When Michigan decided to end its film incentive program in 2015, many felt that the state’s rich with movie-making culture was lost. The Great Lake state axed the $50 million incentive budget as the economy still recovered from the financial crisis even as big budget films like the Transformers series filmed largely in the state in recent years. The effects of the cut were already felt as “Detroit,” a film that chronicles riots in the city in the 1960s, shot largely out of state. While the elimination of the program largely halted major production in the state, the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office (MFDMO) remained in operation and has continued providing service to filmmakers in the state.
MFDMO Launches Detriot Film Initiative
Along with the Detroit Film Office, the MFDMO launched the Detroit Film Initiative to continue attracting production to the state and specifically the city of Detroit. The joint effort provides a discount program from a database of local businesses largely to benefit the production of the Comedy Central series “Detroiters” which renewed for a second season in early 2017. The privately funded program provides discounts for production filming at least 75% of shooting days in Detroit along with hiring local crew. Local job creation is one of the goals of the initiative and the first season of “Detroiters” reportedly created over 200 jobs for locals. The Detroit Film Office and the MFDMO sell the program through Detroit’s low costs compared to more expense locations like New York, California and elsewhere. The local success of “Detroiters” brings renewed optimism about the state of film production in Michigan.