MELVINDALE: Fans camp out in hopes of spotting actor Gerard Butler (with video)
Published: Saturday, July 17, 2010
By Angie Favot
Jake’s Crossroads Bar, 2704 Oakwood Blvd., was the set for a scene of Gerard Butler’s “Machine Gun Preacher.” The film crew, including the actor, was in the city last week. Trailers, lights and cameras filled the bar’s parking lot as actors stood on the rear balcony and in the parking lot. Melvindale police were on scene to oversee the 30 spectators, including some paparazzi. (Photo by Angie Favot)
MELVINDALE –– Paparazzi, trailers, cameras and the chance of spotting actor Gerard Butler filled the city from Monday to Wednesday as a movie shoot came to the area.
“Machine Gun Preacher,” starring Butler, is expected to wrap up early this week.
Filming was done at Hearthside Mobile Home Park, 17742 Dix-Toledo, and Jake’s Crossroads Bar, 2704 Oakwood Blvd.
The movie is based on the true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who were forced to become soldiers, according to the Internet Movie Database.
City Administrator Paul LaManes said he was working with Mike Mosallam, director of the Wayne County Film Initiative office, to provide areas appropriate for scenes.
Producers were seeking a trailer park and a “biker”-type bar, and picked the city.
LaManes said residents were feeling the Hollywood buzz.
“It’s exciting for the city and residents to have something like that come to Melvindale,” he said.
Crews made Allendale Elementary School, 3201 Oakwood Blvd., their home base. Orange signs on Oakwood Boulevard pointed the way for crews.
Paparazzi were at filming locations, and news of the city was all over celebrity blog websites.
About 30 spectators stood on Eddon Street facing the Jake’s Crossroads Bar parking lot to catch a glimpse of filming Wednesday. A man involved in the filming would signal to the crowd to be quiet during shooting, and the group was limited to a specific area to avoid being seen in the scene.
LaManes said local eateries benefited from the production by providing catering for crews.
He said he hopes more productions come back to the city.
“We received a very complimentary letter from the county that said the production company was very happy with the treatment they received and may be back to film other movies,” he said.
The state offers up to a 42 percent tax credit on filming, which has brought several productions to the area.