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Student Filmmakers Shooting Scenes in Wyandotte

Students from the Michigan Creative Film Alliance are working on a comedy entitled 'Downriver.'

Film crews will be in and around Wyandotte over the next 10 days as they set out to capture what it’s like to live Downriver.

Students from the Michigan Creative Film Alliance, a collaboration of current and former students in the film programs at Wayne State University, University of Michigan and Michigan State University, will be filming in Wyandotte today, as well as Aug. 7-10.

They’ll be using the and as a home base between shoots.

Their 30-minute film, entitled Downriver, is a thought-provoking comedy written by University of Michigan graduate Brandon Verdi.

The film focuses on 15-year-old Alex, who has to move Downriver from his posh, suburban home to live with his estranged half-sister after the death of his father. Socially awkward and unimpressed with his family, Alex finds himself drawn into a backyard brawl that turns him into an accidental tough guy.

In spite of their cultural divide, Alex and his half-sister, Crystal, eventually connect in an unexpected way, realizing that whether you’re from Downriver or upriver, family is family.

“It's a film that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you wonder how different we really are from one another,” students said on the film’s fundraising site.

Downriver is the third project of the Michigan Creative Film Alliance. Each summer, the alliance brings together top film students and recent graduates from the three schools to share their expertise as members of a production team dedicated to making a high-quality film, employing real-world professional standards and practices.

The alliance’s first two projects, Appleville and Beauty Queen, premiered at the Detroit Film Theatre to large and enthusiastic crowds of film supporters.

Organizers have similar hopes for Downriver.

“Downriver promises to be another big success, both as an engaging high quality film and as vital professional experience for a team of some of Michigan's most promising emerging filmmakers,” students said on the film’s fundraising site. 

To watch a short introduction to the film,

Mark Zielman August 01, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Well, the northern suburbs always have been rather higher class (aside from communities like Grosse Ile, perhaps). They certainly are more active in terms of having more "hip" attractions, whereas older places like Wyandotte generally have remained the same, which isn't necessarily a bad thing either. Many of us in Wyandotte are very happy and proud with what we've accomplished over the last 150 years. Not everyone likes the hustle and bustle of places like Novi or whatever, so I think some have retreated to more quiet communities like Wyandotte. I'd like to see the film.
Tinisha Brugnone August 05, 2012 at 10:19 AM
@ Rachel I find it quite interesting that you have such a stereotypical opinion of what the people of downriver are like. Some of the crew and actors on this project are from downriver areas of Michigan and they are intelligent and articulate young people. This film could take place in any community and is being filmed in various parts of Michigan. I am sure that you will be surprised once the film is released.
Rachel Lazere August 05, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I never stated my opinion of what I think the people of Downriver are like. Rather, I am stating what the stereotype of Downriver residents is and will continue to be if residents like myself don't attept to disprove it. Yes, I agree that life is different in Downriver than it is in Birmingham. As Chad said not better just different, I agree. However the differences in the 2 suburbs is not much of a contrast. I just fail to see a true "cultural divide" between Downriver and upriver as this article states. I hope the young film makers are able to convince the audience of this supposed"cultural divide" without exaggerating the negative stereotypes of Downriver. I can't wait to see the finished project.
Jackie Meredith August 09, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Students, cast and crew have been wonderful to work with throughout the past two weeks. Part of this production is being filmed in our home. It has been fun to watch everything that happens behind the scenes and meet everyone involved. I'm excited to see the movie once it's all finished! Thank you to MICFA for the great experience of sharing my home with you! Good Luck with this film and all your future projects!
Alexander Verdida November 20, 2012 at 05:48 AM
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