MakeShift Studios represents Buffalo in LA with ‘Broken Wings’ - INTERVIEW
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • August 21, 2013 @ 9:23am
“Dream Team” usually conjures up mental images of Magic, Jordan and Larry—the poster-boys of the 1992 Olympic men’s basketball team—as well as corny McDonalds commercials.
There’s local relevance to the term too, as MakeShift Studios—fresh off its award-winning 2012 production called “Hot Air”—collaborated with members of other rising film companies Idle Entertainment and ND Studios to produce “Broken Wings,” a 25-minute short film that will be shown to judges and critics at 7 p.m. Thursday at the International Action on Film Festival in Los Angeles, Calif.
While the film hasn’t been nominated for any awards—producer-director John M. Scherer (pictured center in photo at right) mentioned that MakeShift was close in a few categories—its acceptance into a prestigious festival in one of film’s American hotbeds speaks volumes and bodes well for its inclusion in the Buffalo International Film Festival in October.
Scherer—a St. Joe’s Collegiate Institute and UB grade who moved to Los Angeles on the day “Broken Wings” production concluded—met up on the West Coast with Idle Entertainment’s Bobby Gott, a producer-actor, and Matt Lorentz, a producer-editor.
Perhaps the Jordan, Magic and Larry of this slightly different ‘Dream Team,’ the trio will not only unveil “Broken Wings” to a new audience but will also have the chance to network with agents and marquee names in the film industry.
Although “Broken Wings” has only been shown once in Western New York—Dec. 2, 2012 at the Hamburg Palace Theater—a detailed trailer is available through YouTube (see below) and, once the film is judged at the Gen-Con Film Festival in Indianapolis and then again in Buffalo, the film will be released in its entirety on Vimeo, Scherer said.
By raising $1500 via IndieGoGo, Scherer and MakeShift Studios piled together enough funds and favors to rent a helicopter for a scene, shoot atop the Ellicott Square Building, explore Elmwood’s Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center and purchase costumes.
Still, Scherer noted that the majority of the contributions—specifically the time and talent of the actors, photographers and editors—was donated with no financial incentive.
The storyline for “Broken Wings” has an origin worth exploring.
“It’s based on a short story that I wrote five or six years ago for a creative writing class at the University at Buffalo,” Scherer explained. “I was riding in a car back to Buffalo from Syracuse, and there was a pretty sunset in the background and—while it may sound corny—the words flowed out from my fingertips.”
While “Broken Wings” is unabashedly based around a superhero, Scherer conveys a mood that’s a “little more bleak, like the most recent Batman movie”—but the layers of meaning are more complex than what you’d normally expect from a low-budget local film.
“The focus is on the identity of a superhero and not necessarily the character himself,” Scherer says of the Sparrow, the initial idol in “Broken Wings” (pictured creepily in the header photo).
“It’s a more dramatic twist on the superhero genre.”
Even though a “Best of” category in Los Angeles won’t be in the cards, acceptance into the International Action on Film Festival is both an individual achievement for MakeShift Studios as well as an indicator that Buffalo’s film industry shouldn’t be overlooked on a national scale.
“It’s bubbling up,” said Scherer, who intends to eventually release a feature-length version of “Broken Wings” which—almost certainly—will be shot in Buffalo. “With the New York State tax incentive to produce films here, the local film industry is like a volcano getting ready to explode.”
(Photos courtesy of the “Broken Wings” press kit, while internal photo of Scherer and Lorentz is via MakeShift Studios Facebook page).