Ann Arbor Film Office established to assist movie companies
The Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is establishing a new office devoted to assisting production companies looking to film movies in the region.
“We are the official welcome wagon for the film industry,” said film industry liaison Kay Seaser,
who is leading the office. “We want to make sure Ann Arbor stays out in
front of those producers and location scouts and managers to make sure
they do consider our area, because it does generate a lot of money for
our local businesses.”
File photo | AnnArbor.com
Michigan grabbed Hollywood’s attention in April 2008 when the state Legislature approved aggressive tax incentives designed to attract more production companies to consider filming here.
By all accounts, the legislation - alternately described as a key component of the creativity economy or as an example of Michigan’s fiscal recklessness - has attracted dozens of productions to locate filming in Michigan.
In Ann Arbor, the AACVB has worked with 11 major film projects, including films like Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It” and “Stone,” which stars Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. The AACVB estimates that, in 2009, film companies accounted for 20,000 room nights in the Ann Arbor region -- the equivalent of filling a 150-room hotel for more than four months.
Seaser said AACVB is currently working with two major film companies that have plans to shoot scenes in Ann Arbor, but she declined to offer details.
The Ann Arbor Film Office will focus on helping film companies connect with local commercial real estate agents, navigate local permitting requirements, find hotels and apartments and locate items to be used in filming.
It's the fifth organization in Michigan to receive certification from the Association of Film Commissioners. The membership means that the Ann Arbor Film Office will get visibility on the AFC’s Web site, which movie producers regularly browse.
“We are delighted to be the official liaison for film industry activity in the Ann Arbor area,” AACVB CEO Mary Kerr said in a statement.