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Avenir Cine Stage Studio

The next time that you pass by 1048 Niagara Street, slow down and look to the west. There, you will see a beautiful old brick building facing the street. But did you even notice the narrow alleyways that lead towards the rear of the building, on either side? These alleyways are home to a number of designers, makers, and producers, including Andy Morin, who recently launched a stage studio called Avenir Cine.

Ray Morin

Earlier today, I swung by the fledgling studio to see what was what. As I walked up to the building, a garage door suddenly opened up, and out walked Andy. He was surrounded by a number of young people who appeared to have just wrapped up a video shoot. As we walked into the 3200 SF space, Andy directed me towards a lounge area, where many of his pre-production meetings are held. It was there, that he told me that he and his father – Ray – had built out the formerly gutted space. Being an old hat at this type of work, Ray led the way, which, Andy told me, was a great bonding experience to boot. Together, they managed to piece together a professional studio with all of the trappings.

“The building has great bones,” said Andy. “We cut out the brick windows, to let natural light in. It was an old machine shop – you can imagine the state of it… but it gave us a blank slate to work with, which was part of the fun.”

The result is a film-friendly outfit with a series of versatile spaces, including a green screen, a product shoot bay, white infinity space, a stock room, a station for custom builds, a prop stock area, a space for portrait photography, and plenty of room to produce, and collaborate. This was something that Buffalo needed – on this scale, according to Andy.

Andy Morin

Avenir Cine

Photo tryptic by Matt Markayze

“Buffalo lacked a creative video space such as this,” said Andy. “I was having trouble finding these types of studios. I moved back to Buffalo in 2011. Since that time, the film culture has become much more sophisticated. The scene has rapidly changed. The people in the industry here are hungry. They are also passionate and appreciative. Recently, I’ve bee n getting involved with the local film community. That plugged me into the scene. We have the people – the work talent has jumped significantly over the last ten years. Now, we need more bodies of work. There are a lot of bigger production spaces – I wanted to build something for the day-to-day film and video projects, like commercials, music videos, talking head productions… it’s a video space, and it’s also a light event space. It’s a place for young people to meet and generate ideas. I just let them in here, and they start doing things. It’s important to give them a shot, share ideas and to see what they come up with.”

While Andy is happy with the way things are panning out at Avenir Cine, there’s always room to grow.

“See up there [pointing]. That’s where we’re going to build out a YouTube and podcast studio,” said Andy. “It’s starting to feel very comfortable around here.”

It’s funny to think that just across the way, on Niagara Street, a new 51,350 SF Niagara Street Studio complex is being erected. It’s a mere coincidence that Andy built out his new studio within eyeshot of that development. The proximity bodes well for Andy, who feels that there’s plenty of room for film production studios of all sizes and abilities in Buffalo. That’s a far cry from a decade ago, when it seemed as if everyone was fighting for the scraps dropped on the cutting room floor.

If you build it, they will come. Nah. They’re already here – it’s merely a question of accommodating them now.

Get connected: Avenir Cine | 1048 Niagara Street | Buffalo NY 14201 | (716) 200-8554 | adlmorin@gmail.com

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