How Old Can You Be To Play College Football Places to Shoot a Movie in Michigan

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Places to Shoot a Movie in Michigan

When someone says Michigan, what else comes to mind besides cars, snow, and college football? How about a “regional filmmaking capital”?

This idea may be new to some movie fans and filmmakers, but it shouldn’t be. After all, the Wolverine State has attracted filmmakers as a shooting location thanks to its great cities, historically strong economy, and above all, its great geographic diversity. The state’s great strength for filmmakers is that it offers a wide variety of backgrounds and can be located anywhere in the country. Where else can you find the rolling prairies (perfect for that epic of nineteenth-century Midwestern life), the rugged Porcupine Mountains (ready for that adventure movie you’ve been planning), the wild beauty of the Upper Peninsula (fit for heroes ) your romantic movie to fall in love with), various cityscapes (the backdrop for a courtroom drama, a crime film, a corporate story, or an office comedy), etc.—and still never be more than eighty-five miles from the coast? It’s no surprise that movies like Gross Point Blank, Anatomy of a Murderer, Ferris Bueller’s Weekend, Robocop, Somewhere in Time, and The Evil Dead were all partially or entirely filmed in Michigan. More recently, 8 Mile, Jumper and the upcoming Youth In Revolt have featured Michigan spots.

And that importance only increased in 2008, as the Michigan Legislature passed a bill that would make Michigan one of the most attractive filming locations in the country. Furthermore, the state that gave the movie world Francis Ford Coppola (born in Detroit) also gives it a forty percent refundable tax credit, loan program and other benefits. (A complete list and program is available from the Michigan Film Office.) The collection combines with the state’s unique attractions to make Michigan an ideal location for any project. Here are some of the unique placement opportunities the state provides:

Village. Michigan gets all four seasons – hot summers, brisk autumns, snowy (but rarely severe) winters, and lively springs. Any story set in the woods would benefit from shooting in the Upper Peninsula or Lower Peninsula towns like Frankfort and Beulah. Midland offers excellent fall and summer activities, as do many places along the beautiful Chippewa River.

Lighthouses. The shores of Lake Michigan are famous for their lighthouses, which make for a beautiful, dim, and romantic backdrop.

College campuses. Looks like a Victorian college campus for a university drama? Check out Wayne State University in Detroit, which also has modern departments. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers many opportunities, as do many smaller private universities across the state.

Snow. Michigan gets plenty of snow, but generally not too much. That’s why it’s a frequent winter vacation destination for skiers – and a great opportunity for any location shooting that requires acres of beautiful snow anywhere, whether urban or rural.

Unique places. Michigan has plenty of these—from the nineteenth-century village charm of Mackinac Island to a full-scale 1950s diner (near Rockford) to the port terminals of Detroit; from the stone steps of Castle Rock (leading to a beautiful limestone tower) to the humble Porcupine Cliffs to the massive Sands of Sleeping Bear.

Circle attraction. Create a historical epic? Michigan offers old railroad stations, ghost towns, nineteenth-century model villages and farms, and an entire town dedicated to replicating the German countryside. Old forts, the Mackinac Grand Island Hotel, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s home are among the other attractions available to visitors to the state.

Cityscapes. Any urban location can be found in Detroit, one of America’s most important cities. From skylines to warehouses, from unique indoor malls to beautiful downtown buildings, from No Man’s Land to one of America’s wealthiest cities, Metro Detroit has you covered.

Of course, this is a lot of travel. Transportation is always required for filmmakers and their staff visiting any of the above locations. Fortunately, at least one Detroit company has experience with this sort of thing. Checker Sedan recently received praise for handling the transportation needs associated with SuperBowl XL. In a letter posted on the company’s website, a celebrity praises their competence and friendliness, saying, “You didn’t have to welcome us with open arms…but you did.”

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