Monday, March 29, 2010

All You Need to Know About Detroit

Detroit: Choose your plot--$1 each, no more than 14/person, please.

As promised:

Besides the tax incentives, Michigan has several traits that make it attractive to the film industry. Unlike Louisiana or New Mexico, which are also film hot spots, Michigan has four marked seasons. It has more than 3,000 miles of coastline along the Great Lakes, bodies of water so big their horizons are as empty as an ocean's. There are lots of charming old towns with charming old buildings, several universities and plenty of out-of-work autoworkers itching to do something with their hands, such as build sets, operate lighting systems or learn makeup artistry.

Even Michigan's economic malaise has an upside for Hollywood: Those empty, abandoned streets in Detroit are perfect for moviemakers, who can close off entire blocks for weeks without worrying about disrupting the city's flow. The Irishman, a movie due next year starring Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken, was shot in several neighborhoods of Detroit and barely interrupted city life, even when explosives were set off.

"Detroit is a fantastic resource," says Larry August, director and managing partner of Avalon Films, which has done mostly auto commercials in the past. "You have a city that was built for 1.8 million or 2 million people, and it has a lot fewer people than that (912,000 now, the Census Bureau estimates). That's the definition of a back lot. It's gritty, it's urban, and it's a very film-friendly city."

There's even a barely used high school west of Detroit in Howell, Mich., which has stood empty since 2003 because the town can't afford to operate two high schools. It's been the backdrop for at least one movie and is the location now for a pilot being shot for a sitcom for tweens.

(courtesy USA Today)

You had me at "tweens."

You also had me at "Val Kilmer" and "definition of a back-lot."

Whoo! HAGS! lol...


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