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Hollywood on the Huron, filming in Michigan

11.07.08 | technician | In royal oak, festival, film

There’s been a lot of talk about Michigan’s tax break on filmmakers moving production to the state of Michigan, what features added incentives to film in Detroit in particular. It’s been a big hit with major productions increasing from only three last year to over 60 features so far this year including “Butterfly Effect: Revelation”, a sequel, Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It!”, and Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino”. The LA Times is calling us a film Mecca, the Hollywood on the Huron. We’re not just talking about Michael Moore or Eminem anymore.

As Governor Granholm says: “We’re stealing (projects) out of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Mexico, Louisiana, New York, Toronto.” Granholm said the new tax program has the potential to create thousands of jobs, not just through temporary movie projects, but through permanent film and digital media facilities. With the recent strengthening of the dollar against the Canadian dollar we are that much more competitive with locations like Toronto and Vancouver.

I know there are opponents as well as supporters of this legislation.

Check out an incentive video that was made for filming in Michigan:

And more.

Hundreds of films have been made in the state of Michigan, more than I could list. But here’s the list I have found of movies made in Michigan. michigan.gov also has a list but it’s kind of hard to read.

But besides the major film studios what about Michigan’s budding film scene. Michigan has more film festivals than I can recall, from Detroit, Ann Arbor, and other Metro Detroit communities to film communities on the West Coast in Grand Rapids, Saugatuck, and Traverse City. Let’s not forget the Detroit/Windsor International Film Festival, one of its kind. Tuesday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m. the Mitten Movie Project presents Zombie Night, a night of independent zombie films, at the Main Art Theater in downtown Royal Oak.

And then there are the films themselves. Detroit filmmakers have been busy making films from the sci-fi movies of Mike Madigan (Laughcry, Cadence, The Candle, Demeter: Surrender, Demeter, Caught) to the horror flicks of Tommy Brunswick (Little Red Devil, Mr. Jingles, The Remake, and more) and Dan Falzone’s The Tower, which recently screened at the Thriller Chiller Film Festival at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids.

‘”Demeter” and “Demeter: Surrender” is a short film series centered around the character from the hit Detroit sci-fi series “Inzer0″ from Thought Collide Productions. Set in the same post-apocolyptic world as the series, the short allows the viewer a peek into the life of Demeter - a character described on the show as tough, brilliant and completely psychotic. However, perception is everything - nothing is ever as it seems.’

Thought Collide Productions is the same group that brought us “The Passenger”.

Are you interested in getting into the motion picture industry in Michigan? The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan offers “aspiring filmmakers a training ground where they can develop their craft, access professional tools of the trade and determine a logical career path all within a cost effective and supportive environment”. Although it’s in Troy it’s also the most “cost-effective one year film program in the country”.

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