Dustan Whitcomb, '15As planning for the 88th annual Academy Awards got underway, Dustan Whitcomb, '15, was doing some planning of his own — as one of four executive producers of the ninth annual TFA Night at the Oscars at SUNY Buffalo State.

Whitcomb is part of the TV and film criticism class at SUNY Buffalo State that is given the task of producing the live event each February. Work began as soon as classes resumed in January 2016. Along with showing the famed Academy Awards ceremony on a huge screen, the event includes live music and refreshments. During the event, guests can vote for short student-produced films nominated for the TFA Pioneer Awards in the categories of best actor, best actress, best screenplay, best director, and best picture. The TFA Pioneer Awards are announced during Academy Awards commercial breaks.

In an interview with The Salamanca Press, Whitcomb said his interest in media began in eighth grade while watching the high school’s media class produce the live morning announcements. Click here to read the full interview. 

A 2013 graduate of Salamanca Jr./Sr. High School, Whitcomb earned a degree in communications from JCC in 2015. He is now a junior at SUNY Buffalo State, pursuing a degree in media arts. While at JCC, he worked at The Weeks Gallery, helping prepare the gallery for new featured artists and their collections. As a JCC student, he also spent time at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts and its WRFA-LP radio station.

Whitcomb plans to keep working in the Western New York area after graduation and told The Salamanca Press that he wants to bring the Hollywood culture to Western New York. 

“It’s not hard to find people who love movies here,” Whitcomb said. “I like the idea of trying to keep all the stuff I work on in this area. I want to make things that are unique to Western New York — not necessarily about Western New York, but unique to it. It’s all treasured by a lot of people. I think it deserves a seat at that (Hollywood) table. I am so gracious to this area. Not only for my childhood, but for the foundation this area gave me. I’d never think of this area as something I’m stepping away from. I’m truly grateful for this area, the Salamanca school system, JCC, everything like that.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 9:51am
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