Monday, March 28, 2011

Filming in Holland

Although the Tulip Fair hasn't exposed yet ... the Tulips are indeed blooming in Holland alongside a commercial for a new energy drink called "Party Amor." The small bottled beverage diming with a tagline that shouts "it's worth a shot" boasts post-hangover relief. Spearheaded by Curtis and Cason Thorsby, who are two Central Michigan University BBA students who aimed at providing a low cost solution to a long night of drinking packed with B-Vitamins. This past week, a series of commercials starring Michelle Balser Peterson were produced by myself, Sam Logan K and directed by Keith Zielinski. The spots are aimed at satisfying investors as well as galvanize a new audience of prospective customers.

Filming took place at Holland's 9th Street studios yesterday. We arrived the night before the shoot slightly before 12:00am midnight after a 3 hour journey from Detroit. A camera test with the chameleon like talents of Michelle sparked an afflatus in Zielinski who chatted up the set into the 3am hour; Followed by a 10am call time that brought about my skill to moxie and muscle the stage onto it's ledge. Zielinksi pulls aside for a coffee and and fruit salad at crafty after a quick rehearsal while Michelle winks of confident pose that continues over the course of the 5 hour shoot. "Five hours to shoot a commercial" I'm asked by a passerby in the hallway of the studio; "Yes" I laughingly reply, "That's actually a relatively quick and easy shoot, considering that our lead actress has over 2 pages of double sided monologue, read aloud in font size 4." Zielinski and Michelle of course being consummate artists take on every opportunity film, television or theatre - commercials in this case are no different and need the same amount of careful consideration of artists convening to assemble a narrative that fits a market."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cutbacks in Tax Breaks Bring Chickens Home to Roost

Just as we in Michigan are hoping that the movies come to the mitten state and stay here, California is fighting back with it's own hope..... is just one example of the local to Hollywood crews attempts and convincing producers to stay in their backyard and keep the money in the golden sun.

Most recently many film productions are heading to Louisiana, not only does the state have warm weather and coastline, it also boasts experienced film crews and and studio space alongside a 30% tax credit. Just as there is a Raleigh Studios in Detroit now, there has been one in Baton Rouge; Just like Detroit Louisiana offers a plethora of real estate at a good price with some down home southern home advantages.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Festivals Galore

It's festival season....with Ann Arbor around the corner, and DIFF / Uptown teaming up things are looking to get good for us who want to bask in indie light.

Celebrating Michigan’s finest , the 2nd Annual Detroit Independent Film Festival (DIFF) presents its line-up for 2011. The second year festival includes over 80 films including World Premieres, panels, afterglow parties and more.

THE DIFF received well over 235 films from all over the world and the festival begins March 9th, and continues through Sunday, March 13th, 2011.

DIFF 2011 will kick off with two big events going on at the same time including an opening night reception both at the Ren Cen 4 and the Burton Theatre. Michigan Filmmaker’s Night will be the opening night event that will take place at the Ren Cen 4.

The Burton Theatre will also be having their own opening night reception and screening with the Michigan Premiere of “The Beast Pageant” which recently had its World Premiere at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival.

Thursday Night opens with two exceptional short film blocks at the Burton Theatre , including an experimental and short film program including the Michigan Premiere of the acclaimed short film “Soap” which is about a middle-age women who finds herself in a sticky situation when she discovers her lover dead from having slipped on a bar of soap.

Friday Night’s line-up includes three grand premieres. Including the World Premiere of Hollywood based director J.C. Calciano’s “eCupid”, about a young ad man who is desperate for a new life that he goes looking for it online where he comes up a mysterious app called “eCupid” that guarantees him to find true love.

Another Friday headliner is the World premiere of Michigan based indie filmmaker Michael McCallum’s (Fairview St., Handlebar) new film “Lucky” about a young man who moves from relationship to relationship trying to meet the right woman.

All in all if you want to read more or buy tickets....visit

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


After a few days of much needed rest and post-Oscar recovery, SLK is back! This was my first year witnessing the Academy Awards live on the red carpet. For most of LA, the inconvenience of traffic jams was welcome as both tourists and locals stood back behind barricades up to 2 blocks away just to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars stepping out of limousines. The weather was a crisp 60 degrees. The sun was out (mostly). It was only 5pm Pacific standard time, so it made sense to me that parties would run late, considering the Oscars start 3 hours ahead at 8pm on the eastern time clock for us usually. Everyone was friendly (almost). It was almost like living in the Hollywood heyday of the 1950's or 60's, except newer brands gave way on the catwalk for a modern twist - And you could smell a plastic lining in the air amongst hints of grill and perfume as so many different scents flew in the air.