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AMERICAJR.com FOCUS ON FILM

 

Highlighting Michigan's growing film industry

 

PHOTOS: "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas" Movie Shoot in downtown Detroit

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo was LIVE in downtown Detroit as film crews were seen setting up for the new movie shoot "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas." The new motion picture is being shot along Congress Street and surrounding streets, near the Guardian Building. Streets are decorated with Christmas wreaths to represent Christmas in New York City. Street signs were changed to "Madison Ave.," "5th Ave." and "57th St." Don't use your GPS because it will get very confused. [7.30.10]

Wylie Studios Commits to Detroit Area

Global Renaissance Entertainment Group Inc. (GREG) will build its movie studios in the Detroit area, CEO Arthur Wylie announced. Wylie Studios has secured commitments from some of Hollywood's most successful movie producers for six major films to be made at the new facility over the next three years. Wylie Studios is the latest commitment of Arthur Wylie to the Detroit area. Expanding and combining his Los Angeles, Atlanta and Charlotte operations, he moved the headquarters of Global Renaissance Entertainment Group to Allen Park earlier this year. [5.31.10]

ON THE SET: New movie 'Sucker' is being filmed in Pontiac, Troy and Rochester

Lights, camera, action! A new Hollywood movie is being shot right here in downtown Pontiac. It's called Sucker, that's right Sucker. Scenes are being filmed across Oakland County, including the cities of Pontiac, Troy and Rochester. The average person wouldn't know that shooting has been going on because most of it has been happening after dark. About 95 percent of the cast and crew are from Michigan. This is another example of Michigan's 42 percent tax incentive for filming at work. [4.24.10]

WATCH: Interview with director/actor Michael Manasseri from the new film "Sucker"

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo spoke one-on-one with director/actor Michael Manasseri from the new film "Sucker." The movie is being shot in Pontiac, Troy and Rochester, Michigan. Manasseri also serves as the senior vice president for Big Screen Entertainment Group. Learn about the movie's plot, the state's 42 percent tax incentive and much more. How much of the cast and crew are from Michigan? Find out inside...

>> WATCH: Interview with executive producer/actress Kimberley Kates from "Sucker"

>> WATCH: Interview with supporting actor Lloyd Kaufman from the new film "Sucker"

Is It Just Me? wins Best Narrative Feature at the Michigan Film Awards By Jason Rzucidlo

The Detroit Independent Film Festival took place last week at the Burton Theatre and at Wayne State University's DeRoy Auditorium. Is It Just Me? won the best narrative feature award during the inaugural Michigan Film Awards last Saturday. Other winners include Marianne Hettinger, who won the best director award for her feature film Mango Tango. The best narrative short award went to The 8th Samurai, which was directed by Justin Ambrosino. Eddies won the best documentary award. It was directed by Michael Peterson. The best animation award went to A Long Distance Call, which was directed by Joe Chang. [3.10.10]

WATCH: Exclusive Interview with J.C. Calciano, Director of the new film "Is It Just Me?"

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo spoke one-on-one with Hollywood director J.C. Calciano while he was in downtown Detroit for the screening of "Is It Just Me?" at the Detroit Independent Film Festival. This was the first film that he's ever directed, however he has experience directing television shows. The interview took place just before "Is It Just Me?" won the Michigan Film Award for Best Narrative Feature. Find out what it was like to put this film together with just 12 days of shooting. Is it going to make a theatrical release or head straight to DVD? Would he consider doing his next film or television show in Michigan with our state's new tax incentive?

>> WATCH: Exclusive Interview with Michael Amato, Producer of the new film "Is It Just Me?"

>> WATCH: Exclusive Interview with Hollywood actor Nicholas Downs, star of the film "Is It Just Me?"

