Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Birmingham shortens permit approval process to attract filmmakers to the city

By Mary Beth Almond | C & G Staff Writer | January 7, 2009

BIRMINGHAM — Just months after Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed the Michigan Film Incentives bill into law, Michigan has become one big movie set.

Over the past year, said Jeff Spilman, cofounder and managing partner of Ferndale’s S3 Entertainment Group, filmmakers spent approximately $100 million in Michigan while working on around 25 projects — including Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino”; Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It”; “Youth in Revolt,” starring Michael Cera, Ray Liotta and Steve Buscemi; “Prayers for Bobby,” featuring Sigourney Weaver; and the upcoming “Butterfly Effect: Revelation.”

Despite the struggling economy, Spilman doesn’t expect things to slow down in 2009 — he predicts moviemakers will spend closer to $200 million, and film around 35 projects in Michigan.

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