News / Entertainment
Saturday, 24 October, 2009 2:30 PM
Manasseri to hold rally to save Michigan film tax incentives
BY MICHELE KOTLARSKY / ©AMERICAJR.com
the set of the new made-for-television movie "You
Don't Know Jack" in Pontiac, Mich.
in October 2009.
Mich. -- 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. The
writers were terrific and I believe we stayed true to John Hughes'
vision," Mike remembered. He also named Weird Science
and 1986's Ferris Bulleur's Day Off as his favorite
the actor is the co-founder of Big Screen Michigan, which is
rallying this Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom
on One South Saginaw in Pontiac to protest over the possible
cuts of the state's film tax incentive that has brought film
and television projects, as well as video game companies into
"A lot of people in Michigan aren't aware that video games
are also a part of the incentive package. The video game industry
is even bigger than movies and tv shows and it also provides
permanent, year round employment for young, creative Michiganders."
"Unfortunately, there is a real negative image out there
of Michigan, including devastating stories in Time
magazine and USA Today. The film, television and video
game industry has brought jobs into the sate as well as millions
of dollars. It is the one positive beacon of hope right now
and the fact that some legislators want to cut this program
back in less than two years from its formation is irresponsible,"
stated Manasseri. "Business needs stability. Business needs
support, " Mike states, who is also a partner in the Los
Angeles-based company Big Screen Entertainment with plans to
bring a branch to Michigan for future projects on the big and
Over the past 18 months, Detroit has been taking a pounding
in the media with the Kwame Kilpatrick serial of adultery, corruption,
and abuse of power as Mayor of the Motor City; increase in unemployment,
closing down schools, rise of crime, the recent bankruptcy of
the Big Three in the automotive industry, and almost bleeding
the DDOT weekend service. This negative backlash causes longtime
residents to relocate and seek employment elsewhere. The only
bright spot in these dark times is the Michigan film tax incentive,
where Oscar winners Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Al Pacino
shot their movies in Michigan as the backdrop for the setting,
where people can start their budding careers as extras, while
providing others that have been recently laid-off job opportunities
to work behind the camera, pitch their own shows to panelists
for the reality series Rollin On', or even create one
to be posted and broadcast for the online global network G1NBC.
Now, it is "crunch time" for the Michigan film mecca,
as the rally sets out to prevent Michigan from being one step
closer to a possible Depression. "We have to give this
a real chance to blossom before legislators start picking it
apart and the bottom line is that it is working beautifully
throughout the state," Mike responds. "A lot of filmmakers
think that Detroit is incredible. There are some great locations
and terrific people with a wonderful work ethic. It's not just
about Hollywood coming here. Eventually, the incentive will
allow Michigan to produce a movie, a TV show. It's Michigan
people making Michigan movies. And with this rally, we're trying
to make as much noise as possible so the legilstaors who have
the fate of the incentives in their hands will hear all of us.
here for more information on the rally to save the Michigan
BY PETE BUBLITZ / ©AMERICAJR.com
Drew Barrymore came to Farmington Hills, Mich. to go roller
skating with fans on Sept. 11, 2009 to promote her new film
BY MICHELE KOTLARSKY / ©AMERICAJR.com
are working on the filming of "Red Dawn" in downtown
Pontiac in late September 2009.
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
Rob Schneider was in downtown Detroit in October 2008 for filming
of "Virgin on Bourbon Street."