February 10, 2016
our view

The time is right for county media initiative

Posted 3/25/09

About a year ago, Pete Fabbri, a West Branch business owner, set out on a mission to attempt to have a film shot in Ogemaw County. Since then, the West Branch Film Authority has had several workshops on topics such as auditioning and lighting, sent 11 people to Grand Rapids to serve as extras in a film shot there, heard keynote speeches from movie directors/producers and is hosting a children’s film festival in September.

That’s a great start.

Now, Arenac County has a similar group that is striking while the iron is hot.

With the recent interest in the area from Eerie Temperance Entertainment and “1 Big Fish,” the visual media prospects of Arenac County are being recognized in Michigan, a state that is now offering incentives for filmmakers that shoot in the Great Lakes State.

It’s early, but the possibilities for other television or film productions in the county could entice other upstart or established production groups to haul their equipment to the Sunrise Side.

Charity Island could provide a scenic, remote location for several different types of productions. The AuGres Pirate Festival could offer interesting footage for a travel or tourism documentary; or feature on subcultures. And of course the Saginaw Bay and other splendid natural resources that abound in Arenac County can serve several purposes in a film or television program.

But for the Arenac County Media Initiative to be successful, it will need community interest and assistance.

People who think they know a great reason for someone to get footage in Arenac County should contact members of the group and share their camera-worthy locations and tell why a certain place could spark the interest of a production crew. Amateur filmmakers in the county should share their creations with the county’s new group and let them know what additional projects they have in the works.

Also, the group has a great chance through the West Branch Film Authority to build additional contacts, other than those being established right now, and also share Arenac County contacts with the group to the North.

Arenac County will never be Hollywood, but if residents of the county think outside of the box and support the Arenac County Media Initiative, which should work diligently in promoting the cultural arts scene locally, then additional money could flow to the local economy and tourism and the county’s status amongst its peers has the chance to dramatically increase.

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