by GRACE CURTIS '17
Ever spent a weekend on a trail ride at Camp Kern or strolling the streets of downtown Cincinnati? Well, stars such as Josh Hutcherson and James Franco have been enjoying these locations lately too. In fact, James Franco has filmed two movies in the greater Cincinnati area within the past year. Goat, which features fraternity activities gone horribly wrong, came out this month. The Long Home, coming out in 2017 and starring Josh Hutcherson, is a historical fiction film featuring murder and bootlegging. This is not the first time producers have come to Cincinnati to create their movies; Carol and A Kind of Murder were filmed in Cincinnati within these past two years and showcase actresses such as Cate Blanchett and Jessica Biel.
Many of the producers welcome hopeful actors and give them a chance to audition as extras in the scenes. The applications are simple: name, phone number, a few self-portraits, and what roles you believe you would fit best. Although these extras may act for only a few seconds, they can still excitedly point themselves out when watching the movie with their friends and family.
For those quiet and reserved residents who still want to get involved, there are more opportunities. Movie producers often use local assets such as homes, cars, buildings, schools, and props to make production easier. At the owner’s consent, the film company will sometimes renovate the homes in order to fit the movie scenes. This not only gives homeowners free renovations, but also a unique story to tell in the future. From a broader perspective, movie production also helps Cincinnati economy through working with local businesses, creating new jobs, and increasing tax revenue.
Although there are many perks to filming movies in Cincinnati, there is also a negative side to the situation. Senior Gretchen Shisler recalls what it was like when production was going on near her Landen home: “I tried to see Nick Jonas, which was really exciting, but traffic could be a little hard when they closed off part of the neighborhood for filming.” Hers is one example of the disruption the traffic that inevitably comes with film shoots, but most would agree that the overall experience is more energizing than frustrating.
Ultimately, this can mean great opportunities for SUA students. From spotting stars on the street, becoming extras in the films, to just fangirling when seeing familiar Cincinnati locations in the scenes, girls at The Academy can participate in the movie industry. Who knows, maybe one day a SUA graduate could be the star of a Cincinnati film.