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Showing posts from 2011

Russo Bros Wanted to Shoot 'Infinity War' in Cleveland

Is 'Avengers' Shooting in Lakewood?

The quick answer? No.

But there is a movie being made tonight at the corner of Detroit Avenue and Lakeland. The film is called Beautiful Garden.

The film is by Cleveland native Chris Peplin, who wrapped Beautiful Gardenearlier this year, and is now doing pick-ups (extra shots) to complete the film.

Peplin grew up in the Cleveland area and, at an early age, realized his calling. He studied film at Cleveland State, worked a few internships and then decided to fast-track his career by moving to L.A. to attend The New York Film Academy. After completing the 12-month program, he carried the filmmaking torch back to the Midwest.
Peplin wrote, produced and directed Beautiful Garden. And it’s independent film at it’s best. With little budget, short schedules and never enough help, it’s the love of the craft and the need to tell a story that pushes small productions like Beautiful Garden forward. And for Peplin, there’s one other motivator: “No one will give you millions if you have not done anyt…

Will Captain America and The Avengers Battle the Skrulls?

I took a trip downtown during my lunch hour today and was treated to a full hour of Avengers action.

As soon as I parked my car and walked down to the E. 9th set, the street exploded and the ground shook. Yes, another day of Joss Whedon and company blowing up Cleveland.

Soon after the explosion, I was able to find a good spot to watch Chris Evans, as Captain America, rehearse a scene the crew would shoot a little later in the afternoon. Here's the video:



You can see the scene in this great video from hschneider0917:



You know what this looks like to me? Like the scene the production was rehearsing in Parma early last week. That's when we first saw a picture of Captain America's shield. Evans, most likely, was standing atop a car in that photo, looking much like he does here.

In the above video, we get a glimpse of our baddies. Sort of. We actually see two stunt men dressed in motion capture suits. That's what all those white dots are. Which means they will likely be rep…

Channel 19 Anchorman Gets a Role in 'The Avengers'; Explosions Rock the Rock 'n' Roll City

Some news we haven't read yet, but just floated into our mailbox from a female friend in the news biz: local Channel 19 Action News anchor David Wittman will get a shot at making the big screen in The Avengers. The production is expected to shoot at or near the station in the coming days.

What's his role? Well, we're guessing newscaster, of course.

What will he report on? Probably the massive explosions on 42nd Street. Those took place on the E. 9th New York City set today, much to the delight of spectators.  Cleveland.com has great video of the explosion, but we like this cell phone video from inside an office overlooking the set, from @kuriousrangiku.

Finally, a few shots from the smaller set the Avengers crew is building on Public Square. I can't quite figure out what this is supposed to be. Any ideas?

Oh, and apologies to the prop department. I took my seven- and three-year-old to see the set this weekend, and my daughter did what three-year-olds will do: start tak…

'Avengers' News Bits; Loki, Hawkeye On Hand at NASA Set

Here are a few simple Avengers tidbits we've discovered in the last few days, just by reading the local papers and by doing a little searching online.

First, Samuel (Nick Fury) Jackson was not the only actor to film in Sandusky at NASA's Plum Brook Facility. Jeremy (Hawkeye) Renner was the there as well, according to The Morning Journal, Lorain County's daily paper, along with Tom (Loki) Hiddleston and Clark (Agent Phil Coulson) Gregg. Speculation? Holding cell for Loki? In the preview at the end of Captain America, we see Loki marched in under guard. With these three in the scene, alongside the king of all liars, it would seem that way to me. Total guess, though.

Another total guess that seems way off now? Our guess that the structure built early on for the E. 9th set in downtown Cleveland might be Stark Tower? Seems a bit unlikely now.
Unlikely because the set, doubling for 42nd Street, is looking a lot like 87 E. 42nd Street - Grand Central Terminal. If you MapQuest the…

Keeping Up With 'The Avengers'; Lots of Little Tidbits and More Pics

More information is trickling in about the soon-to-shoot Avengers film. One great resource is Cleveland.com's official Avengers page. Part of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland's daily newspaper, the site is connected to the production in a way that only daily metropolitan newspapers can be.

