The Michigan Film Office announced today The Bully Chronicles has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The film tackles the issue of bullying, using a documentary and found footage style to tell the fictional story of a high school student, and the bully who torments her. The project will be directed by Amy S. Weber and will film at Birmingham Seaholm High School and other locations throughout metro Detroit.
“This is a terrific project with an important message for young people, across the country, that will use Michigan workers and locations and highlight Michigan talent,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “Amy has long track record of making films here in Michigan and we are pleased to see that continue with The Bully Chronicles.”
The project was awarded an incentive of $132,688 on $404,914 of projected in-state expenditures. The project expects to hire 25 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of five jobs.
The project, which is being produced by Royal Oak-based Radish Creative, is inspired by real cases of bullying that take place across the U.S. every year. In the film, a documentary film crew sets out to reveal what caused a 16 year student to attempt suicide. Along the way, they discover footage documenting the torment she suffered at the hands of a bully. The Bully Chronicles hopes to change the conversation by putting a face to the bully and providing young people with a point of reference to stand up to and reject bullying.
“We are so excited about this film and the fact that we are casting real teens in this critical story about bullying, said Weber, who sits on the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council. “Who better to teach us about this epidemic than the ones who are living it every day? This could very well be the most important project of our lives and we are so proud that once again we will be releasing a Michigan-made product.”
To date in 2012, twelve projects have been awarded a total of $16,928,453 on $57,548,229 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,030 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 254 jobs.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Film Review Committee, comprised of senior MEDC staff including the Michigan Film Commissioner, reviews all completed applications. All applications, including any the projects of members of the Advisory Council, undergo this thorough review process and all decisions are made independently from the Advisory Council. Using the statute to guide approval decisions, preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:
1. The production is financially viable.
2. Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, equipment rental, etc.).
3. The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production.
4. Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination.
5. Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.
The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation markets the state with a focus on business, talent, jobs and helping to grow the economy. For more on MEDC and its initiatives, visit: MichiganAdvantage.org.