What happens when you bring five incredibly talented guitarists to Buffalo in pursuit of music stardom? The results will surprise you.
DRIVEN TO PLAY is a behind-the-scenes look at the five finalists in 2003’s North American Rock Guitar Competition, which had quickly become the crown jewel of the WNED Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival in just three years.
After being selected from more than 100 applicants, the finalists (Mark Krurnowski of Amherst, NY; Andrew Roudny of Toronto, Ont.; Boobie Browne of Toronto, Ont., Dave King of Liverpool, NY and Ned Evett of Boise, Idaho) were given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform live in front of judges, music industry reps and a sold-out crowd at the University at Buffalo.
WNED cameras trailed the competitors in the days and hours leading up the event, and they were backstage when they finished performing. The DRIVEN TO PLAY also features riveting interviews with Competition organizers, competitors’ family members, and the panel of judges that included Canadian guitar legend Rik Emmett and Sid McGinnis from the Late Show with David Letterman. The end result is a unique, half-hour look at what motivates someone to pursue their dreams.
But what transpired during the filming even surprised WNED producer Paul Lamont.
“It’s not like American Idol, Survivor or anything like that,” explains Lamont. “The combination of competition and creativity made it a very enriching experience for me. They were all supporting and cheering each other on. It just shows what level the musician lives on; it’s a very strong community.”
Click here for a video clip.