Archive for February, 2011

Topher Grace on the set of The Double

Posted: February 23, 2011 in The Double

It turns out that Topher Grace has grown up a lot since his That 70s Show days and was quite popular with the tween and teen girls in our town.


…it’s so very cool to have Richard Gere and Topher Grace in my friend’s backyard. Really. My views on the Michigan Film Incentive would not be influenced by such superficial things.

New Ernst & Young Report Shows Positive ROI From Michigan’s Fast Growing Film and Television Industry – NBC29.

This blog is not political, however, I can’t let this issue go unmentioned. As many will know, the Governor elect of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has proposed to remove the Michigan Film Tax Incentives that have brought so many movies to Michigan in the last 2 years. This decision is clearly a political one, but was backed up by what appear to be some poor studies that have been done on the effectiveness of the tax incentives in terms of return on the $.

There are plenty of sites that are now discussing these incentives, explaining what are and what they have achieved. There is a grass roots campaign starting up with the aim of reversing the Governor’s decision. A majority of people in Michigan are in favor of the incentives. During the elections the Governor himself indicated that he would not pull the rug out from under the industry, but that is exactly what he has done. Many people, myself included, find this to be a staggeringly stupid decision given the current economic climate in Michigan. Those involved in the movie industry in Michigan in any way have known instinctively that this is a Good Thing for the state. Websites are full of personal stories and anecdotes detailing the positive impact of the industry on individuals and companies in the state. But stories and anecdotes alone aren’t going to sway those interested in the bottom line.

Finally, only 2 days after the Governor announced his budget proposals, we have a detailed report from Ernst and Young that show how incredibly well the incentives have worked. They have brought money and employment. Even if your only fundamental interest is the bottom line, this has to be enough evidence that these incentives are worth the investment.

If you are in Michigan, I would urge you to write to read the report and then contact your representatives to get this point across. There’s a lot of hate out there for the incentives, but even the haters have to look at the real, tangible numbers and see that they make sense for Michigan. Stick to the facts, save the vitriol (although I may share some of it, it isn’t going to help the cause). The incentives have brought money and jobs to a state in desperate need of both. They’ve also brought hope, which is harder to quantify and put on a spreadsheet. But hope will lead to more people investing, more people staying in the state, more jobs, more people paying taxes. Guess what that leads to? More dollars.

Bottom line: The Michigan Film Incentives are good for Michigan. Don’t let them be dismantled before we have a chance to see how much better they can be if they are given longer to work.

The Recreating of Woodsboro

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Scream 4

Deputy Dewey standing outside Woodsboro Police Station (Scream, 1996).

When construction started in downtown Plymouth, MI in August 2010 only those who knew their Scream movies well might have realised what was going on.  A facade was being built on a vacant lot between two other buildings facing the town’s Kellogg Park. By the time it was finished a couple of day’s later, it would be almost impossible to tell that this wasn’t a real building. Only a peek through the windows or into the lot behind, or a knock on the very realistic fake brick, would give you a clue that this was a rapidly-constructed film set.

For those concerned that Woodsboro 201o won’t resemble the town circa 1996, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some in-between shots of the construction of the Woodsboro Police Department.

Scream 4 Basecamp moves out

Posted: February 4, 2011 in Scream 4

After the snowpocalypse, a final glimpse at the Project Z signs in Northville, MI. Over eight months since the first mysterious yellow and black ‘Z’ signs appeared around town, the last ones have gone.

We thought we’d seen the last of them in August, so it was a treat to see them pop up again in the middle of the cold, Michigan Winter. A little more excitement for our “Movie Capital of the Midwest” town!  The locals enjoyed having the film crews in town, but the novelty did wear off surprisingly quickly. It still amazes me that apart from a few die-hard stalkers (hi DJ and Denise), the town pretty much ignored their presence. There was no one hanging around basecamp to catch a glimpse of the movie stars, and no one (apart from me!) skulking around the set. I’m sure this is a plus of filming in Michigan, where people may be a little less starstruck than in CA?

For those of us who have stalked the movie, the packing up is bittersweet. No longer do we have to face those strange looks from family and friends as we head out late at night. No longer do we have to fight that pull to drive by just one more time in case we’re missing something! Now it’s the 70 day or so wait to sit in the movie theater and point at all the places we know, if we can see past the blood and gore to the locations!

Wes Craven confirmed that the ‘re-shoots’ were actually adding scenes to the film, presumably to the ‘opening scene’ for Aimee and Brittany. Aimee seemed to be in town for longer, so we guess that the filming focussed on her interaction with Ghostface, which likely didn’t end well. Nothing happened at the house across the street as far as we know, so maybe the ending won’t be changed, despite the internet rumors that abound.

Seems like I’ve said goodbye to the Scream 4 crews a few times already. Here’s hoping that Scream 5 and 6 bring them back to our little version of Woodsboro.

And now with the blood (again)…

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Scream 4

When all I have to offer is pictures of houses from the outside while all the interesting stuff is happening on the inside, Wes Craven delivers with the awesome picture of the crew heating up the blood for the night’s re-shoots. It was a bitterly cold night in Michigan, despite the fact that the Snowpocalypse never quite reached the proportions warned by the Weather Channel, but the Scream 4 crew were clearly not deterred.

The activity yesterday was again at the brown house on Clement–the long-suspected ‘opening scene’ house. Aimee Teegarden has obviously confirmed her presence at the re-shoots in her Tweets. Rumor has it that Brittany Robertson was also seen at basecamp. The warmed blood suggests that someone is going to die messily, and I think it’s safe to assume that another white couch will be sacrificed to the gore of Scream 4.

I have a package to pick up at the Post Office today, which means swinging by basecamp as long as I can shovel my car out of the driveway. Rumors were that filming would be wrapped yesterday. Watch this space for an update.

A couple of shots of the back of the house yesterday. Some of the windows are covered up. There’s a ladder to an upstairs room, and a production guy hammering and drilling something on a low roof (?) to the right of the house. Most of the activity in the Summer seemed to focus on the ground floor room to the left of the house (as we’re looking at it), although there were lights up at one of the upper level rooms.

Before the storm

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Scream 4

A huge Winter storm is on its way to Michigan, and the temperature outside tonight is around 12F. I’d trade this in for the mosquitoes and sticky heat of August any day. Stalking isn’t an option at these temperatures unless you want to lose fingers and toes, and I hope the crew have good thermal underwear as they’re working outside late into the night.

Clement was closed again, North and South of the set, but it looked as though all of the activity tonight was at the brown house, which we all suspect is the Opening Scene house. Aimee Teegarden tweeted this evening that she was back in Michigan to film some more scenes, so it all fits together.

A closer look at the rear of the house shows strategically-places screens to hide the action in the house from any paparazzi crazy enough to be out on a night like this. Or maybe to hide the snowy exterior from the action inside. Either way, this is as close as we’ll get to seeing the re-shoots today.