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Buffalo hosting major film shoot in May


The Queen City will be the temporary home to the so-called "Heroes in a Half Shell" next month, when film crews from Paramount Pictures arrive to shoot scenes for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2."

From May 4 through May 17, the Kensington Expressway will be used to shoot action scenes for the film, which is scheduled for release in 2016. Although she would not provide specifics, Paramount Pictures Unit Production Manager Wendy Williams said the filming will involve chases along Route 33 and will include, on occasion, some helicopters.

"What we found in Buffalo was that there are these amazing stretches of a highway that have almost like a basin with a solid wall, and then you rise up and out of that, and now you're in the city and you have these really interesting vistas of neighborhoods," Williams said. "That's what drove the location selection."

For Buffalo-Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark, whose job is to lure film projects to Western New York, Williams' selection of Buffalo is significant. He explained that she just finished working with Hollywood megastar Arnold Schwarzenegger on the latest Terminator film, scheduled for release this summer.

"She's a major player," Clark said. "We're happy that what she has seen so far is very encouraging, because she's just loving everything she sees. She can express how easy it is to work here versus some of these other places."

There is a catch. The Kensington will be closed in both directions from downtown Buffalo to the 198 Interchange, every night from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m., throughout the production. But local officials say the economic boost will be worth the temporary closures.

"I thank you for highlighting our city in this sequel to this great blockbuster that people know and love so well," said Buffalo mayor Byron Brown.

Paramount will bring a large crew to town that will book an estimated 2,200 room nights in local hotels and then spend more money at local restaurants during production. They will also hire local help, according to Williams.

"We are hiring locally as well, in many different positions," she said. "Everything from production assistants to lighting technicians."(Click here for basic information from the Buffalo-Niagara Film Commission).

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" is scheduled for release in 2016.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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