Brandon Mullins of Belleville wants to bring Hollywood to the 48111 zip code – and hopes those filmmakers would bring jobs and money to this area.
Mullins presented his plan to the Belleville City Council at Monday’s meeting.
His proposal is for the Belleville Film Office to employ one full-time employee, which he thought should be him because he has a lot of experience with the film industry and promotions.
The employee, with the possible help of unpaid interns, would take pictures of possible film sites in the area and prepare a packet of information to give to filmmakers, identifying assets in the three communities in the 48111 area.
This information would be added to state and national film directories, he said.
He said the filmmakers are not going to come looking for you and you have to go out and give them information.
He said he talked to the Michigan Film Office and the Wayne County Film Office and they advised to keep the office small.
He said a lot of communities are doing this and those that participate get a lot of money dropped on them and those that don’t, don’t get money.
Mullins proposed that the City of Belleville administer the project for the wider area including Van Buren and Sumpter townships.
He said the cost would include his salary and a web site. Regular office space would not be needed. Also, he would need a small amount of photography equipment and incidental expenses, such as occasional travel within the state. In his plan, he would be a City of Belleville employee.
Mullins said he has worked with the film industry and has done marketing for theaters. But, after the data base is set up, the job could be shifted to someone else without experience to maintain.
Mayor Richard Smith was not comfortable with the city being in charge.
“I think a Sumpter, Van Buren Township and Belleville effort would be best,” Mayor Smith said.
“We have a real good working relationship with the townships,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Dawson.
“Talk to them and go from there,” Mayor Smith advised Mullins.
Councilwoman Kim Tindall asked if communities aren’t compensated when municipal assets are used and Mullins said that was true.
“For example, they may have to close down a street for awhile,” said Mullins, as the council members and audience groaned and called out, “No, no,” obviously referring to the present traffic congestion as paving continues.
Mullins said sometimes filmmakers will fix up a façade of a building that is a permanent fix for a property owner and he has seen that happen in Detroit.
Mullins said filmmakers come to town and do business with local firms, such as accountants who can help them get the state film credits and follow local rules. Also, he said for example, the former Carlson Catering is now renamed and serving Michigan filmmakers, eight different jobs so far.
Mullins said even if the effort fails to bring a movie to town, the website and its publicity could be used for tourism or scouting more conventional businesses to come to Belleville.
Mullins is the owner of PeRshGo Industries and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or 699-2225.