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WATCH: Movie Making Gets Spotlight In Michigan

Michigan Matters exclusive: lights, camera, action with "Jinn" creator, Film Office talks Batman-Superman rumors.
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Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, co-founder of Michigan-based Exxodus Pictures, poses with host Carol Cain and the "Firebreather" muscle car he designed for his new movie "Jinn". (credit: Tony Chiudioni/CBS 62)

Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, co-founder of Michigan-based Exxodus Pictures, poses with host Carol Cain and the “Firebreather” muscle car he designed for his new movie “Jinn”. (credit: Tony Chiudioni/CBS 62)

(credit: WWJ-TV) Carol Cain
An Emmy Award winning journalist, Carol Cain is also the se...
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By Carol Cain
CBS Detroit

Michigan’s movie making business may be in its infancy, but there are tons of opportunities for jobs and growth, the commissioner of Michigan’s Film Office said during taping of “Michigan Matters”.

That includes a casting call this Sunday (11 am until 3 p.m.) at Somerset Inn in Troy where Warner Bros. is holding one for numerous paid extras.

Margaret O’Riley, who runs the Michigan office, would not confirm if the movie was the untitled Batman vs. Superman movie starring Ben Affleck.

Warner Bros. is looking for adult male and female extras able to work at Metro Detroit locations from June through November (coincidentally the same time the Batman-Superman film is to be filmed).

Those interested should go to Somerset Inn on W. Big Beaver Road. They are looking for military and business types. No need for a costume (and please don’t bring children).

For more visit MichiganFilmOffice.org and look under jobs.

Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, co-founder of Exxodus Pictures, also appeared on the show with Benjamin Dresser, who is in charge of production at the Metro Detroit company, to talk about their newly released movie “Jinn.” This action thriller, which took years to bring to life, was directed by Ahmad was filmed at locations across Michigan. Dresser served as producer on the film.

It focuses on the story of an auto designer and his wife. Ahmad, who grew up in Detroit loving autos, also designed a muscle car for the movie that is being sold to the public (it costs around $100,000). Called “Firebreather,” the 600 horse power supercharged V8 is one of the stars of his film which is being released in Pakistan, Turkey and other countries this week. It is now being shown at theatres across Southeast Michigan.

Linden Nelson, who founded Michigan Motion Picture Studio in Pontiac, also appeared on “Michigan Matters” with son, Sanford Nelson, who is getting set to produce his first film called “Eloise.” Sanord Nelson has already hired dozens of extras for the film which will be shot around Metro Detroit. Linden Nelson said MMPS has production jobs available for those with previous production experience. They should call his studio and ask for Cynthia.

Though Michigan’s once nation-leading movie incentives have been pared back by the state legislature, Dressed gave credit to Nelson and his studio for continuing to lure big time movies to Michigan like the Batman-Superman movie and “Oz” saying, “His studio is simply the best in the country.”

Indeed, with over 170,000 square feet of stage and mill space, the MMPS facility houses seven sound stages ranging in size from 12,000 to over 90,000 square feet. An adjacent 350,000 square feet of office and support space was renovated and wired to specifically service production and post, as well as non-production companies.

There’s much more to say about potential of movies in Metro Detroit. For more watch “Michigan Matters” 11:30 am Sunday only CBS 62.

Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer/Host of “Michigan Matters” She also writes about business and politics in Sunday’s Free Press. She can be reached at clcain@cbs.com.

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