It's here we first learned that the E. 9th Street set is a replica of New York City's 42nd Street. I've been scrolling through Google Earth to see if it's an exact replica, but I can't find restaurants like "Grand Central Bistro". (Let us know if you can find the real place, if it exists.)

We also learn more about The Avengers' production in Sandusky at NASA's Plum Brook facility. Plum Brook is home to the world's largest space environment simulation chamber. It's designed and constructed to test both nuclear and non-nuclear space hardware in a simulated low-Earth-orbiting environment. Word is only one Avengers cast member is shooting at NASA: Samuel L…

More Set Photos From 'The Avengers'

I know, I know. You can't compare these to Christian Bale in Bat fatigues battling Bane on the streets of Pittsburgh. But then again, they haven't started filming The Avengers on the streets of Cleveland - yet.

Though we originally thought filming would start on Aug. 8th along E. 9th and Euclid, it turns out that shooting actually begins on Aug. 15.  Though filming has begun in Sandusky, Ohio, at a NASA facility located there. Past news reports explain that this facility can approximate outer space (we'll do a little more research to figure out exactly what this is/means), which worked well for the film.

In the meantime, here are a couple more pictures from set construction downtown. These come from a friend who works nearby, who has promised more shots in the days and weeks to come.

Here we see some rubble (woo-hoo! rubble!) and a better shot of the building facade. I'm still betting this is the front of Stark Tower, but no confirmation on that.

My extra-friend also men…

'Avengers' Begins Filming Monday (But Rehearsals Have Already Begun)

Trailers are parked and the sets are built. It's time for The Avengers to start shooting in downtown Cleveland. Officially, Monday, August 8, is the start date, but rehearsals began as early as Saturday on East 9th Street near the mysterious Stark Tower (or not so mysterious, if it turns out not to be Stark Tower and just some facade of any old building in New York City).

A friend is excited to be an extra on the shoot, but he's sworn to secrecy, so we want to respect that. What we can tell you is a lot you probably already anticipated: there will be explosions downtown, there will be a big battle downtown, and that battle will turn up on film somewhere near the end of the movie.

We also know that Joss Whedon's already working. The writer/producer/director was on hand for rehearsals and, my friend says, was cheery and friendly to cast and crew. He also said he learned the cast (including Robert (Iron Man) Downey, Jr., Chris (Captain America) Evans, Samuel L. (Nick Fury) Ja…

Constructing ‘The Avengers’ Sets on E. 9th in Cleveland; Could This be the Entrance to Stark Tower?

Wednesday, I had the good fortune to attend a Cleveland Indians game with my 7-year-old and his summer camp. While walking back from Progressive Field, I caught what looks to be set construction for the upcoming Avengers film.


Actually, I’m 99 percent sure it is. Recent info from the Plain Dealer ‘Avengers’ Blog warns commuters that several roads will be closed during August, including E. 9th (the main artery in and out of town, for those of you not familiar with Cleveland). And you can’t mistake a film set when you see a couple Haddad’s trucks parked nearby.



So the question is, what is this place they’re constructing? They’re building onto the AmeritrustTower, what locals sometimes call the HoneycombBuilding. That particular building has been abandoned for nearly 20 years. It stands next to a beautiful old bank, also deserted, which featured briefly in Spider-Man 3, when that film shot along Euclid Avenue.





