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Posted on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 : 8 p.m.

Crowds gathering at Liberty Plaza as 'Five Year Engagement' plans night shoot

By Jennifer Eberbach


Fake snow is applied at Liberty Plaza this evening.

Angela J. Cesere |

The cast and crew of "Five Year Engagement," a romantic comedy starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, plan to film at Liberty Plaza tonight until as late as 4 a.m. A crowd of onlookers has already started to gather and is watching the special-effects crew finish transforming the downtown square into a wintry wonderland.

Curious onlookers already seem fascinated to watch the men expel fake snow from an enormous blower, coat the plants and concrete with bags upon bags of the stuff, and sweep it around until it looks just right. As it begins to get darker, trees wrapped in little holiday lights are beginning to sparkle.

“It is definitely a stopper,” says onlooker Timothy Ernest. “As I was walking by and I see all this snow in the middle of June after 90 weather, I was quite amused. I find it humorous. And it really looks authentic, and I just hope it is healthy and eco-friendly.”

Brian and Micky Barr think the setup “is really fun to watch, and I think it’s good for Michigan,” Micky Barr says. “The more they do here the better we are ... This is really the creative process in process.”

Brian Barr saw the movie set while “I was driving down Liberty about 20 minutes ago dropping something off at FedEx, and there it was—a corner lot full of snow. It just so happens, I was doing the same thing driving down Main Street a few weeks ago at about 1 a.m. and all of Main Street was full of snow. I assumed this was a similar event, but I couldn’t be sure. We had to come down here and investigate.”

Michael and Gerri Wilson “were having dinner at Seva when we saw this,” Michael Wilson explains. “I saw this going on in Ypsilanti last week,” where they also used the fake snow. “The way they make it gives the bottom parts a dark, shaded quality—like dirty snow,” which is then sprinkled with new white snowfall, he says.

He agrees with his wife that “it brings an energy to the state and the community. We were sad to see what happened to the film incentives. It’s more than a dollars and sense things. It’s about the energy it creates,” she says.



Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

This is the biggest waste of tax payer money ever!! If you were to give a 42% tax break to any transient industry, or industry that can conduct its operations over the internet, Michigan would have tremendous growth in that industry. For example both software engineers and lawyers can conduct business over the internet. MIchigan talks about needing to keep our talented workers in the area. To work for the movie industry you don't even need a high school diploma. Why not give industry breaks to areas of the workforce where the educated, talented people work? For instance law and software engineers? Michael and Gerri Wilson, I am glad that you get to go out to dinner all the time to catch the films shooting, and it is more than a dollars and sense thing, its a common sense thing, and this doesn't work, because of the economics, nor does it fit in with trying to keep Michigan's "best and brightest around." Timothy Ernst, i would guess the chances of the snow being eco freindly are about 0. (only if that was the cheapest version would it be used.) I worked in the Michigan film industry for over two years. It is the most wasteful industry there is. The amount of paper that a movie goes through is horrendous. (every day 100 sets of call sheets and slides, not to mention constant updates of the, dood, crew and cast lists, schedules, scripts, etc., etc.) please quit writing these puff pieces, where you quote two people about not wanting to see the industry leave. This is supposed to be a story about filming, not about how you found people that like the tax break.


Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 2:21 a.m.

I'm officially done with "The 5 Year Engagement"'s seemingly 5 week invasion of our community. this movie will come out a few months from now, flop, and everyone will forget all about it.


Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

take a chill pill. If you still need help finding that stick you lost, give me a call....I think I know where it is.


Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 1:35 a.m.

Very cool! The kids and I drove by this evening...actually feels like it could snow today! :D