BLASDELL, N.Y. (WIVB) — As one film crew leaves WNY, another one comes to the area.
The newest movie being filmed here is called The Engagement, and is directed by a familiar face in the area: Fred Olen Ray.
Olen Ray is the one who turned East Aurora into a holiday wonderland a year ago. He and his son Chris, who’s a producer, have been here a combined 15 times over the past 10 years.
“I like this area for several different reasons,” Olen Ray said. “It has such a diverse backdrop of locations, you have waterfalls, you have rivers, you have lakes, you have mountains and the valleys, you have cities and small towns that look like they haven’t changed in 40 years. And the people, the people here are so friendly and so polite. We’ve had a wonderful time. And the food is great.”
Olen Ray has directed more than 150 films in his career, and his pull in Hollywood is huge.
“He’s sent us other customers… and others that we’ve received said that they figured it out by watching a Fred movie on one of the tv stations,” Tim Clark said, the Buffalo Niagara film commissioner. “He’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
Clark said Fred and Chris were really the first in Hollywood to come film in WNY on a regular basis. And Chris said the way they’re treated is what keeps him coming back. He also mentioned there’s a very talented crew that’s here.
“We have a crew of about 25, to 30 people, and we used to have to bring in 20, to 25 of them,” Chris Ray said. “Now we bring in 10 to 15, sometimes less than that, depending on if another film is here or not.”
Ray said the film crew here is almost on par with other major cities in America.
Olen Ray’s The Engagement is about a prince who secretly takes off from his home country to see what Christmas is like in America, and then he meets a woman. It will air on tv, either on ION Television, The Oprah Winfrey Network, UPtv or Lifetime.
The Engagement was filming in Ilio DiPaolo’s Monday. They’ll film in East Aurora this week as well.