With so many of Michigan’s local, independent filmmakers’ sweat and toil to bring their films to life, they deserve a fancy, red-carpet awards ceremony to celebrate their creations.
While big studios continue to pour millions into each of their films, there’s another style of film that has kept a steady presence in the shadow of big blockbusters: micro-budget films.
The Public Media Network (PMN) of Kalamazoo hopes to take this uniquely frugal style of filmmaking and put it in the limelight with the third annual North By Midwest Micro-Budget Film Festival.
Back when the state of Michigan had a tax incentive for films, people like Racheal Floyd had it a little easier. Big-screen movies like End of the Tour, with Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel, came to Grand Rapids, but now Floyd has to go to them. After working abroad on films like Fast & Furious 8 and All Eyez On Me, and shows like Being Mary Jane, Floyd is returning home (at least, for a moment) to work on her own projects. We talked with Floyd about her aspirations for the future and her take on the film industry at large.
Fantasy has always been near and dear to Josiah Swanson’s heart. In fact, the director, producer and founder of the Muskegon-based WhiteShore Films lists The Lord of the Rings as one of his biggest inspirations for becoming a filmmaker.
Daniel Falicki and Joel Potrykus, both of Grand Rapids, took home top awards each at the 8th annual Made-in-Michigan Film Festival for their feature films, “Accidental Exorcist” and “The Alchemist Cookbook,” respectively.
As of yesterday, a movie based on the dark history of Beaver Island is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo, Vudu and other streaming sites.
Nothing beats a free movie — unless, of course, you add some free food to the mix. Now in its 11th year, the Chiaroscuro International Film series does all of this and much more.
It’s no secret that making a movie is a huge undertaking.
Hell, Avatar alone took 10 years to make. And yet the Grand Rapids Film Festival is challenging participants to make a movie in just 36 hours.
OK, so the finished films are expected to be around six minutes, and the budget is admittedly smaller than anything James Cameron would have to work with, but it’s still damn impressive what people can pull off with such time constraints.
After feeling like a misfit her entire life, a film set was the first place Liz Merriman felt like she belonged. Merriman feels the industry is filled with other beautiful misfits — beautiful people who truly work hard together.
One of the best things about movies is their ability to take you out of the real world for a short while. On the other hand, cinema also gives us the opportunity to delve head first into our global community’s most pressing issues in the form of investigative, informative documentaries.
The Grand Rapids-based West Michigan Environmental Action Council is a huge proponent of the latter, and has been teaming up with the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) for more than five years to bring eye-opening documentaries to its theater as part of the WMEAC Film Series.
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