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Posted on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 1:25 p.m.

'Five Year Engagement' prepping for evening shoot in downtown Ypsilanti

By Tom Perkins


January in June on Ypsilanti's Washington Street.

Tom Perkins | For

The winter weather that hit downtown Ann Arbor recently moved east and is hovering over Ypsilanti’s Pearl and Washington Streets today.

Mid-morning, “snow flakes” were falling in an effort to transform the area into a “winter wonderland” for the filming of the Jason Segel/Emily Blunt romantic comedy “Five Year Engagement.”

“Snow banks” made of chicken wire and wood that were covered with a “snow blanket” lined the edges of the street, and a crew member sprayed flakes over the tree-lined Washington Street.

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So what are those “snow flakes” really?

“Ground up dinosaur bones,” joked one crew member, before explaining that it was really ground up paper. He declined to explain how the paper was processed to resemble snow flakes, calling it a trade secret, but said only two factories in the world make the flakes and it was imported from England.

Businesses remained open throughout the day, and a casting call was scheduled for 3 p.m. at a South Huron Street stick Victorian home owned by longtime Ypsilanti resident and property owner Joe Lawrence. The crews are expected to move to downtown Ypsilanti around 9 p.m.

5 Year Engagement.jpg

A crew member makes "snow" above Deja Vu in downtown Ypsilanti on Friday morning.

Tom Perkins | For

The winter weather was welcomed by several downtown businesses. Erin Dion, an employee at Beezy’s Cafe, said everyone is having a good time with the snow.

The film crew has been in and out of Beezy’s buying coffee and food, Dion said, but she has yet to spot any stars. Aside from lights in the windows at the cafe, no other special preparations are planned.

All the talk at the cafe revolved around the filming, and Dion said the filming can’t do anything but positive things for Ypsilanti.

“Everything about it is fabulous,” she said. “It’s fantastic, not just to have more people down here and talking about the movie, but to show off our absolutely stunning community by a means that the majority of our culture holds in such high esteem. Ypsilanti is a great town and, maybe, hopefully, this will help show off how beautiful it is.”

AM 1700 owner and city council member Brian Robb’s storefront got a blast of “snow” mid-morning. He said he heard there are plans to work the neighboring Deja Vu marquee into the film, so he was hopeful the AM 1700 storefront might also show up on the silver screen.

“It’s going to have great effect on the area,” he said. “It’s a big self-esteem booster that Hollywood is in Ypsilanti.”



Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 4 a.m.

Don't judge how it will look on film by how it looks in front of your in-person eyeballs. These people know what they're doing -- it'll look great. Welcome, cast & crew!


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

Coming from Ann Arbor where snow is present for months on end, I feel I am an expert in what it looks like. The "snow" they used looks silly and is not dirty enough. Though I do love local movies.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

@eastsidemom - yes, they are doing well and are great businesses - I enjoy them both. However, we can't overlook the fact that the Vu has been open for YEARS. Just being cheeky, really :)


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

I just drove past them on S.Huron Street! I got to see my first movie set for all of a few seconds. At least they are letting cars drive by. I totally forgot about the movie. Parking is now at a premium as all the parking lots are for extras. :)

dading dont delete me bro

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

wait a minute...that scene is all wrong. you would never actully see that much street in the city in the winter time.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

Shhhh........thats the magic of Hollywood. Our tax dollars don't work that hard during winter any how. But I do agree, wish our streets looked that clean in winter time. On a side note? Our child watched them transform the street while waiting for the bus. Got pictures too.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

Thank god "The Gov" is doing away with that pesky film credit! I mean, it's apparent that it does absolutely nothing to help our economy, help promote jobs, or bring much needed revenue to smaller cities and towns!


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Yeah Im sure they bought a lot of coffee and donuts.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

@Wisewoman...lacking a few facts...Beezy's has a thriving business and the Mix is doing OK too, both on Washington St.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

How fitting that Deja Vu will appear in the movie, since it is the only business on Washington Street that can seem to stay in business.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 3:49 a.m.

Sex will always sell. In every culture. In every corner of the planet.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

Snow on trees covered in leaves? Don't the directors realize how terribly stupid that looks? Not to mention how much garbage they left on Main street in Ann Arbor after they pulled out. Sloppy.

5c0++ H4d13y

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

Blur the background a little. No one will see.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

They use a color pass filter to remove the green...


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:57 p.m.

Ross, I think they can see the green leaves, the magic of hollywood will take care of that