WATCH: Exclusive Interview with Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, Director of the new film "Jinn," which will be shot in Michigan

AmericaJR.com's Garrett Godwin reports from inside Cobo Center in downtown Detroit for the 58th Annual AutoRama Classic Car Show. Watch for an inclusive interview with Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, director and writer of the new film "Jinn," which will be shot in Michigan. The movie will be filmed all over the state of Michigan and will employ workers from within in the state. Two custom cars known as "The Firebreather" will be used in the production of the film. Also, watch as AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo interviews producers Eddie Rubin and Danny Mooney who are also working on the same project. [3.1.10]

Entertainment attorney Richard Rattner to give speech at WSU Oakland Center on Feb. 17

Richard Rattner is an entertainment attorney at the law office Williams Williams Rattner & Plunkett, P.C. in Birmingham, Mich. He will be giving a speech at Wayne State University's Oakland Center titled "Are You Ready to be America's Next Star" on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. The event is free for WSU Alumni Association members and current students. It is $5 for graduates who are not members of the Alumni Association and $10 for everyone else. [2.12.10]

WATCH: Exclusive Interview with Spencer Grammer, actress on the ABC Family series "GREEK"

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo spoke one-on-one with Hollywood actress Spencer Grammer, who plays the character of Casey Cartwright on the hit ABC Family series "GREEK." The show returns for it's second half of the third season on Monday, January 25, 2010. "GREEK" moves to a new timeslot, now at 10 p.m. every Monday on ABC Family. Grammer is one of the eight original members of the cast, who belongs to the ZBZ sorority in the television show. Find out what to expect in the new season! [1.23.10]

PREVIEW: ABC Family's 'GREEK' returns on Monday at a new time - 10 p.m.

"GREEK" is like a soap opera for teenagers and college students, known as a dramedy. If you like the American Pie movies (minus the nudity) or the Bring It On movies, then you'll definitely enjoy "GREEK." If you are a member of a fraternity or a sorority or you're considering to join one, then this is also a great show for you. This Monday, the show kicks off its second half of its third season in a new timeslot: 10 p.m. "GREEK" will be shown one hour later than in the past. However, there will be just as many twists and lots of surprises thrown in too. [1.23.10]

Jeff Daniels encourages U-M graduates to be persistent in finding career jobs

Actor/playwright Jeff Daniels gave the commencement address at the University of Michigan's winter graduation ceremony inside Crisler Arena on Sunday afternoon. Daniels, who is also a musician, brought out his guitar to sing a song about Michigan during his speech. Honorary degrees were given to journalist Helen Thomas, civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs, biologist theorist Edward Osborne Wilson and Daniels. Many seats were empty on the main floor inside Crisler Arena during the graduation. All of the graduates from the U-M College of Law decided not to show up. [12.21.09]

More women needed in leadership positions, White House Project study says

A recent study by The White House Project indicates that there are too many men in leadership positions. The report, "Benchmarking Women's Leadership," was released last week and concludes that women are stalled at 18 percent. The survey was conducted over 10 different fields from the military to journalism to business and politics. The country is missing out on talent, ideas and experience from women that are more than capable of leadership positions. Actress Geena Davis was in Detroit last Wednesday for the announcement. [11.24.09]

Exclusive Interview with Hollywood actress Geena Davis and White House Project President Marie Wilson [Quicktime Video]

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo spoke one-on-one with Hollywood actress Geena Davis and White House Project President Marie Wilson on Wednesday evening. It took place inside the Motown Mansion in Detroit. The event was titled "Add Women, Change Michigan" to examine the status of women's leadership across ten U.S. sectors. Find out what Geena Davis thought about starring as the first female president of the United States in ABC's "Commander in Chief." Davis founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She is working hard to get more female film directors in Hollywood. [11.20.09]

PHOTOS: The Oink Joint in Birch Run, MI was a filming location for "Whip It"

AmericaJR.com's Gloria Rzucidlo takes you to the Oink Joint Restaurant in Birch Run, Michigan. Director Drew Barrymore selected the diner as one of the filming locations for her new film "Whip It", which is currently in theaters now! We'll take you inside the restaurant and show you what the filmmakers saw. It is located at 11740 Gera Road in Birch Run. The restaurant served as a meeting place for the roller derby girls in the film. Go see the movie and see if you can recognize the diner in it. Filmmakers placed a large pig sculpture on the roof of the building for the shoot. [11.4.09]