Gut instinct says it’s standing in as a more modern building, with a cascading …

‘Backdraft’ Scribe Pen Densham Says Success for Midwest Screenwriters is Just a Few Ideas Away

No doubt in a basement office in Cleveland or the back booth of a coffee shop in Pittsburgh or on an iPad in the middle of study hall in an Indianapolis high school, there’s an aspiring screenwriter punching keys and imagining great adventures that she hopes will someday grace the silver screen.
Not in Los Angeles, not in New York, but right here in the Midwest. Is she just chasing a dream? Not according to screenwriter Pen Densham, whose film credits include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Backdraft, and Rocky II.
“The truth is, any movie is about great ideas that stimulate human emotions, and if you can write films that mesh in scale with the new grass-roots producers that are evolving all over the country, there is a chance that someone in your city may be just as likely to produce your script as someone in Hollywood,” says Densham. “There is a new, technological gold-rush, as digital technology disrupts the entire old distribution system, and no one is quite certain where the new ma…

Ohio Reels in Four More Feature Films

No doubt you read about Cleveland luring the highly anticipated Marvel Studios blockbuster The Avengers to shoot a portion of the film throughout Northeast Ohio. The win is chalked up to Ohio’s new Motion Pictures Tax Credit.
You can now add four more Ws to the win column. Four new films will shoot in Ohio, according to the Ohio Film Office. The independent films include Liberal Arts, with How I Met Your Mother actor and Columbus-native Josh Radnor; Old Fashioned; Over the Wall, with Kim Basinger; and Seven Below Zero, with Val Kilmer.
Liberal Arts will shoot in Gambier and at Kenyon College (once haunted by Paul Newman). Some scenes will be shot in Columbus, as well. The film tells the story of a 30-year-old man and a co-ed, who meet cute over their love of books and music, but have trouble dealing with the age difference.
Old Fashioned plans to film in Tuscarawas County and features “a charming but lonely, idealistic antique shop owner who meets a free-spirited young woman running fro…

5 Cleveland Locations We Want to See in 'The Avengers'

As we speak, location scouts are combing Northeast Ohio looking for locations to film The Avengers, Marvel Studios blockbuster superhero flick, set to unspool in 2012.
We thought we’d take this opportunity to help them out. Here are five Cleveland-area locations we want to see in The Avengers:
1.Severance Hall as Avengers Mansion. Severance Hall is home to the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra. It’s also one of the most beautiful buildings in Cleveland. The home that John Long Severance built for the orchestra in 1928 would serve as the perfect backdrop for Iron Man and Captain America’s New York City headquarters. Plus, the location should be familiar to filmgoers. It stood in as a Russian mansion during the opening scenes of Air Force One.
2.East 4th Street District. Now you know Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) will wine and dine some young thing (just don’t tell Pepper Potts). And chances are Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) will chide him for it. What better place than the truly wonderful E. …

Cleveland Doubles as New York City – Again – As ‘The Avengers’ Assemble on the Northcoast

The Avengers – Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury – are set to tear up Cleveland. Marvel Studios’ biggest film to date announced that it will bring the superhero production to the Northcoast this spring and summer.
Principal photography could begin as early as late spring and continue through September, according to Katie Sabatino, spokesperson for the Ohio Film Office.
“Cleveland is the primary location for the production,” says Sabatino. Several scenes will be shot throughout the city, but expect to see a familiar sight: Downtown Cleveland dressed up to look like New York City.
Clevelanders got a taste of New York City superheroes by way of Marvel’s famous webslinger, Spider-Man. A second unit from Spider-Man 3 shot an armored car chase down city streets in the fall of 2007. This time – and these heroes – promise to be different.
“This will be a much more involved shoot than Spider-Man 3,” says Sabatino.
Which means you might catch a glimpse of…

‘Beautiful Garden’ Blossoms for Cleveland Filmmaker

Midwest Movie Maker contributor Peter Balint introduces us to Cleveland native Chris Peplin. Peplin recently wrapped production on Beautiful Garden, a project driven in small part by one goal: make a feature length film by the time Peplin celebrates his 30th birthday. He’ll do it — with time to spare.

Peplin grew up in the Cleveland area and, at an early age, realized his calling. He studied film at Cleveland State, worked a few internships and then decided to fast-track his career by moving to L.A. to attend The New York Film Academy. After completing the 12-month program, he carried the filmmaking torch back to the Midwest.
Peplin wrote, produced and directed Beautiful Garden. And it’s independent film at it’s best.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW