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Local News / Entertainment

Friday, 9 July, 2010 12:54 PM

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

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Scenes for the new movie "Sucker" are being shot inside an abandoned building in Pontiac, Mich.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

PONTIAC, Mich. -- 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.

"I play the chairman of the nuclear power plant and the protagonist works there," said Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma Productions and one of the actors in the film. "I fire him and that starts the unending series of bad luck incidents that befall our hero who eventually turns into a large mosquito. I'm here in Michigan to learn. I've made movies for 40 years for Troma, primarily in New York City. Michigan really has called out to me. It is booming. L.A. is not exactly exploding with production. New York is doing very well. I'm a movie nut also."

Filming for Sucker is expected to last six weeks. Most of the filming is taking place in downtown Pontiac with additional scenes in Troy and on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester. Sucker is the first Michigan film to be produced by the Big Screen Entertainment Group (BSEG). It is directed and co-written by BSEG’s Michael Manasseri. The executive producer for this motion picture is BSEG's Kimberley Kates. Stephen Eckleberry is a producer and will also be handling post-production duties for this film.

"Pontiac has been great," said Michael Manasseri, director and an actor in the film Sucker. "It was the right decision to come here. It was the right decision to work with the city. It's been a partnership with Pontiac and helping this movie happen. Police officers, fire, EMS, they're in the movie. The movie takes place in Pontiac. We don't say its Smithville, U.S.A. shooting in Pontiac. It has some great architecture, some big buildings so you can make it look like a bigger city than it is. I'm here because of the tax incentive."

Sucker is described as a sci-fi comic-book-esque film. The plot: Lovable loser Jim Crawley is having a pretty bad day. He gets fired from his job at the Nuclear Power Plant he’s worked at for 11 years, his car gets impounded, and he discovers his wife is having an affair with his ex co-worker. To make matters worse, Jim gets abducted by an evil scientist who is conducting tests of a controversial vaccine against a deadly virus that is spreading across the planet. It turns out that years of being exposed to nuclear radiation and a serum full of a rare insect DNA doesn’t mix very well with Jim…..he mutates into a six foot, blood sucking, half human, half-insect that sets out for revenge. Try finding that costume at a Halloween costume store.

"Definitely, I'd like to come back again and we're already planning our second one," said Kimberley Kates, a Los Angeles executive producer and an actress in Sucker. "The experience with the crew here has been wonderful. I really enjoyed it. Not a huge fan of the weather. Other than that, everyone's been really, really amazing. I don't think we'd be here without the tax incentive because there's other place to film that I don't have to fly so far and aren't so cold. Working here with a lot of the young people that are so interested in film. I can't stress enough what a difference that makes to have such a supportive crew."

The film is a mix of comic book adventure/live action/3D animation and stylized photography movie. As for distribution, BSEG has a contract with Warner Bros. Pictures so it could end up in theaters, on television or go straight to DVD and Blu-ray. "We're keeping all of our options open," Manasseri said.

Click here for more information on the motion picture Sucker.

 

PHOTO BY SHAUN K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

Big Screen Entertainment President of Post Production Stephen Eckelberry with Executive Producer Kimberley Kates and Actor Lloyd Kaufman.

 

PHOTO BY SHAUN K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

Crews are loading the camera onto this cart before they take it into the building.

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

Director/Actor Michael Manasseri speaks to the media.

 

PHOTO BY SHAUN K. / ©AMERICAJR.com

Lloyd Kaufman speaks with Kimberley Kates in the dressing room.

 

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