Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"Genesis Code" Shooting in Grand Rapids

The GR Press and TV stations around here cannot stop talking about this movie. Nearly every day I see a story about it, and today was no exception, so I thought I'd throw it out here so the nay-sayers in Lansing can see that our film incentives are employing Michigan people, and bringing us a return in the form of local $$ and all the publicity we can handle.

The movie is set in the winter, so on one of the hottest days of this summer, they are dressing up actors in sweaters and parkas and decorating the Calvin College science building with Christmas gear. Action!

Outside, a voice says, "That's where a snow bank is going to be," obviously to be added in post-production.

That's why production assistants make sure no one in the shot is wearing short sleeves and sandals. A scene in which Bartholomew and Sanders have a conversation while descending the atrium stairs has to be reshot when an unwitting summer-clothing-clad person wandered into the background.

"That's the kind of stuff that kills you," propmaster Vern Crofoot says between chomps on an unlit cigar.

Crofoot is one of the Hollywood veterans among the "Code" crew, which numbers more than 100. But 65 of them are from Michigan, many from the Grand Rapids area, and they'll be busy six days a week through Aug. 29, when filming wraps.

DeHaan is among them. A makeup artist for 20-odd years, she has worked on commercials and film sets, including "The Chaos Experiment," shot last year in Grand Rapids. She says it's refreshing not to have to travel for her work.

"It's nice to stay home," says DeHaan, after readying Sanders for a scene. "There's so much talent here. It's great that it's being discovered."

The film is also utilizing a couple more locations in Grand Rapids, as well as shooting some scenes out in Lowell. Calvin College is happy.

Calvin spokesperson Phil de Haan said accommodating a film crew is not that different from hosting conferences -- they take place regularly on campus during the summer and generate some revenue for the school.

Work for locals, money for Calvin - and there is even something for the Republicans here. For all those that wondered what Fred Thompson would do with himself after he dropped out of politics, you'll be happy to know that he has found work.

Arriving in Grand Rapids in the coming weeks for filming will be actors Ernest Borgnine ("The Poseidon Adventure"), Louise Fletcher ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), Fred Thompson (TV's "Law and Order"), Rich Franklin (fighter for the Ultimate Fighting Championship), Lance Henriksen ("Aliens") and Catherine Hicks (TV's "7th Heaven").

See? We are employing all the "B" list actors you can think of, surely a great benefit to society. We are doing this country a favor.

Seriously though - this is producing jobs for Michigan right now, and laying the groundwork for further jobs in the future. Please, think twice before you cap these incentives.