Hollywood in Motown
"The Job" employs metro Detroiters while working in several scenes of the city
They came to Detroit from southern California and, as if it weren’t cloudy enough, they brought a machine that made rain.
Rainmakers in another way, the cast and crew of the independent film The Job dropped a little welcome cash while filming in metro Detroit, which was precisely Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s intention last April when she signed the 42-percent cash rebate movie incentive package into law.
The Job producer Kiki Goshay says about 25 cast and crew came from Hollywood to Michigan, staying from two to eight weeks, depending on their roles. Another two-thirds of the crew were locals.
“That’s a lot of hotel nights, a lot of meals served,” Goshay says. “We’re shooting almost exclusively in Detroit. It’s been really convenient for us.”
They were definitely drinking the local water. Writer/director Shem Bitterman sported a Pistons cap as he gave instructions on the set at the Leland Hotel downtown. All lights, cameras, and large-boom microphones were focused on actors Patrick Flueger (TV’s 4400 and The Princess Diaries) and Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow and 8 Mile) as they portrayed Bubba — a young man struggling to find employment — and Joy — a waitress at the diner and the love of Bubba’s life.
The cast and crew also filmed at Detroit’s Whitmore apartments near Palmer Park, where they found the neighborhood, just north of Highland Park, to be “really inviting … extremely film-friendly,” Goshay says.
They came to Michigan for the financial incentive, yes, but they also reaped the benefits of Detroit’s character.
“It’s a very particular world we were going for, a Hopper-esque look, Bitterman says. “Almost a classic look.
“Detroit has good bones. You can’t buy that anymore.”
So where did the cast and crew spend their Hollywood cash? Here’s a short take:
Hotel: Courtyard By Marriott Detroit Downtown
Laundry: Best N. Detroit, on Woodward
Medical attention: Henry Ford
Shopping: As many vintage boutiques as possible
Catered lunch: Sweet Lorraine’s
“Family dinners:” Vicente’s and Fishbone’s
Culture: The DIA
Sports: Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings games
International experience: Windsor