Filmmakers rally to save Michigan's 42 percent tax incentive

Mike Manasseri, from Big Screen Michigan introduced Wally, his cameraman, and they showed a 2-minute clip of the importance of Michigan continuing to get film incentives which was the topic of tonight's rally. The clip can be seen at bigscreenmichigan.com also a video which explains the downside of the incentive going away which can be found above the act now! Detroit Free Press columnist and author Mitch Album was one of the speakers at the event. He strongly urged Michigan leaders in Lansing to keep the 42 percent tax incentive for filmmakers. [10.28.09]

Scenes from the "Red Dawn" movie shoot in downtown Detroit

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo was LIVE in downtown Detroit on Monday when film crews were shooting scenes for the remake of the 1980s picture "Red Dawn." There was lots of activity at Detroit's Grand Circus Park, Campus Martius Park and at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Griswold Street. Extras were seen wearing orange jumpsuits. The entire area was outfitted to look like a town in China. Watch some scenes from the movie shoot below... [10.28.09]

Actor Mike Manasseri to hold rally to save Michigan film tax incentives Monday

Whether you may know it or not, Mike Manasseri is part of the John Hughes legacy, thanks to his role as Wyatt, in the sci-fi/fantasy comedy, Weird Science. The series, which aired on the USA Network from 1994-98, is based on the hit 1985 movie directed by Hughes, who passed away this summer. To this day, fans still recognize him from time to time. "John Hughes was incredible. I was flattered to be on that show. [10.24.09]

Al Pacino stars as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in new film being shot in Michigan

The Oakland County Court House was all a buzz Thursday Oct. 15 as Al Pacino was in town to film the HBO movie titled “You Don’t Know Jack”. One girl in the crowd watching said that she had the opportunity to meet Pacino and she asked him to repeat a line about a gun from the movie Scarface, at first he was hesitant but then he said the line for her. When he saw the crowd of fans gathering around he asked them if no one had to work, one man told him this was Michigan. [10.18.09]

Laurie Meeker to host Film Auditioning Workshop at Wayne State, Oct. 10 - 31

Wayne State University will host an intensive workshop for people looking to get a job in the film industry. The continuing education course will take place for four consecutive Saturdays from Oct. 10 through 31. There will be 10 hours of training each day by Screen Actors Guild (SAG) member Laurie Meeker. The class is open to the public. Students will perform mock auditions and will get coaching from Meeker. So far, 15 spots are filled out of 20. There is still time to register. [10.6.09]

Michael Moore expects more when it comes to vacations

I had a nice chat recently with Michael Moore, who was promoting his soon-to-be-released film “Capitalism: A Love Story,” a documentary showcasing the ills of corporate greed and exploitation of the common worker. I previewed “Capitalism” last week at a journalists’ screening, so I had many questions to ask the Academy Award-winning American filmmaker. Two of “Capitalism’s” travel-industry motifs haunted me: firstly, should we be afraid to fly on airlines which pay their pilots meager salaries, and secondly, if capitalism is evil, is it likewise evil to enjoy a luxurious cruise or other mirthful getaway when some people can’t afford to do so? [10.3.09]

Scenes from the "Red Dawn" film shooting in downtown Pontiac, MI

AmericaJR.com's Michele Kotlarsky was LIVE in downtown Pontiac for a look at the filming of "Red Dawn." The new Hollywood motion picture is being shot along Saginaw Street in Pontiac. There are many props on display in this area where the streets are closed. Many of the buildings have been renamed to reflect the film. Red Dawn is about a group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of Chinese and Russian soldiers. Chris Hemsworth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Josh Hutcherson are the main stars in the film. The movie is expected to be released on September 24, 2010. [9.28.09]

Drew Barrymore goes roller skating with fans to promote "Whip It"

Hundreds of fans of all ages waited several hours in line for a chance to skate with Drew Barrymore. The Hollywood actress and director appeared at BonaVenture Skating Center in Farmington Hills to promote her new movie, "Whip It." Barrymore arrived at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The new movie was filmed in the Detroit area in the summer of 2008. Members of the Detroit Derby Girls, who were included in the film, were on hand for the special event. A red carpet with velvet ropes was set up behind the skating rink so Barrymore could speak to the media. [9.13.09]

