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Made in WNY: Hollywood Comes to Buffalo

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - It very well may be your favorite TV show, and for the next few months, it will be filming right here in Western New York.

HGTV's House Hunters Renovation follows couples as they search for a home, pick one, and then undertake a large renovation project.

CLICK HERE:  To Apply to be on HouseHunters Renovation!

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Susan Hunt will be the producer and director of the episodes that will take place in the Buffalo Area. A Western New York native, Hunt says there's many reasons for filming shows right here. "What I'm most familiar with are the three things that I think make Buffalo a perfect candidate for this show, architecture, people, and just the overall vibe of the city," said Susan Hunt, a Western New York native who will be directing and producing the episodes filmed here. "I think (Buffalo's) on the rise. It's all about timing and I think this is the perfect time."

"This particular area of New York State is absolutely breathtaking. The architecture's great whether it's in downtown Buffalo, Hamburg, Tonawanda by the canal, Lewiston, Orchard Park, I could go on and on."

The show isn't just about the glitz and glamour of the area though. "Once people are cast and they say we're looking for a house and we think they're great for HGTV, off we go. We spend a lot of time with them as they search for the perfect house. Once they find it and they close on it, then the real challenge begins."


The following films were shot all or in part in WNY:

Flying Tigers - 1942

Hide in Plain Sight - 1980

Best Friends - 1982

The Natural - 1984

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - 1987

Canadian Bacon - 1995

Buffalo '66 - 1998

Bruce Almighty - 2003

Proud - 2004

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead - 2006

The Savages - 2007

Henry's Crime - 2011

Tammy - 2014  (see below)
With her experience working on the show, Hunt is no stranger to the difficulties of renovations. She calls the ordeal the most stressful thing that a couple can go through, and on her show it's all caught on camera.

"When we're not there working with the couples, when they're doing their own DIY project, we have what we call our reno-cam guy who's there almost every day watching plumbing go in, mold being discovered, mold being remediated, I could go on and on."

While the show hires local contractors to do much of the work, Hunt says that the homeowners are encouraged to get as hands-on as they want to. Typically renovations are done in the kitchen or master bedroom, which are "big-ticket" items that most people search for as soon as they step foot in to a house.

The show won't just use Western New York as a backdrop either, local talent will be used throughout filming. "We are hiring a local project manager, we are hiring a local reno-cam person. The idea is to get as many people locally involved, because it really is about the city."

In the end, Hunt expects to leave Buffalo with four episodes (additional episodes are being filmed at the same time in cities such as Chicago), but when the HGTV cameras stop rolling that doesn't mean the spotlight is off of Western New York.

"The inventory of assets here architecturally are just second to none," said Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark.

While that's something many Western New Yorkers could say about their hometowns, they might not realize that Hollywood is thinking the same thing.

"Other television shows that we've had in town recently include a big television show from The Weather Channel. We have a movie shooting this week in fact, they shot at the Lockport caves on Thursday. We've got a pretty good mix of movies and television shows."

Next week in movie theaters across the country, Tammy will hit the big screen. The movie filmed in Western New York for a couple of days last summer, features Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon, and has Niagara falls as a setting and plot point.

Film Commissioner Clark says the big productions are something we may be seeing more of in town soon.

"We expect at least one, but probably two larger-budget movies to be visiting us sometime in the next few months. I can't give too much away, because I'm really sworn to secrecy."

That means we'll have to just wait... and watch.

Related Earlier Coverage: Lights! Camera! Action in Buffalo  |  See a 2013 History Channel Shoot | The Best Man Holiday Trailer Features Buffalo | Melissa McCarthy Comes to Niagara Falls | SYFY Channel Shoots at the Central Terminal (See VIDEO)

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