Local filmmaker Elliot Gray Van Orman just released his latest short, “Moving Forward: A Detroit Anthem,” a film shot on location aiming to “display the positive life aspects of the city moving forward with time,” according to his Vimeo description. Van Orman is no stranger to making Detroit-centric films – you may remember his 2012 feature, “An Anthem of Time,” or his 2013 feature on Brush Park’s BMX scene.
Detroit Proud is always, well, proud to put a spotlight on local filmmakers putting out great work…especially when that work happens to feature our great city! Van Orman’s latest project features time lapses and creative shots set to music, all working together to depict Detroit as a majestic, bustling, beautiful city. It radiates optimism and positivity – and we dare you not to crack a smile while watching.
We sat down with Van Orman for a quick Q&A about this new project. Check out what he had to say…then check out “Moving Forward: A Detroit Anthem” – and see if your favorite Detroit spot is featured!
Can you tell us a little bit about “Moving Forward: A Detroit Anthem”?
Sure, it was a film I was inspired to make as a sequel to my 2012 “An Anthem of Time” Detroit film I made. The music I bought for it was awesome and inspired me to make something new. I really…wanted to create something…positive and uplifting about the city. [It took] three days of filming with my dad. It was awesome and [we] collected some very cool footage.
Talk about the difference between this film and 2012’s “An Anthem of Time”.
The music is different, but similar. The locations are somewhat similar, but shot in new ways. This film has more of a summer vibe to it about the city, and I’m pretty happy with how it came together.
What were some of your favorite shots to film in this new production?
One of my favorite shots is with the birds flying by the lake, I got really lucky with that one. Also, going to Lafayette Coney Island with my dad and getting to have a meal there was great. Those shots…added some humor to the film with the indoor part of it, I thought.
How did you choose which locations to feature?
I wanted to cover the sports teams, GM building, Hart Plaza…and so many other locations. Ones that represent the city well. There’s a lot not featured in it, but I covered the ones I thought were most important to show.
Looks like you and your dad worked as a team to make this – tell us what that was like? Has he worked with you before? How did you decide to include him in this project…both assisting behind and appearing on camera?
I’m without my car for some time to come, so my dad drove me down for the three days [of shooting]. I’ve worked with him before, but he was a great helping hand and subject to feature in the film, I thought his shots added to it. The shots with him pointing up at the old GM building were great. He used to work for GM in that old building and them moved to the new one near Hart Plaza. He has since retired, but those shots of him are very reflective of his life and work, I liked that.
What do you love most about filming in Detroit?
The flow of the city, the people. I really enjoy it, so many shot possibilities out there. I had fun with this film.
If you had to sum up the city of Detroit in one word, what would it be?
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks for the interview and showcasing my film. I hope people enjoy it as much as I [enjoyed myself] making it. Detroit is a great city and I’m proud to be from here.
…And we’re glad to have you! Check out “Moving Forward: A Detroit Anthem” and play a fun “I Spy” with Detroit hotspots! Did your favorite spot make the cut? Tell us in the comments!