See Part I here:
“At present the film industry is just getting started and is mainly concerned with production, with the post production and distribution here in Michigan still to come. This is where a lot of the revenue is, not just the quick production of a movie (although it is the most ‘glamorous’ part of making a movie), but it is also in all the production planning, and post production, and the distribution of that product (the film) to the rest of the world,” said Chuck Derry.
Derry works at Madonna University, one of many local colleges and trade schools offering film production certifications and degrees. A complete listing of programs is available on the Michigan Film Office Website. The domino effect of the local film industry is those who work in education.
Many colleges have spent millions in film studio, equipment, and infrastructure. The list of programs is lengthy, each supporting instructors and students who yearn for a variety of film jobs. Derry and Cynthia Keleman said students would stay when they know they can connect with local companies who have a firm foothold in the film business.
“We cannot overlook the selection of neighborhoods, local establishments, and even homes used in filming that ends up with a facelift on the industry’s dime. Contrary to the sacred adage of ‘it’s all about the money,’ for Michiganders it is not just about the money. It is about rejuvenating a battered local economy, giving the community new opportunities, hope and a new sense of pride. Let us not sell our joy for a few percentage points and chase away the golden goose to set up a new nest in another more welcoming state,” said Keleman. Ohio is waiting for Michigan to falter to start its own incentive program.
Another spinoff is Project Accessible Hollywood (PAH), spearheaded by Christopher Coppola, and held at Madonna University annually in July. Here the competition is open to all ages and based on creative entries. Several unknowns have found their way into the budding Michigan film industry.
All equipment, cameras, editing suites, coaches and assistant coaches, as well as food and a healthy spirit of competition are provided said Keleman. “Michiganders are a tough lot and although faced with the need to pursue new skills in a very fluid market, we have rallied to the call of the film industry and its beacon of hope.”
Derry concluded that many have invested in buildings and hiring people (many away from other states). “It isn’t even the numbers that really tell the story, especially in the beginning, but the perception. If I am a company thinking of Michigan as a home, and see how the film industry was lured in and then treated badly and tricked, am I going to really want to trust the State to not do the same thing to me, my company, or my industry?”
When local programs and colleges educate students, they educate them in a world-class environment of filmmaking. Students see the international picture said Derry. Even classes in LA available for local programs (is revenue earned in Michigan. If Michigan treats the industry badly and it leaves, these students will leave too.
Local Detroit area Websites mushroom with Michigan Film Industry proponents. Tell Rick is a facebook page with thousands of pro industry comments. If you believe the industry will help — you can make a difference today! Detroit ABC News affiliate WXYZ reports on group trying to keep the incentives alive.
The Oakland Press reports a local businessperson who has invested quite a bit in hopes the program can flourish. Another effort looking for assistance is here. Finally, videos to save the industry are located here and here.
There were no Websites in favor of ending the incentives. Many agree if qualitative seeds grow so too will revenue. Isn’t that how a business plan works? For those vested in the Michigan film industry each is hoping Snyder will not close the curtain after the first promising act.