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Cleveland indie nabs 'SNL' alum Abby Elliott, TV veteran Breckin Meyer

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Cleveland Conquers Pixar: Two Chagrin Falls Filmmakers Up for Animation Oscars

If you’re wondering who to root for during Sunday’s Oscars telecast, I have two names for you: Lee Unkrich and Dave Mullins. Both are Chagrin Falls, Ohio, natives. Both work for animation powerhouse Pixar. And both are nominated for Academy Awards in animation.

Unkrich directed Coco, the Pixar Animation Studios 2017 hit up for Best Animated Feature Film. The film tells the tale of Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old boy who is transported to the land of the dead. There, he seeks the help of his ancestors to get back to the land of the living. The story is Unkrich’s too, although he didn’t write the screenplay.

Mullins wrote and directed the Pixar short Lou, which played alongside Pixar’s summer hit, Cars 3. Lou, the main character in the short, is made from the assorted unclaimed items of a kindergarten class. Lou’s gifts allow him to reshape the life of a class bully. Lou is up for Best Animated Short Film.

Clevelanders conquer Pixar Unkrich was an actor in his youth, performing at Clevelan…

Tina Fey, Jay Roach Bringing Kent State Film '67 Shots' to Ohio

Tina Fey is taking a serious turn, producing 67 Shots, a film about the 1970 Kent State shootings. The movie applied for the Ohio Film Tax Incentive earlier this year and plans to film in and around KSU sometime in 2018.

67 Shots focuses on events that led up to the shooting deaths of four students by Ohio National Guardsmen. The title comes from the numbers of shots those guardsmen fired into the unarmed crowd of protestors.
Fey is producing alongside Jeff Richmond, her husband and a Kent State alum. Jay Roach, best known for the Austin Powers and Meet the Fockers franchises, will helm the project. Roach is making more socially and politically aware films at this stage in his career, including Trumbo and Game Change.
The film is based on the book 67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence and is adapted by award-winning playwright Stephen Belber. Fey and Richmond’s production company, Little Stranger, will join Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures and Michelle Graham’s Everyman…

Don't Shoot Your Eye Out! Our ‘A Christmas Story’ Holiday Gift Guide

For many Americans, A Christmas Story is a modern classic holiday movie. While certainly on the same list as similar modern classics - Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - A Christmas Story may well be on its way to the same lofty heights as A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life.
The movie is especially popular in Cleveland, where many of the film’s exterior shots were filmed, as well as the film’s iconic visit to Santa. “Those scenes are a historical reminder of what Cleveland was like back then,” says Ivan Schwarz, director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. “The movie is giving us a chance to look back at our own history.”
Still, it’s a movie for everyone from anywhere in the world. It celebrates childhood. It explores growing up. It reminds us what life was like when our worries were no bigger than Scut Farkas.
If you’d like to share that feeling with friends and relatives, we have some gift ideas for you.
1. Give them a copy of t…

5 Horrific Questions with 5 Horrific Filmmakers

Every year, the entire staff of Midwest Movie Maker scours the landscape for horror movie filmmakers who are willing to submit to five of the most horrific questions we can come up with. We torture them with our Jigsaw journalism. We confuse them into convulsions with our Kubrick questions. We spook the Stranger Things out of them.
This year, we found five horror maestros willing to submit to our survey:
John Oak Dalton(JD): A Midwest screenwriter who has penned late night B-movie goodness as Peter Rottentail, Haunted House on Sorority Row and Jurassic Prey. Dalton was born in Muncie, Ind., attended Ball State University, and, in 1987, was the first scriptwriter to win a David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship.
Bryan Geary(BG): An actor based in Northeast Ohio, who recently appeared in the Netflix original Little Evil. Geary studied Entertainment Business at Full Sail University.
James Travers

Sylvester Stallone returns to Mansfield Reformatory with ‘Escape Plan 3’

If you follow Sylvester Stallone on Instagram, you’re likely caught up with all the shenanigans going on at Mansfield’s historic Ohio State Reformatory prison. That’s where Stallone and Dave Bautista, best known for his role as Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and his WWE wrestling persona, are filming Escape Plan 3.
"For guys who think they've been on tough locations, grow up or throw up," Stallone says on his Instagram video while standing on a ledge at the mid-Ohio location. "This is a serious prison that you don't come back from." But Stallone has come back to the Ohio State Reformatory. The actor shot a few scenes alongside Kurt Russell at the prison in the late 1980s for the action film Tango & Cash.
The new film is the third in a trilogy which started with 2013’s Escape Plan, starring Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bautista replaced Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan 2: Hades, which is due out next year. The Ohio State Reformatory is best kn…

Mike Myers' improv biopic 'Del' may film in Cleveland this summer

Clevelanders, keep an eye out for comedy legend Mike Myers. He may shoot his new film, Del, in and around the city this summer.

The film applied for Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit in mid-March. The production will spend 58 days in the state, according to the application, including 28 days of on-location work, hiring 602 local filmmakers.

Del tells the true story of Second City improv guru and teacher Del Close. Close mentored many modern comedy stars, including Myers, along with Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley and many more. Close appeared in a number of films in minor roles, including American Graffiti, Ferris Bueller’s Day Offand The Untouchables. He also appeared in Light of Day, which shot in Cleveland in 1986.

“Mike Myers is a comedy genius and the perfect actor to inhabit this complicated, funny, poignant character,” Producer Paul Hanson said in a statement. Myers is best known for the films Austin Powers: International Man of Mysteryand Shrek.…