whether it is an art exhibit or a film premiere.


: Way to go. Winning an award at a festival in a major category like Best Actress is a feather in your cap and nice gift wrapping for the DVD. Can you share a pic from the red carpet?
- Scott Z. Batavia, NY (12-16-09)
 
: Here's one from the Bushido after party.


: Not sure if you post multiple comments but I wanted to add how subtle and fascinating the hotel room scenes were in Buffalo Bushido. You used different devices (animation, photography, voice over etc) to create so much stuff happening in your character's head. The curtain animation sequences were my favorite. This film has stuck with me and I want to see it again. Please let me know when it is being released.
- Patrice S. NY, NY (01-12-10)
 
:

Thanks for coming back for more and I'm delighted that you feel the hotel room scenes were subtle. The room is the inner sanctuary (mind) for the main character. It becomes trespassed by Sadie when she asks to come up and enter Davis' world. She winds up disrupting the balance of his inner sanctuary as she goes looking to fill a void in her own life. The room then comes alive.


: When is this film being released? Give us hope!
- Paul S. Trenton, NJ (01-22-10)
 
:

I am excited to announce that "Buffalo Bushido" has been picked up for North American distribution by Cinema Epoch. The film will have a limited theatrical release in NY and CA and the local red carpet premiere in Buffalo will take place at The Dipson Market Arcade at 8:00 PM, Friday, April 30th. This will be a wonderful celebration as the film passed through so many local hands. The DVD release will follow in late June through E1. It has been an incredible journey and I'm excited to finally bring "Buffalo Bushido" home.


: Really interesting reading about how you make films. I don't think it matters what it is, when you take your time you produce a more thought out result. Your thought and attention as a filmmaker stand out in an industry that, from what I gather, is always thinking about the next big thing. Keep at it.
- Carol N. Winnipeg, MB (01-30-10)
 
:

My energy and focus are channeled into making the most of the opportunity at hand because the opportunity is a gift/art and deserves full focus. I'm not on my cell phone talking to my agent about the next gig when I'm on set. The next gig is a distraction from maximizing the discovery of the moment. I don't look at what I'm doing as vertical, career movement, it's an endless horizon. Art and the process have nothing to do with ego and every film regardless of budget sets sail on a path of discovery. Embrace what you have and surround yourself with others who are excited as you to create something special.


: "Buffalo Bushido" is premiering at the Market Arcade! Friday, April 30th? How can I get tickets? I attended the "Buffalo 66" premiere at The North Park, at least ten years ago, and I look forward to another packed house. Our hometown looked pretty beat in that film so I'm hoping you went in a different direction. I hate when Buffalo gets bum rap from Hollywood.
- John D. Buffalo, NY (02-04-10)
 
:

Yes, the theatrical premiere is Friday, April 30th at 8:00 PM at the Market Arcade. Advance tickets will go on sale soon on the Dipson website. Hope to see you there. No worries, Buffalo is portrayed in a very positive light and I think you'll dig the symbolic meaning that certain locations take on in the film. They say everyone is an expert on where they live and there's no substitute for having a history with a place. There's also nothing worse than hearing a dumbed-down Buffalo dig from anyone who doesn't live here (or worse, who left). If you live here, say what you want but the moment you pick up and leave nobody here wants to here your boos from the crowd. Such is the creed of the enduring rust belt.


: Must feel good to finally get your film out in the marketplace. I'll definitely check "Buffalo Bushido" out. Looks different from all of the indie films I watch on Direct TV.
- Tyler K. Cookeville, TN (02-24-10)Tyler K. Cookeville, TN (02-24-10)
 
:

Yes, finding distribution and getting your film out into the world brings a new level of closure to the project. Of course, marketing a film can be as creative and time consuming as making a film especially trying to stand out in this digital, rugged landscape. I agree with you that most of the "indie" programming on Direct TV has a branded feel. Thanks for checking the film out when its released in June.


: Film student here. Thanks for sharing your experience. Writing, directing, producing and starring in a feature... what an amazing accomplishment. Your thought and humility really come through. Do you ever worry about being misconstrued?
- Julie J. Exeter, RI (03-02-10)
 
:

Thanks for your comment. I think your question refers to whether or not I am concerned about "Buffalo Bushido" being perceived as a vanity project because of all of the capacities that I serve (especially lead actor). I've given so much of myself to this project that, if anything, I feel the opposite. It's been a giving tree from seed to fruition. I also know myself well enough by now to not let someone else or "they" make me cast doubt on my art and spirit. "Buffalo Bushido" came from an honest place through honest work.


: Look forward to actually buying a copy of "Buffalo Bushido" when it comes out on DVD. I really feel for you guys with all the piracy that's going on today (bittorent sites like Pirate Bay). The whole music and film biz has been turned upside down. It's a bummer.
- John S. Manteno, IL (03-14-10)
 
:

Unfortunately, the independent gets it the worst when it comes to music and film piracy. Like anything, you have to find a way to ride the current not go against it. I figure if someone wants to watch a shitty low rez version on a torrent site, then they weren't going to buy the DVD and hey, at least they saw it and can spread the word. Getting your film out there certainly ain't what it used to be and you need to use the viral channels anyway you can to stand out. Without a kennel of legal watchdogs, it's tough being an independent.


: I am thrilled "Buffalo Bushido" will be released on DVD this summer. The end result of all your hard work! It is important that independent filmmakers continue to get their work out there and find an audience. Smaller indies offer the most personal stuff and, without a national release, can slip past unnoticed. We need to see these films so they will be discussed and remembered.
- Diane B. Little Rock, AR (03-24-10)
 
:

Isn't that the truth. Ten, twenty years from now, we need kids to have this artistic resource which uncovers and honors the mysterious workings of film more than the studio machine will ever afford.


: What is the best way for me to see "Buffalo Bushido". I live out here in Wyoming..
- Darren S. Rock Springs, WY (03-29-10)
 
:

Your best bet will be either ordering it on Amazon or renting it via Blockbuster. I believe Blockbuster will initially be the exclusive mail order vehicle.


: Way to go bringing Vivica A. Fox to Buffalo for Queen City. Do you feel that Buffalo Bushido made this possible? Looking forward to being a Little Harlem extra.
- Cynthia M. Buffalo, NY (04-14-10)
 
:

You build with every step. It's special and unusual for me to connect with the person I envisioned for the role. I feel very blessed that the script and role connected with Vivica. I'm sure the fact that I have a couple features under my belt went a long way especially with agents and managers whose job it is to make sure their client step into a stable, professional and positive structure. But aside from attracting big name actors, above all, you build on the positive energy you project and carry forward from previous projects. Effort and attitude has always been the secret to momentum. See you on set!