Metro Detroit firms grow thanks to film post production work

Seeing stars at local eateries and snagging a part as extra in a film is cool, but Metro Detroiters are more interested in doing the work that comes after a film shoots. Local start-ups are scrambling to take on more and more post-production work, where the real jobs are at in the film industry.


“Piranha 3D” was filmed in Arizona at Lake Havasu. So why did several members of the crew spend about six months in Ann Arbor last year?

Because it was an economical and enjoyable place to do editing on the horror movie about the vicious fish.

As Michigan strives to become Hollywood Midwest, much attention is being focused on the filming that’s bringing famous actors and prominent directors to town.

But there also is an emerging market in film and TV post production — work that ranges from editing to sound mixing.

“Piranha 3D,” which opens today, is the first movie to come to Michigan specifically to do post production work and receive the state’s tax incentives for filmmakers, according to the Michigan Film Office.

Post production could expand in metro Detroit and the rest of the state.

“I think the biggest challenge is awareness and getting your foot in the door,” said Allan Rothfeder, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Grace & Wild Inc., the Farmington Hills parent company of Grace & Wild Studios, which provided editing equipment and technical support for “Piranha 3D.”

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