More from the AWOL set in downtown Ypsilanti

Posted: July 27, 2011 in AWOL
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Yesterday Teresa Palmer and Liam Hemsworth were filming right on Michigan Ave in downtown Ypsilanti in a diner made to look like early 1970s Michigan, with appropriately attired extras. I have to say that most inhabitants of Ann Arbor could be used in the movie with little wardrobe adjustment! Though there are a lot less placards carried these days, and I doubt that many wander the street carrying a tamborine–apparently that was a required accessory back then. Gotta love the ‘fros.

  1. This past week, and now, Hollywood is filming in downtown Ypsilanti. Good to see all of the action, but I must say, it is a lot less glamorous than you might think. Trailers have been parked all over downtown, and I have seen cars, including one Detroit city police car, from the early “70s driving around. I guess the Michigan tax breaks are still in effect???


    • thebananadoc says:

      I know.. Hollywood or Ypsilanti? It’s getting hard to tell the difference! Ha. The tax breaks have been dismantled and what we are seeing now, instead of the millions of dollars that came into the state with several huge budget movies last year, are the dregs of that investment. No offense meant to these movies, but thanks to the removal of the tax incentive Michigan has lost The Dark Knight Rises to Pittsburgh,and The Avengers to Cleveland. Detroit could be the buzz of the country right now, and 1000s of people could be working, but instead because of political ideology we sent those jobs and that investment to Ohio and Pennsylvania. It’s hard to imagine a more stupid move at a time when Michigan needs jobs and a shred of hope that we can climb out of this hole that we are in.

      $25 million a year, which is the amount now allotted to the movie industry, will not bring movies to Michigan. It will not bring investment. It will not keep our young people in the state. Apologies for the political rant! Can you tell this is something I feel strongly about? 🙂


      • Anderson says:

        You are correct. The AWOL could have shot anywhere, but they chose Michigan due to the generous tax incentives that were in place. I live in LA and work in the TV commercial business. We take much of our work to Illinois because of their program, which is VERY ad friendly. Michigan’s program never included commercials, so there is no reason to shoot there, unless the concept requires it (like the Chrysler/Eminem campaign). Like any business looking to be profitable, we look for the best deal – and bring a lot of money and jobs with us.


      • thebananadoc says:

        The incentives were voted in almost unanimously under the last Governor. The only reason to remove them is political. Apparently “we don’t pick winners and losers.” Well, guess what, we always pick winners and losers. Removing the incentive makes a loser out of something that was winning for Michigan. There is an angry minority that thinks the incentives was putting money in the pockets of ‘Hollywood Fat Cats.” Those people don’t see the 100s of people working around these movies, they don’t see the benefits in the local stores, the lumber yards, the catering companies. car rental, hotels etc etc. They don’t see the Michigan crews now driving to Ohio to work. And they don’t think it’s important to keep our young people here. I’m still holding onto a shred of hope that common sense will win out over political ideology. The fact that 40 other states are fighting over these incentives should give people a clue, but given that the people against the incentives also seem to be opposed to the concept of Public Education, I have days when I just despair! Oz could be the last big movie filmed in Michigan, and that is a tragedy.


  2. informed says:

    um – the financial backing is from a Michigan couple and they wanted it shot in Michigan because it is based in Michigan. It was written by a Michigan man. Incentive or not – it would have been made here regardless.


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