All I can say is Wow! Can you friggin believe that such powerhouse actors, directors and studio execs like Rob Reiner, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Hillary Swank and others are coming, or have come here...to Michigan! Ever since 2008, when Michigan lawmakers approved the over 40% tax incentives to movie makers, video game designers and the like ...things are really starting to look up in Michigan, especially for metro Detroit.
Now don’t get me wrong, Michigan has had a glimpse of tinsel-town in the past with at least one scene of a Movie or TV show shot here over 120 times dating back to before 1960. Some of the pre-2008 productions include:
-1959’s Anatomy of a Murder (Courtroom drama starring James Stewart)
-1981’s Continental Divide (Comedy starring John Belushi)
-1984 & 87‘s Beverly Hills Cop I & II (Comedy starring...now you already know)
-2005’s Four Brothers (Drama starring Mark Wahlberg)
-2006’s Transformers (Thriller by Michael Bay with location in Detroit's abandoned train station
But since the 2008 tax incentives have gone into effect things have literally skyrocketed on the local scene for the movie making industry with films such as:
- Butterfly Effect: Revelation (2009) – Sci-Fi Fantasy filmed in Detroit and Vancouver.
- Clock Tower (2009) – A horror flick starring Brittany Snow
- Demoted (2009) – Comedy starring Sean Astin filmed all over the Metro Detroit area, including Dearborn, Detroit, Inkster, Michigan, Milford, Novi, Plymouth (Bennigan’s Restaurant) and the Southfield Public Library.
- Gran Torino (2008) – Clint Eastwood movie filmed in Grosse Pointe Shores, Royal Oak and Warren.
- High School (2010) – Comedy starring Colin Hanks and Adrien Brody shot in Howell and Detroit.
- The Irishman: The Rise and Fall of Danny Greene (2009) – A biography starring Paul Sorvino and Tara Reid
- The Job (2009) – Comedy Satire starring Ron Perlman and Joe Pantoliano filmed in Detroit.
- Killshot (2008) – Action Thriller starring Diane Lane and Mickey Rourke with film locations in Detroit
And I’m quite sure most of you have heard about “Detroit 1-8-7” this locally filmed TV show airs this September, and it’s about cops working the mean streets of Detroit (yawn), BUT probably one of the highlights of the show is it’s lead character, played by Michael Imperioli (remember “Spider” from “Goodfellas” or “Christopher Moltisanti” from “The Sopranos”). Another show is titled “Hardcore Pawn” which features a Detroit pawn shop American Jewelry and Loan, and all of the things that go on in a pawn shop, this will be on the TruTV network. It’s rumored theres gonna be a head-to-head ratings competition between the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” and TruTV's "Hardcore Pawn. My cousin A.J. brought it to my attention that the names of both shows kind of substitute their word PAWN, for the sensationalism of PORN...get it? Porn Stars and Hardcore Porn...interesting I thought. There’s an entire laundry list of other films that are either in the pre-production, production or anticipated production phase according to the states Michigan Film Office
Ok some of you might be thinking, well okay Mr. Shane-man...what’s in it for me? Great question. There are over 2 dozen “peripheral” businesses that are all on the upswing. Now these businesses range from movie set caterers (check this link out), movie extras, film production schools, adding your business or residence to BE IN A MOVIE, offering your home for rent to actors, directors, crew, and others to live in while there shooting here on location (this can be very lucrative with upwards of 10-15k per month in your pocket, not bad for a few months of letting others live in your home, plus consider the BRAGGING RIGHTS behind it..LOL). Also not to mention all of the set production design team, raw material providers, the unions and certifying organizations surrounding this money machine. Basically, there really are lots of opportunities in Michigans Film Industry.
Conversely, don’t let the Bright Lights, Visions of Papparazzi, RED CARPET Movie Premieres, Money, Limos, and etc fool you, because show business is a tough racket, an excerpt from the U.S. Government Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics: Actors endure long periods of unemployment, intense competition for roles, and frequent rejections in auditions.
Formal training through a university or acting conservatory is typical; however, many actors, producers, and directors find work on the basis of their experience and talent alone.
Because earnings may be erratic, many actors, producers, and directors supplement their incomes by holding jobs in other fields.
Now with that information in mind and in spite of it...Mark my words people and remember you heard it here from me, ShaneWow,...between the burgeoning “Green Energy” initiatives along with the blossoming movie/film industry, this will be the biggest thing to happen in Detroit and Michigan as a whole since Henry Ford streamlined the auto industry with his assembly line and linear manufacturing processes. Period. Now let me ask you this, since when have Michiganders and Detroiters especially, have we ever backed down from a tough situation? Huh? We eat TOUGH TIMES FOR BREAKFAST, and wash it down with a shot of “IS THAT IT?”....Well if you ask me, my money’s on the “D”. It definitely looks to me folks that Michigan is poised for a much needed and deserved COMEBACK! If you’d like to get more information on Michigan’s Film Industry, I’ve included several links below, enjoy.