A place in which to make a movie

September 28th, 2010 § 0 comments

Nandan here. Maybe I should start off with an apology since I’m interrupting the flow of news that Zach keeps hinting at (and which I am frankly a little dubious about the existence of).

However, I have an announcement to make however. Consider this the official Newhard Keynote Announcement of a new project that you may or may not have heard about. As of now the project is code-named The Great Bunion Derby. I have also been considering the title Summer Wonderland. Thoughts would be appreciated.

The real problem I have, however, is where to set the film. There is one primary location in the film, it’s a place that a few twentysomethings are turning into a new sustainable art/community/living space. Right now I’m in Detroit, which I really like as the setting for this film. But frankly I’m open to film anywhere I might find my magical primary location.

Allow me to show you pictures of places I have considered. I am asking for help, thoughts, and opinions, related or unrelated. But regardless I would like to share what I have been doing here in Detroit for the past two weeks. This is what I’ve found:

1. Bob-Lo Ferries. There’s two. My first love was the Columbia, she’s on the right and the first one I met. Frankly they’re both amazing and would be great. Also logistically difficult. For one they are moored next to a super-noisy factory. I’m still hopeful.

2. Bob-Lo Island. What follows is a picture of a ballroom dance hall designed by Albert Kahn. There are a bunch of beautiful abandoned buildings around this big hall on Bob-Lo island, former recreation hotspot and later amusement park. Now it is owned by a multi-national development corporation that I’m hoping to convince that they have some reason to let me film on their island. They don’t seem convinced so far but I’m still hopeful.

3. The Detroit Boat Club. Apparently it’s illegal to film any part of this structure, much less be let inside to make a movie. This is because it’s city-owned and while the actual reasons I was told I couldn’t film there were complex, silly, and bureaurocratic, I’m not hopeful.

4. Vanity Ballroom. What a beautiful spot. While I like places that are really falling apart, this one is a little too fallen apart, it has large holes in the roof. In the film I want the location/project to be borderline absurd, but absurd because of the difficulty and extremity of the space. I think this space is more absurd because it would be silly to try to live in a building without a roof. I’m still hopeful.

5. Eastown Theatre. This place is tagged to be demolished any minute now, due to a large fire that raged the apartment complex attached to it this August. Shame. It’s also in a neighborhood where there tends to be a higher occurrence of robbery than other neighborhoods. I’m not too hopeful.

6. The Kalakala. This is a curve ball. Found this online yesterday, and felt very silly to learn that it’s parked in Tacoma, Washington. And it’s beautiful. And it’s perfect. And the owner called me today after I emailed this morning. But I don’t know if Tacoma is the right place for this film… But if the boat is right I will probably have no real regret in moving operations to Tacoma.

7. GM Truck Product Center. I have no pictures of this, but basically it’s a huge corporate, single-level office-looking building that had residences built-in. It now has dead plants overgrown inside and outside. It’s super interesting. I’m trying to get someone to get me contact information for someone at GM that I might talk to about this. Frankly, I’m not that hopeful. But I like the idea.

I would love the location to be an old ferry boat, probably most of all. That’s how I wrote it. And everyone seems to insist that boats are cool. But boats also seem difficult to obtain. I would appreciate thoughts on this topic. Frankly, I don’t know how to explain that I have yet to find more possibilities than this, I feel like I’ve been looking constantly, every day, for the last two weeks. But I still have a lot of looking to do. So if you know of anything, anywhere, that might be of interest, I would appreciate the tip. Or if you want to comment on the above places. Or if you want to email me a funny old picture of you as a kid.

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