With its classic big-city architecture, unique natural landscapes, a robust local crew base and some of the nation’s best incentives, the Buffalo-Niagara region has become a desirable, in-demand location for film productions. The annual Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF) celebrates this creative energy, bringing together local and global cinephiles to glorify in the “ultimate art form.” FIFTEEN had been investing in their own in-house production capabilities with additions to our staff, gear list and a new studio space. When BIFF went looking for an updated look and attitude to harness the region’s cinematic ascension, FIFTEEN was ready.
FIFTEEN’s undertakings for BIFF included designing a permanent logo, creating the theme for the 2017 festival and the production of an original short film shown in area theaters as festival dates drew near.
The new logo was to become the bedrock of the brand, remaining steady as the theme changes year to year. Influenced by festivals BIFF emulates, including TIFF in Toronto, FIFTEEN’s Digital Media Director Rich Lunghino hid a uniquely Buffalo easter egg in his design: The ‘screen’ is the exact aspect ratio (2.05:1) of the screen in Edisonia Vitascope Hall, which was opened in Buffalo in 1896 as the first purpose-built movie theater in the world.
The main thrust of the agency’s efforts was the FIFTEEN-produced short film, THE PROVOCAUTEUR, which tells the tale of a mysterious propagandist and his magic projector that paints the city in cinematic light. Directed by FIFTEEN Creative Director Ken Trabert, co-produced by Account Director Kait Niland and cinematographer Don Burns of db Media, written by in-house screenwriter, Rich Herbeck, the highly stylized vision provided FIFTEEN Digital Director, MacLaine Russell, ample opportunity to flex VFX and animation skills that rival any Hollywood shop.
The mysterious anti-hero of the short inspired the festival’s theme, as explored in a series of intriguing posters designed by Trabert. All the creations worked together to make the final scene of the short film a reality, with audiences purchasing tickets and flocking to the festival in droves.