Ryan Gosling hung out at places like Cafe D'Mongo's in downtown Detroit while filming "Lost River." George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Grant Heslov and Paul Giamatti went to Giovanni’s Ristorante in Southwest Detroit while filming the "Ides of March." And Ben Affleck and wife Jennifer Garner were spotted at Bistro 82 in Royal Oak while Affleck was filming his Batman movie.
What's more, Affleck was so smitten with Detroit he made some flattering comments about the city that echoed around the world. He also was so inspired by the factories, he told the Free Press last year: "I went and got a Ford and got a GM car and traded in Japanese cars that I had,"
Pretty good free publicity for Detroit and Michigan.
And all were in town over the years making movies, thanks to Michigan's film incentives.
That's likely to end.
All that's needed is Gov. Rick Snyder's signature.
The Republican-dominated state legislature on Thursday passed legislation to eliminate taxpayer-paid state subsidies for film production, and sent the bill off to the governor.
Chad Livengood of the Detroit News writes that the state Senate amended a House bill Thursday that would prohibit the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. from awarding any new grants to companies for film production upon enactment of the bill. The House approved the Senate’s changes later Thursday and sent the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his consideration.
The News reports the legislation, once signed by the governor, would take effect immediately.
Proponents of the incentives say they've created jobs in the film industry and stimulated the local economy. Critics say the jobs are often just temporary ones, and it cost the state too much to create those jobs. Plus, they say when the incentives go, Hollywood has little loyalty and looks for other states that offer the incentives.
On Wednesday, the Michigan Film Office announced that a Comedy Central show, "Detroiter," which was filming a pilot last week in Detroit, was eligible for $445,620 in state film incentives.
The Film Office said that any incentives that are in the pipeline already, like the "Detroiter," would still be eligible for the money.