Detroit based production company One of Us Films will be shooting the film Hunting Blind in Michigan State Parks the second week of November. The story is about two brothers who go hunting and encounter a trespasser. The short film budgeted around $100,000, will employ forty people throughout all phases of the production.
Written by Ann Arbor resident Sara Snyder, the film is produced and directed by Franklin resident Carrie LeZotte. Cast for the film includes Michigan talent Glenn Dossin and Dennis Janiske. Brian Kimmet, originally of Ann Arbor, now based in Los Angeles, works regularly in television, including featured roles on 24 and Heroes.
Kimmet is not the only talent coming to Michigan to work on Hunting Blind. Assistant Director Patrick Priest, has returned to Niles, Michigan, where he grew up, to work in the film industry. Chris Dame, 1st Assistant Camera and Jonna Walsh, 2nd Assistant Director, both of Chicago, are on board to fill key production positions.
“The infusion of new talent to Michigan is really exciting,” said director LeZotte. “I miss the crews I was working with before the incentive passed, but they are working regularly on big-budget films now and I’m thrilled for them. The crew we’ve been able to attract to this project are building their resumes and breaking into the local market. I can see the tax incentive working and it’s doing what it’s intended for, bringing jobs and people back to Michigan.”
Short films, like Hunting Blind, serve both as a calling card for directors and actors and are most often seen at film festivals. They also create an opportunity for production crew to move up in a department, from 2nd to 1st Assistant Camera for example, or earn days on set for union eligibility. The goal for LeZotte is to leverage this experience into directing a feature film.
“A feature film would be the ideal next step. Features require a lot more capital, so it’s about finding the right partners in order to make that happen.”
Hunting Blind is the third project by One of Us Films to benefit from the Michigan tax incentive for film productions. Other projects include the documentary Regional Roots and the animation Daisy Tells a Secret. The production company also produces industrials, training and commercial work for businesses and non-profits.
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