Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas and more...

Anyone ever been to Punxsutawney, PA? Last week I was. I must say the entire town seems to truly attain the benefit of being the location in Bill Murray's 'Groundhog Day'. Where else can you walk around the street any name every corner store from the film, while enjoying a stay at the same hotels the cast and crew did. Granted Detroit is not as small as P, PA, I think it could still attract tourists in the same way. I think if there is some entrepreneurial project in Michigan, it would be that of a company which would (like NYC and LA) take on a bus touring transit where visitors can see where the stars stay when they make moves and what locations they've seen in favourite TV shows and films.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New York City Filming...

Today is day on of a 4 day music video shoot in NYC. The video is for a country music artist by the name of 'Untitled' - The concept: Doing an unconventional country music video setting in an urban landscape. We've seen rodeos, farms, barns and cows...the next step is the hot dog stands and taxi corners of Manhattan; the pizza shoppes of Brooklyn; the streets of the Bronx... I always said that if you want to be original think original and undone. Do what's 'undone' as our assistant director would say.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Screen Your Work

Remember, if no one sees it, then it's not really a movie...that's the age old saying right? After you and you crew have taken 5 weeks to 5 years to bring to life your feature or short film project, and you find yourself not able to get into local festivals...Take the advantage of renting out a screening rom yourself. If not for your friends and family, perhaps for the public? Risk it, show the world. I mean how much can an auditorium rental really be. A band once asked me if I knew how to book them work....I responded...don't book shows, book audience members. That's right and it also makes sense here. Find your spot, screen your movie and book audience members to watch it. Charge them nothing or charge them something, make sure it's worth their while and have a good time. If they like it and so do you, I'm certain they'll come back for more.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the Set of a Giant Man

“People say It reminds me just like this place I went to in New Orleans,” says owner Michael Hennes of ‘Howes’ Bayou.’ The wood trim bar actually has the rustic feel of an old saloon that could be in an city for any narrative of any potential film project....It’s warm behind the scenes on the set of “The Giant Mechanical Man”....Most everyone on the crew is a hired local. A positive for the state of Michigan, and today they are filming at ‘Howes’ Bayou’. A local Cajun themed restaurant in Ferndale.

The craft service is being provided by ‘Keepin It Fresh’, owned by Damita DeAngelo and Shelly Hurowitz. DeAngelo says “It’s providing jobs” when discussing the film incentive – Nothing can be better as craft service is the best place on set to be.

So why are they filming here today?

“That’s the connection with Paulette, the production designer suggested (she was a regular) I know the shot you need as the birthday scene” and “they came in and they liked it and thought it would have a good feel for the movie” says Michael Hennes.

The crew from Los Angeles seems to thoroughly be enjoying their time “There’s no doubt that I’m coming back (to Michigan),” says line producer Michael Gallant. Who says he’s been called for 2 more movies that could potentially come to the state to take advantage of the film incentives.

Michael Hennes says, “I think it’s important publicity for the city. I like to see us being more inviting to the film community and make it a little easier to work in the city.”

Hennes speaks about when the location scouts arrived, “They took pictures of everything as it was and promised to put it back as it was....just like another party that we’d be putting together.”

It may be just like a party, but not as conventional as this exciting new project brings positive publicity and the intangible benefit of future patrons identifying the location for it’s cinematic playtime.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Union Dues and Ramblings

I have commented on joining SAG before and I felt that I must let local Detroiters know that if they wish to sign up and have been granted the invite to become a member of one of the finest unions in the country...the price is low. A total of $1418 is due for the Detroit market talent versus the over $2300 joining fee on the east and west coast. So if you live in Detroit and wish to join SAG, know that we do benefit in one way; however, if as a local actor you wish to move to Los Angeles and continue working, the difference must be paid up front before being able to accept a job. Another item I am often asked of from both novice talent and veteran actors is "What is Station 12, they told me they have to Station 12 me." This is which is essentially when your agent is granted the clearance from the union alongside the producer of a project to hire an actor and make sure they are up to date with paying their dues and in good standing with the union. All on screen talent is 'Station Twelved' before working on any project.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Commercial Time

Looks like the incentives have drawn a little more attention to the state. This week I am witnessing three commercial sets, one for the US. Marine Corps, another for General Motors followed by Coca Cola. That's a pretty big list of clients here in our state taking advantage of our stage space and putting people to work who may not have had the opportunity to get hired on some of the bigger feature films. The good news for me today is that I also have to go SAG - I plan on keeping everyone updated on the process of joining to union step by step.