WATCH: Exclusive Interview with Drew Barrymore at Roller Skating Event in Farmington Hills, MI (Quicktime Video)

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo spoke one-on-one with Hollywood actress and director Drew Barrymore on Friday afternoon at BonaVenture Family Skate Center in Farmington Hills, Mich. She came to town to promote her new film "Whip It" and skate with her fans. The first 955 people were allowed to participate in the event, which was hosted by Channel 955 radio. "Whip It" was the first film that Barrymore ever directed. It opens to theaters nationwide on Oct. 2, 2009! [9.12.09]

Drew Barrymore to appear at roller skating event; Dave Coulier to host charity fundraiser

Hollywood actress and director Drew Barrymore will make an appearance at BonaVenture Skating Center in Farmington Hills to promote her new movie, "Whip It." Barrymore will be there on Sept. 11 from 3 to 6 p.m., however fans are advised to be there before 3:30 or they won't get in. On the very next day, actor Dave Coulier will host a charity fundraiser for "Bras for a Cause." He will be at the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Sept. 12 from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be an art bra show, a silent auction and musical performances by Jill Jack and Frankie D'Angelo. [9.10.09]

Hollywood and area leaders mark Unity Studios groundwork with a clap

Representatives of the Hollywood film industry and southeast Michigan gathered Thursday afternoon to mark the establishment of Unity Studios, a +100-acre complex dedicated to film and television production. The “groundbreaking” ceremony that afternoon was marked by the snap of a giant movie clapper by the host party. Further marking the significance of the area’s conversion was the naming of the area as "Hollywood 48101". [8.31.09]

WATCH: Exclusive Interviews with Unity Studios President Jimmy Lifton, Allen Park Mayor Gary Burtka, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Unity Studios Marketing Director Eric Cedo (Quicktime Video)

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo was LIVE on Thursday afternoon at the ground breaking of the new Unity Studios in Allen Park. This production facility will also offer training to those looking for jobs in the film or television industry. It is located at I-94 and Southfield Road. You'll see exclusive one-on-one interviews with Unity Studios President Jimmy Lifton, Allen Park Mayor Gary Burtka, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Unity Studios Marketing Director Eric Cedo. [8.29.09]

Specs Howard Opens New Film School in Farmington Hills

If you're looking for a job in Michigan's fast-growing film industry, this is the place for you. Specs Howard, known for its radio and television programs, has opened a new film school in Farmington Hills. The campus is located within the studio one lot, Michigan's only Hollywood-style film production lot. Everything is nestled in one location, on a street called Industrial Drive, just off Halsted Road north of Nine Mile Road. Specs Howard is offering Introduction to Film and Advanced Film Editing workshops here. [6.26.09]

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Moore talks the economy, health care and previews his upcoming film

Michael Moore was born in Flint, Mich. In 1954, he went to a Catholic seminary, at 22 years old, he co-founded the Flint Voice muckraking newspaper. In 1989, he put out his first documentary film Roger and Me, in 2002, he got an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, and in 2003, he put out his masterpiece Fahrenheit 911 about Bush, fear and lies. It premiered at number one at box office opening weekend. In 2007, his movie Sicko came out claiming that Americans are at the bottom for health care access. [5.5.09]

Michael Moore to speak at Democratic Club of Taylor on May 2

Academy Award-winning American filmmaker, author and liberal political commentator Michael Moore will be speaking at the Democratic Club of Taylor on May 2 at a fundraiser supporting Michigan Peace Team. He is the director and producer of Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko, three of the top five highest-grossing documentaries of all time. Born and raised in Davisburg, Moore attended the University of Michigan – Flint, and never lost touch with his Michigan roots. When Michael Moore speaks, people listen. [4.11.09]

Detroit Metro Airport offers four unique terminals for filmmakers

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) features four terminals that are available for filmmakers. Two of the terminals are completely new -- McNamara and North while the other two terminals are no longer in operation -- Smith and Berry. The airport has been used as the location for ABC's "The Prince of the Motor City" and "Homeland Security". It will be used this week for the new George Clooney film "Up in the Air". The airport is attractive to filmmakers due to the state's 42 percent tax incentive for filmmakers who choose to do their work in Michigan. [2.22.09]

