Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: A chat with Bill Maher, who performs at Shea's this Saturday
Next story: Cheyenne Jackson

First TV series based and filmed entirely in Buffalo premieres Sunday

The New Hotness
First TV series based and filmed entirely in Buffalo premieres Sunday

The pilot episode of Why I Murdered My Roommate, the first TV series set and filmed entirely in Buffalo, is premiering at the North Park Theater this Sunday at noon. The darkly comic series comprised of half-hour episodes details the misadventures of series narrator EZ (actress and show runner Tilke Hill), a renegade street artist on the run from the law after her search for female friendship ends in murder. Hill is the creator and writer of the series, and co-show runner along with pilot director Mike Pauly.

“We thought people would identify with wanting to murder a roommate, be that an actual roommate, parent or spouse. I would say 99 percent of western culture has experienced the feeling,” explains Hill. More than just a TV series, however, Why I Murdered My Roommate is only one part of a larger, transmedia experience. The series will also include a tie-in videogame, Buffalo Beauties, as well as a comic book, The Franklin Chronicles.

Shot on location in the spring of 2015, production of the Why I Murdered My Roommate pilot, as well as the additional media components, involved the talents of over 70 cast and crew members from Los Angeles, New York City and the Buffalo-Niagara region. Earlier this week, Mayor Brown was present at the North Park Theater for a press conference to join Hill in announcing the upcoming premiere. An estimated 100 well paying, reoccurring jobs would be generated for the local economy through further production of the franchise.

“This enthusiasm has really benefited us. The locals seem genuinely excited about a series that is set and filmed here”, says Hill. “Buffalo is a character of the series. We want to celebrate Buffalo locations as Buffalo locations, not as stand-ins for other cities. This is something the public can really get behind, especially with the resurgence of economic development the community is experiencing right now.”

As a woman who has worked behind the scenes extensively in the largely male-dominated film and TV industry, Hill wanted to create a series in which the strong female protagonist is not looking for a male figure. “Typical to Hollywood form, the first time I pitched the series in LA last year it was to a man [whom Hill declined to name], and he asked me why the protagonist was not searching for a boyfriend, or her dad. He represents what those who are not in the patriarchy are faced with. If the female is not searching for a male figure it can be confounding to the entertainment industry,” explains Hill. “We are addressing this bias through our story as well opening up endless possibilities for hilarious and complex female characters. By either making fun of the male gaze, or pushing the audience to confront their gender bias, we hope to highlight some issues through a darkly comedic lens.”

The premiere will also serve as a fundraiser for the series, as additional funding is needed to complete a few minor post-production details of the pilot (mostly visual, sound, and color mixing.) Proceeds will also go into putting some finishing touches on the video game and comic book. Hill and the team are very optimistic about what the continued production of Why I Murdered My Roommate will mean to the city of Buffalo, as well as women and minorities working in the industry.

“It is my responsibility as a female filmmaker to provide opportunities not only to women, but to those who fit into any oppressed demographic,” says Hill. “Hollywood is an old boy’s club, so along with other makers of my mindset, we’re creating a new club. It’s more inclusive and way more hip. I like to think of it as the new hotness.”

For more info visit:

blog comments powered by Disqus