Bring the Movie Making Machines to Michigan

Posted In: Politics, State, Local, Opinion,   From Issue 657   By: Review Magazine

27th March, 2008     0

Michigan lawmakers are working on a package of bills designed to lure the Hollywood movie making machines to our landscape rich state.  The geographical diversity of our "Winter Water Wonderland" makes our state one large movie set.    We have four seasons and large bodies of water to accommodate a host of story scenarios.  The only missing element from the movie equation is an economic stimulus package.

Sen. Roger Kahn is currently guiding a bipartisan package of lucrative tax and loan incentives through both houses.  Once these laws are signed by the governor the movie studio moguls will come knocking at our door.

In April 2007 I was hired to work as an extra and drive my 1966 GTO in the movie "Semi-Pro," filmed in Flint and Pontiac.  The story was about a fictional basketball team the Flint Tropics. For six days and nights they filmed scenes in downtown Flint involving hundreds of employees and extras.  This venture cost the studio over $1 million to pay wages to 500 extras, 151 film technicians, fees to rent 250 pre-1976 classic cars, building reconstruction costs, catering, restaurants, hotels, gasoline, and a multitude of other required services.

Flint welcomed the moviemakers and benefited from the huge injection of excitement and cash into the local economy.  The fact that less than 30 seconds of the film shot in Flint made it into the final cut is really not relevant. When I told Director Kent Alterman about how disappointed the extras and Flint citizens were about being left on the cutting room floor, he smiled and said, "I'm sorry to hear that; but that's the movie business." 

My grandfather always told me, " Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," and that applies to the movie industry as well.  If movie studios will bring their film production equipment to Michigan and inject millions of dollars into our economy, then lets roll out the red carpet!

Timothy Ader
Thomas Township


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