‘Made in Cleveland’ among films made in Cleveland

Published: Friday, June 21, 2013
Lights. Camera. Cleveland. Movie making has been happening a lot over the past few years with high-profile film crews picking Northeast Ohio to shoot big budget flicks such as “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” which has been filming the last few weeks However, the independent film scene is also alive in the Rock Hall City with numerous productions completed over the past year or so. Now the flicks are getting released, including the somewhat high-profile “Made in Cleveland” which had its local premiere June 13 in Euclid. “It’s nine stories about life, love and the pursuit of happiness,” said New Philadelphia native and Lakewood resident Eric Swinderman, the producer-director-writer of “Made in Cleveland.” “They range from funny and sad to quirky. Really, every emotion is captured with seven different directors and five different writers capturing a lot of different points of view.” Swinderman said that Shaker Heights native and Hollywood writer-director-actor David Wain was attached to the project early on but had to take a backseat once pre-production started. The movie was filmed in Cleveland between November 2011 and April 2012. “Made in Cleveland” features an ensemble cast of more than 150 actors, including Busy Philipps (“Cougar Town”) and Gillian Jacobs (“Community”), as well as local television anchors Leon Bibb (WEWS-TV 5) and Robin Swoboda (WKYC-TV 5). When describing the backbone of the movie, Swinderman said it revolves around the notion that Northeast Ohioans are a resilient bunch. “No matter what they face and what obstacles they have, they keep getting up,” Swinderman said. “When they get knocked down, they get up and move on with their lives and they don’t whine about it too much. They’re tough. And that’s kind of what this movie represents. All the characters in this movie face challenges, but they all get by them and move forward.” Moving forward with high expectations is the goal of 1031 Films LLC — the company Swinderman runs with Mark Pengryn. Already attached to “Made in Cleveland” is a national distributor, which is a major feat for an independent movie. “Made in Cleveland” began its regional run last June 21 at Atlas Cinemas’ five Ohio theaters, including Diamond Center 16 in Mentor, Eastgate 10 in Mayfield Heights, Great Lakes Stadium 16 in Mentor, Lakeshore 7 in Euclid and Midway Mall 8 in Elyria. “Our movie is a little movie, but our goals are the same as anybody else — to sell tickets and to get people to see it,” Swinderman said. That’s also the dream of filmmaker David C. Snyder, who was born in Youngstown, lived briefly in Euclid and now calls Pittsburgh home. His new movie “Swing Lowe Sweet Chariote” makes its world premiere June 24 at the Digiplex Solon Cinema 16, and will also be making the film festival rounds later this year. “It’s an urban crime drama at the heart of it,” said Snyder, whose past credits include other features and music videos (Public Enemy). “There are some clichés and stereotypes. We tried to work within those realms but give it a new twist. There are some things you don’t see coming. It’s not your run-of-the-mill urban crime drama movie.” Considering Snyder’s ties to Public Enemy, he reached out to the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees to contribute the song “How Lowe?” to the movie. Even glitzier is the fact the group will be walking the red carpet at the premiere. “Swing Lowe Sweet Chariote” is actually adapted from a self-published book of the same title by Cleveland author Stella Hall. The movie, which includes local talent such as rapper Ray Jr. and former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, was shot last fall, predominantly in Cleveland. Recognizable landmarks include the old Big “Q” Furniture Store on East 55th Street and Woodland Avenue, CMHA’s Outhwaite Homes and Harvard Wine and Grille. “Casting the bulk of actors from the area, the dialogue has that Cleveland flavor,” Snyder said. “It sounds authentic and looks authentic because of our locations.” One location that wasn’t used was the Shoreway, which wreaked havoc with drivers for two weeks earlier this month when it was closed for the filming of “Captain America.” Even though Snyder’s movie wasn’t big enough to close an entire lakeshore throughway, the adventurous director’s comments about the idea provide insight into his style and in a bigger way “Swing Lowe Sweet Chariote.” “I came up doing music videos, so the artists I work with appreciate the fact that I can improvise at the moment and just kind of make it up as I go,” Snyder said. “I’m used to shooting guerilla style. And if I really wanted to use the Shoreway I would have figured out a way to do it.” Article Source: http://www.news-herald.com/articles/2013/06/21/life/doc51c467e9a7793196035353.txt?viewmode=fullstory

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