Batman v Superman: 10 reasons why Detroit benefited from Zack Snyder's work here

November 01, 2014 | MLive

DETROIT, MI -- Disclaimer: I'm staying away from the political squabble pertaining to Michigan's film industry, its incentive program and recent "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" filming here. There's a lot of debate about film incentives/credits in Michigan for companies eager to shoot movies here, and rightfully so. And there's probably some people out there who weren't too crazy to see Warner Bros, director Zach Snyder, his cast and crew parachute into our state and take over certain areas so they could get glamor shots. I get it, I get it. Trust me. Hollywood sure isn't in the poorhouse, and there are plenty of people who could care less about about superheroes. Despite these types of issues worthy of scrutiny, I do believe there were many positives that came out of our "Batman v Superman" experience here in Michigan. I'd like to share 10 reasons by I think Metro Detroit benefited from all the high profile work. Feel free to share your thoughts about my list in the comments section. My list: 1. The "Batman v Superman" work in Metro Detroit, ranging from Pontiac to River Rouge, likely created jobs for "hundreds of crew members" and up to 6,000 jobs for extras, according to the Michigan Film Office. I'm trying to confirm exact employment numbers. 2. Snyder, the film's director, hinted during Tuesday during a conversation with a Detroit radio station that he could film more superhero-related movies in Metro Detroit because he enjoyed working here so much. Think potentially more jobs down the road and a bigger economic impact for the region — especially if multiple Warner Bros. movies like "Aquaman" and "Justice League" film here. 3. Work on the film showed prospective moviemakers inside and outside the region what Metro Detroit has to offer in terms of locations and skilled crew members. Don't underestimate the impact of social media websites like Twitter and Facebook, and fans who shared as many photos of the action as they could to diehards around the world. 4. Every interview celebrities like Ben Affleck (Batman) and Henry Cavill (Superman) gave about their time spent in Detroit appeared to be positive and only helped shed the city's negative image. Obviously, there's a long way to go, but we should all welcome good news during a time of unprecedented transition in all areas — downtown, Midtown, Corktown, eastside, westside — you name it. 5. Celebrity sightings at restaurants, bars, stores and gyms in the city and suburbs helped give local entrepreneurs a boost. A few that come to mind include Shinola in Detroit, Bistro 82 in Royal Oak, Motor City CrossFit in Sterling Heights and Detroit Kid City in Southfield. 6. A Warner Bros. commitment to Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Pontiac likely opened more doors down the road for the state-of-the art studio. Before "Batman v Superman," the studio hosted work for "Oz The Great and Powerful" and "Transformers; Age of Extinction." 7. Filming in Detroit reminded locals and non-locals that this city still has plenty of problems pertaining to blight, crime, unemployment and a variety of other issues that must be addressed before the ENTIRE CITY can truly succeed. The good news: Detroit is nearing the end of bankruptcy and appears on track to deal with at least some of these issues. Momentum finally appears in the city's favor. 8. Work in the Motor City gave some positive press to the auto industry as Affleck told the Detroit Free Press recently that he traded in some Japanese cars he had for a Ford and a GM. If news surfaces the new Batmobile was actually made in Detroit, expect a lot more noteworthy buzz. Affleck also said publicly he toured auto plants and gained an appreciation for Detroit's can-do spirit. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the Big Three plays a huge rule in an ad campaign once the film is released on March 25, 2016. Any positive PR helps. 9. Success filming the movie in Detroit appeared to set the table for other productive and innovative shoots in places like Michigan State's East Lansing campus, Orion Oaks Park in Lake Orion and even an old Girl Scout camp in Metamora Township near Flint. 10. Snyder's commitment to Metro Detroit and Michigan, after Michael Bay filmed "Transformers: Age of Extinction" here, was a bold move that shows politicians, policymakers and special interest groups that incentives draw the big guns. If the numbers show that Michigan truly benefits from incentives, then state officials have more ammo to improve the program so it can be more competitive with states like Louisiana.

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