Letters

Letters 02-01-2016

Real Contamination In 1968, Chicago (its Mayor Richard Daley in particular) felt menaced by anti-war protesters (Abbie Hoffman in particular) threatening to put the hallucinogenic LSD into Chicago’s water supply. In reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., we reacted vigorously to a perceived threat of chemical or biological terrorist attacks on our water supply. A religious cult contaminating a city water tank with salmonella in Oregon, sickening about 700, was the only such attack in our country until now. The water supply of Flint, Mich., was attacked and contaminated, not by terrorists or protesters, but by our own government...

Why The Muslim Debate? I was passing through your fine town last week and picked up a couple copies of Northern Express. There I noted a discourse concerning the Muslim situation in Dearborn. It is interesting to note that I see similar conversations in newspapers and blogs throughout the country and, in fact, throughout the world...

Kachadurian Has It All Wrong Thank you for continuing to publish Thomas Kachadurian’s bigoted editorials. If not for this publication, I wouldn’t know that such people lived in my sweet northern Michigan...

Over The Line I felt Sarah Palin crossed the line when she indicated our president did not care about those like her son who came home wounded. No one challenges her on these remarks; to me it is shameful...

Flints’ Man-made Disaster Governor Snyder’s Financial Emergency Manager Law has created a State of Emergency in Flint. In 2011, newly elected Governor Snyder signed Public Act 4, giving him the freedom to take over any city government his office found financially bankrupt, with power to override any decision of elected city officials. This law showed his primary motive — money before people. In November 2012, the People of Michigan voted down his Financial Emergency Manager Law, as they resented losing control of their cities. In December 2012, he showed his contempt for the people’s vote and signed a revised version, one that did not give power back to the people...

Defending the AR15 And Gun Rights I was amazed to read David Downer’s recent letter. He admits he is a gun owner but he expresses his ignorance of what an “assault rifle” really is, and thereby spreads the antigun position that an AR15 is an assault rifle...

Home · Articles · News · Features · A job in film?
. . . .

A job in film?

Kelsey Lauer - July 27th, 2009
A Job in Film?
As one industry dwindles,another one grows

By Kelsey Lauer 7/27/09

Michigan is no stranger to the art of filmmaking.
“Back in the heyday of the car industry in the ‘50s, Detroit actually
consumed more 35-millimeter film stock than Hollywood,” says Traverse City
film producer Richard Brauer. “But it was all corporate stuff. They
actually shot more film than Hollywood did. It’s an amazing statistic.”
Some of Brauer’s past productions include Mr. Art Critic, Escanaba in da
Moonlight, Barn Red and Frozen Stupid. He’s also been active through the
years filming commercials and promotional projects.
While Michigan may not replace Hollywood in the production of feature
films, Brauer thinks that the Michigan film industry has more than a
fighting chance. He credited it in part to the 2008 legislation that
provides a 40 percent refund to productions that spend at least $50,000
in-state.
“We all know it’s a beautiful place, but it’s a hard place to get to if
your home base is in Los Angeles,” Brauer says of Michigan. “But if you’re
going to get 40 percent back from the state for being here, all of a
sudden the logistical challenges fade away a little bit.”
Films made in Michigan may also offer job opportunities for individuals
displaced by the dwindling car industry, according to Brauer.
“There was a lot of production support relating to the car industry --
tons of it in Detroit -- and they’re all sitting around with their fingers
in their ears, so as features roll in, they’re more available now to work
on features,” he says. “A lot of it’s the same stuff. They’re not the
ones directing it or writing it; they’re the ones helping with electricity
or lighting and building sets and all that. And so they’ve been doing that
for the car industry forever.”

UP TO SNUFF
Brauer says that it will take time for Hollywood to realize the potential
of Michigan-based production support. Crew members have to demonstrate
that they are up to snuff, too.
“We have to prove ourselves. Let’s face it—Hollywood is really good at
making movies, and for them to be convinced to hire a local guy or gal, it
may not be worth it to them, risk-wise,” he says. “They’d much rather
bring their own people in, but once this thing gets rolling—it might take
five years before it really works—they might take a chance on somebody and
think, ‘That guy was perfect. He was really a thoughtful guy. Next time
we’re here, we’ll use him.’”
And one way to accomplish that is through training workshops or film
mentoring classes. So far, Brauer has taught at West Shore Community
College in conjunction with 10 West Studios in Manistee; and at a film
workshop In Lansing organized by Michigan State University, Lansing
Community College and Michigan Public Works.
“In the Lansing one, there were over 1,000 people that applied for this
class,” Brauer says. “But we had to limit it to 60, so Michigan Works
made up criteria, and you had to write essays and get into the program. By
the time I got down there, I was already at the top six percent of the
applicants. These are motivated people.”
Northwestern Michigan College also will hold its first film workshop
scheduled from Aug. 4-7, taught mostly by Brauer. “I’m going to bring in
three or four other people in the filming community to talk about their
specific area, including the film production assistant,” he says. “That’s
probably the best and easiest area for anybody to get into the film
business, to just become a production assistant. Then you can hang around
and sort of get the deal and then you gradually move up from there.”
Brauer plans to hire two students from each of the three classes to work
on his next film as paid interns.
“The job-industry connection is one we’re trying to make. I’ve always
tried to have mentoring opportunities with all our films. We’ve always
done this, it’s just that this is the first time I’ve actually grabbed
them out of a class. People just kind of bump into me or they make
themselves known. We sort of train them in the field.”

A Fitful film project

Brauer will begin shooting his next film, Fitful, this September in
Manistee and Milwaukee.
“This woman works for the National Historic Trust, and her office calls
her ands says, ‘Hey, on your way home, swing in and check out this ship.’
She does, her car gets wrecked and she has to spend the night because
she’s too far away for any help and her cell phone fell in the water,”
Brauer says. “There are no neighbors within 15 miles and it’s getting
dark, so she’s stuck on this boat. This thing is a very scary film but
it’s very funny, I think, so it’s got two real strong emotions going on
the whole time through. It’s kind of fun.”
Brauer plans to be done by Christmas and hopes that he will be able to
premiere the film at the Traverse City State Theatre.
“Money’s in the bank, we’re going. It’ll be done by Christmas,” he says.
“Hopefully, by Christmas, we’ll have a big old gala premiere, right
downtown there, and people can come and have some fun and get scared and
laugh, all at the same time.”












 
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