  • Exclusive Interview with Hollywood actor/comedian Dave Coulier WAV -- AIFF
  • Exclusive Interview with Hollywood actor/director Michael Landon Jr. WAV -- AIFF
  • Exclusive Interview with Hollywood actor Faran Tahir, star of"Iron Man" and the new "Star Trek" film MP3
  • Exclusive 20-minute Interview with Hollywood actor Bob Saget, host of "1 vs. 100" MP3
  • Exclusive Interview with Hollywood actress Amanda Bynes at Steve & Barry's in Troy, Mich. MP3

30 MINUTES OR LESS Crew Call

Grand Rapids based feature film seeking all crew positions for an 8 week shoot slated to begin principal photography in mid to late July. Regular IATSE rates will be offered. Those interested should send their resume with the position/s applied for in the subject line to 30minutesorless@gmail.com.

TOUCHBACK Crew Call

Crew notification for project "Touchback"
This is an overall announcement for ALL KEY positions including Production staff.
Tentative start date: Early July 2010
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Send all submissions to:
carivan@me.com
kevinmatusow@me.com

Feature Film Now Accepting Resumes

Crew call for union (DGA, IA, Teamsters) feature to start prep in Metro Detroit area mid April and principal mid June. Currently accepting applications for union and non-union positions. Please send pdf resume, with department/position listed in the subject line, to HandK3@yahoo.com.

Metro Detroit Production Company Seeking Crew

Axis Media Productions is looking for crew for upcoming independent film, music video and commercial projects. Positions and pay will vary depending on the projects. Must be 18 or older. You will be contacted if and when a position becomes available.

To apply for crew positions, please send resume, samples of work and contact information to contact@axismediadetroit.com

Motion Graphics Designer - 3D Animator: Wanted

The Visual Effects Group has an opening for a Senior Motion Graphics Designer.

When applying, please send your resume, salary history and compensation expectations to:
Human Resources
Mills/James Productions
3545 Fishinger Boulevard
Columbus, Ohio 43026
E-mail: jobs@mjp.com

A Search for Real Life ROSIE THE RIVETERS in Michigan for Documentary Project

The Real Rosie The Riveter Project -- recording their stories for the Tamiment Labor Archives

If you or someone you know was a Rosie and is interested in participating, please contact: Kirsten Kelly (646-526-4407) or Sacha Schwimmer at (212) 925-5980 or via email at spargelfilms@gmail.com - Help keep Rosie's story alive and well in the history books!

Seeking an On-Screen Moderator for a Documentary

Seeking an African-American Woman for a moderator position for a controversial, interesting documentary. The moderator will be responsible for voice over work, and interviewing people. Also included in promotion material such as trailers and posters. We need a person with a friendly, outgoing personality. You must also be available to go on a possible road trip the 2nd or 3rd week in March to do interviews.
If interested, please email headshot, resume, and full body shot to thenetwork21@gmail.com. Please put Moderator in the Subject Heading.

Auditions for John Basketball, Lansing

Start Time: Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 10:00am
End Time: Friday, May 21, 2010 at 1:00pm
Where: Foster Community Center
Click BANG! Productions is shooting a feature film in the Lansing area through out the month of July. We have a character heavy script with multiple roles for adults of all ages, but predominately men ages 20-60.

Please Contact:
Tom Slovinski (casting director)
slovinst@gmail.com
Jerry Spears (director)
brasstacksfilms@gmail.com

Midwest Independent Film Festival

2010 season kicks off with "Chicago Overcoat". The Midwest Independent Film Festival takes place every First Tuesday at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema in Chicago.

New Belgium Brewing Seeks Actors, Activists and Crafty Short Filmmakers

For submission guidelines visit www.clipsoffaith.com. May 20, 2010 Deadline for Submission.

To submit a job for this page, please send an e-mail to "americajr@americajr.com" with the subject "Film Job."

 

 

 

Visit the Michigan Film Office's official website

 

 

 

 

This section was created to highlight Michigan's growing film industry. The state offers a 42 percent tax incentive to filmmakers who chose to do their craft within Michigan. Many film studios are now opening permanent facilities within the state.

 

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