Hollywood may set up shop in Michigan.

When I was younger I knew I wanted to be an actor when I grew up, but other than a small voice role in an anime dub, an impossible to see stint as an extra in Hoffa, and being cast as the lead in a community theater production of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown that I had to drop out of due to work commitments, I’ve never actually achieved that youthful dream. A lot of that is because it would have required moving to either New York (for stage plays, which I’m not fond of) or to Los Angeles (where they have earthquakes and wildfires) and I’ve just never been motivated enough to do that. There’s enough theaters and such around Michigan that it’s possible to make something of a living as an actor locally as my brother-in-law has managed to do, but it’s nothing that’s likely to result in you hitting it big time. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve had absolutely zero training as an actor outside of a high school drama course I took 20 years ago. But perhaps that’ll change as more and more of Hollywood moves to Michigan. With stuff being produced locally there’s the chance that I could at least have some fun being an extra a couple more times.

And the chances of that are improving as things heat up in Michigan’s new film industry. Early last year our state legislators passed a bunch of laws and tax breaks designed to make Michigan much more attractive to film and television productions and it’s already worked quite well. There’s a whole bunch of movies filming in Michigan with more on the way and now word comes down that we may end up with some full fledged production studios too:

State film officials say they are on the verge of sealing an $80 million development deal that would create three film and television production studios in southeast Michigan, boosting one of the state’s few fast-growing industries.

Two of the potential locations for the permanent studios — including one in Detroit — haven’t been used in years, while the third site would have to be built. One of the facilities would be a multi-studio complex that would occupy up to 130 acres, state officials confirmed. Another facility would be geared toward post-production work, such as audio and editing.

The Detroit facility, if the deal is finalized, could be in operation by the end of the year.

[…] “It’s a game-changer,” said Anthony Wenson, CEO of the Michigan Film Office, the agency that promotes the local film industry. “We truly (will) have a year-round industry. We can see a television series shot here. We can provide space for filmmakers to build large-scale sets. We can greatly expand our offerings to the video and digital media community.”

The state film agency has been working on the deal for months and contends it would create the infrastructure to support what has become a $100 million industry in the nine months since Michigan passed the most aggressive film industry tax incentives in the nation.

That would be wonderful if it does grow that big as Michigan is in desperate need of a shot to its economy. Plus, who knows, maybe I’ll finally get a chance to live out that youthful dream.

Found via the Michigan Messenger.


3 thoughts on “Hollywood may set up shop in Michigan.

  1. The movie and TV production companies have been “outsourcing” filming to Canada the past couple decades, so why not Michigan? Maybe the Motor City will develop a second industry. That would be cool. When I think of Detroit, I think of that excellent chase scene in the beginning of Beverly Hills Cop.

    So Les, here’s a hypothetical: if you could cast yourself as any character in a remake of any movie ever made, what movie would it be and what character?

    Sorry to put you on the spot. wink

  2. I have no idea. I think it’d be fun to try and take on just about any role. I’m not quite so egotistical to think that I could do better than someone else before me, but I’d have a hell of a fun time trying my best at just about anything someone wanted me to take a stab at.

    I’m told I can do scary/creepy looking guy pretty easily…

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