michigan film production

7 Notable Films Made in Michigan You Can Stream Today

Getting confused as to what you should watch tonight? Well, we are here to help! Below is a list of select films made in Michigan. The Michigan Film Board reported on 46 productions in Michigan from 2010 to 2012. Online sources show at least 143 film productions filmed and produced in Michigan.

For a number of reasons, Michigan has become an especially popular filming location for Hollywood. One of the reasons is its low cost. Low labor costs, no additional taxes, and inexpensive lodging help attract film companies. Here is a list of some notable films made in Michigan and can be streamed today:

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#1 Somewhere in Time

The late Christopher Reeve plays Richard Collier, a playwright obsessed with an old picture of a young woman hanging on display at the Grand Hotel. With hypnosis, he travels back in time to 1912 to find love with actress Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour).

The movie was filmed on location at the Grand Hotel and Mission Point Fine Arts on Mackinac Island.

#2 Oz Great and Powerful

A small-time magician with questionable ethics arrives in a magical land and must choose between becoming a good man or a great one.

Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, Joey King, and Tony Cox, the film tells the story of Oscar Diggs, a cagy magician who arrives in the Land of Oz and encounters three witches: Theodora, Evanora, and Glinda. Oscar is then enlisted to restore order in Oz while struggling to resolve conflicts with the witches and himself.

Most of the filming for Oz the Great and Powerful began in July 2011 at Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac, Michigan.

#3 Sparkle

Set in the 1960s, three sisters form a girl group and soon become local sensations with major label interest, but fame becomes a challenge as the close-knit family begins to fall apart.

#4 Spy Kids All the Time in the World 4D

A retired spy is called back into action, and to bond with her new step-children, she invites them along for the adventure to stop the evil Timekeeper from taking over the world. The post-production work for Spy Kids 4D was done in Birmingham, Michigan in the Spring of 2011.

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World” starred Antonio Banderas and Jessica Alba.

#5 Margarine Wars

60’s Psychedelic Counterculture clash during the “Summer of Love,” when an aspiring hippie Afro-Jew from New York dupes the son of a Swedish dairy farmer into smuggling illegal margarine into butter rich Wisconsin.

#6 Dogman

Hanklin Purvis enjoys the outdoors, and he loves to hunt. He and his wife, Dorothy, live on a farm in the rural midwest. For some reason, during the season before autumn, things start to happen.

The movie is based on ‘The Legend’ by Steve Cook for an April Fool’s day joke, which was made up of different sightings of ‘dogman’ – there is such a thing as ‘the Michigan Dogman’, which was first reported all the way back in 1887.

#7 Hoffa

There is perhaps no story that intrigues people more than the story of the disappearance of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa. Released in 1992, the movie adapted the infamous American union figure, who coordinates a bitter strike, allegedly coordinates with the local Detroit mafia. He mysteriously disappeared in 1975. His body was never found.

Final Thoughts on Films Made in Michigan

The sheer number of films that have been made in Michigan is remarkable, and it is also surprising just how big of a contributor the state has been to the film industry. Between these 143 productions alone, over $1 billion has been spent on both pre-and post-production costs. This financial activity has had a positive impact on the Michigan economy overall, resulting in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs. As such, we are hopeful and optimistic about the future of film in Michigan. It’s an exciting time to be in the state with so much going on, from filmmakers working on their next flick to newcomers looking for an interesting place to visit.

Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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