The Staying Power of Michigan's Film Industry

Michigan Municipal League

Detroit Public Radio’s Craig Fahle Show took an in depth look at Michigan’s film industry’s “staying power” on April 20, 2010. He interviewed a number of experts on the ins and outs of producing films, building a local infrastructure, how to get investors on board, opportunities for Michigan’s universities to better educate filmmakers, and what local governments can do to support the growth of the industry. Listen to the radio broadcast online. Start the audio halfway through if you only want to hear Craig Fahle’s segment on the film industry.

I found it to be a rather meaty report that hit on a number of poignant topics - from Michigan Film Investment Summit organizer Gary Bourassa’s idea for how to educate investors, to “Gran Torino” producer Jeffrey Spilman’s experience working in Michigan as managing partner for S3 Entertainment, to a report from Emory King about how Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State are collaborating on a new program that will allow film students to use each school’s unique resources.

Other people featured in the interview include Mark Adler of the Michigan Production Alliance, Miller Canfield’s Lisa Pick, independent filmmaker Brian Hopkins, and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, who talks about a couple of things that local governments can do to create a local filmmaking infrastructure.

I’ll leave you with the question that Craig Fahle poses at the beginning of the show; “Generous incentives from the state have attracted a number of projects, but what will it take for the industry to have deep and strong roots?”


Matt Haupt said...

This really is a concern to a lot of people in Michigan. Studios are sprouting up all over the place because of the tax incentives, but what happens when the incentives decrease or even are eliminated? It's a good question.

To me, we need to show the country why Michigan has everything a film maker could want. Seasons, beaches, cities, fields, forests, lakes, etc. We also need to make sure some of our small businesses get involved in providing services to these film and entertainment studios to bring additional revenue into the state in general.

There are a few great sites encouraging film industry growth however such as and, which will hopefully deepen and strengthen the industry's roots in Michigan.

Even the company I work for is trying to help out, by providing a few events specific to small businesses and their connection to the film industry (

We need a few industries to rise up in this state, and I really do hope the film and entertainment industry is here to stay.

Post a Comment