Friday, February 25, 2011

“Julie Hinds: Movie makers waiting, but many still hope to film here - Detroit Free Press” plus 1 more

“Julie Hinds: Movie makers waiting, but many still hope to film here - Detroit Free Press” plus 1 more


Julie Hinds: Movie makers waiting, but many still hope to film here - Detroit Free Press

Posted:

The forecast for movie and TV productions that want to film in Michigan in the near future is cloudy with a slight chance of optimism.

Even with the controversy over Gov. Rick Snyder's proposal to eliminate the state's film tax credits, several producers are ready to pack their bags and come here -- if the state acts quickly to approve their applications.

If decisions aren't made in the next few weeks, the projects are likely to wind up in another state.

The proposed changes to the state's film incentives have prompted at least one big-budget production, the superhero epic "The Avengers," to drop plans to shoot here.

The buzz in the local film community is that Hollywood will turn its back on Michigan if Snyder's budget plan becomes law. But producers who already have submitted their applications still sound eager to shoot here -- if they can get a speedy green light.

Snyder's plan doesn't completely eliminate money for movies, but it reduces and caps the amount. His budget for fiscal 2012 calls for $75 million for film credits already approved and $25 million for new movie incentives.

So far this year, two small-budget projects by local filmmakers have been approved for a total of $74,000 in tax credits.

And 31 applications are pending.

The applications are being reviewed to determine which are eligible and can move forward, says Snyder spokeswoman Geralyn Lasher.

"The Avengers" submitted its application last Friday and wanted an answer by 5 p.m., much too short a time frame for consideration, according to Lasher. Other projects have had their applications in for weeks.

Decisions for some films could be coming soon. "The hope is it could be as early as next week," says Lasher.

The state is honoring the commitments of projects already approved, like George Clooney's "The Ides of March," scheduled to shoot in southeast Michigan. A spokeswoman for the movie confirms it is coming here in early March to film for several weeks.

Another approved project, Disney's "Oz: The Great and Powerful," has a proposed Michigan investment of $105 million. All indications are that it will land at Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac.

(Page 2 of 2)

Raleigh's director of studio operations Anthony Wenson wouldn't comment on what projects are involved with the state-of-the-art facility. He said Raleigh will continue finishing the studio and be open for business for the clients they've made commitments to for the rest of the year.

"We feel strongly committed to continue doing what we're doing in the state of Michigan," says Wenson.

And what about the 31 movies waiting to see what happens to their applications?

• "The Iceman," a drama set to star James Franco and Benicio Del Toro, plans to shoot in Michigan in September -- if it's approved. "We can wait a month to know or some reasonable time, but if it's not approved, we'll move somewhere else," says producer Avi Lerner, throwing out alternatives like New York, Connecticut or Georgia. Lerner says he had a good experience here with previous films "Trust" and "Stone."

• HBO's "Hung," which begins filming its third season soon, is supposed to be here in early April. It submitted an application in January. "We're assuming that as a repeat customer, it will go our way," says executive producer Scott Stephens. The series about a metro Detroit teacher who moonlights as a gigolo has filmed portions of two seasons here. Stephens, who calls Detroit "almost a character in our show," says a decision about the location will have to be made in the next few weeks.

• Producer Randall Emmett of Cheetah Vision Films is optimistic that "Freelancers" -- starring his producing partner, Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson -- will be approved next week and begin filming in the Grand Rapids area in early April. Emmett, who's made several movies in Grand Rapids, says he loves Michigan. But he also has to respect the financial bottom line. "If we're not approved by next Friday, we'll go somewhere else," he says.

• "The Untitled Josh Schwartz Project," formerly titled "Fun Size," expects to shoot in Michigan, although Paramount might change its plans if the application isn't approved, says a spokesman for the film. Schwartz is the creator of Fox's "The O.C." and executive producer of the CW's "Gossip Girl."

• "Five-Year Engagement," a romantic comedy starring Jason Segel, has a production office open in Ann Arbor. Universal Pictures could not be reached for comment on the movie's status here.

• The producers of "Lucky Christmas," a TV movie for the Hallmark Channel, are sticking with plans to shoot here and are communicating with the Michigan Film Office to work out some challenges, according to a spokeswoman for the cable network.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read our FAQ page at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php
Five Filters featured article: Collateral Damage - WikiLeaks In The Crosshairs.



image

Michigan movie industry gears up for a film tax credit fight - Detroit Free Press

Posted:

Daniels says he was misled in Snyder talk

Actor Jeff Daniels told a crowd of film industry supporters Thursday that his comments about a conversation with Gov. Rick Snyder were accurate.

Daniels said he met with Snyder Dec. 9 at the governor's request. "Before he even sat down, the gov said, 'I don't want to kill it,' " Daniels said. "Now, I am an actor. One of the tools of my trade is to remember things, and that's accurate."

Daniels said Snyder "gave me the impression that he cared, he understood and he got it" when it came to the value of the state's film tax credits. By the time the meeting ended, Daniels said, "I thought I was preaching to the choir."

Snyder has said Daniels' recall of their meeting is not accurate. But Daniels said Thursday, "I felt like I was talking to a politician ... who said one thing and did another. I'm accurate. Don't tell me I'm not."

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read our FAQ page at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php
Five Filters featured article: Collateral Damage - WikiLeaks In The Crosshairs.



image

0 comments:

Post a Comment