More Production to Michigan

More Production to Michigan

Here's a little more good news for Michigan during this very tough summer for the state's production community. Though legislation was signed into law eliminating the program for film and digital media incentives, there were a few productions approved before this legislation took effect. So there will be a bit more work for Michigan film and television industry professionals this summer.

HAVE FAITH: To take the leap of faith, or not to leap. That is the question at the heart of the summer camp comedy CAMP MANNA now filming through September in the Traverse City and Torch Lake area.

CAMP MANNA follows a young boy attending a religious camp after being sent to live with his awkward-but-earnest godparents. Blessings abound as Ian – an "unbeliever" – is forced to take part in a Biblically themed Olympiad known as the God Games. The role of “Cujo,” an eccentric war veteran and director of a Christian summer camp, is being played by Gary Busey and the role of Ian went to Michigan teen Luke Michael Klein of Leland High School. The film is produced by GRLA, the entertainment division of Gorilla (more from GRLA at, a Michigan-based production agency with offices in Grand Rapids and Los Angeles... hence the GR and LA.

“Again and again, filmmakers are inspired by the breathtaking landscape of west and northwestern Michigan,” said Jenell Leonard, commissioner of Michigan Film Office. “This film showcases the state’s natural wonders, and offers a late-summer boost to the local economies.”

TIME TO REBUILD: An extensive renovation of a historic Detroit mansion will be broadcast in prime time in November to a nationally televised audience as an eight-part, yet to be titled HGTV series.

Filming began last month of the room-by-room renovation of the historic Ransom Gillis mansion in the city’s Brush Park, a residential district several blocks north of Ford Field and Comerica Park. The production company estimates spending $844,125 during the production in Detroit.

“The show shines a timely spotlight on the exciting residential developments in Detroit,” said Jenell Leonard, commissioner of the Michigan Film Office. “We’re looking forward to the positive impact of show, and especially supporting a project that highlights the revitalization of the state’s largest urban area.”

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at