'Caught in Crossfire' directed by GVSU alumnnus premiers at Celebration Cinema
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson returned to Grand Rapids on Tuesday for the premier of “Caught in the Crossfire,” a film by Grand Valley State University alumnus, Brian Miller.
The film is the story of two detectives played by Chris Kline (“American Pie”) and Adam Rodriguez (“CSI Miami”) who become the target of crooked cops and gang members while investigating the death of a fellow cop. Rapper and entrepreneur Jackson, who co-produced the film under his company Cheetah Vision, also has role as a police informant.
The film was shot locally last year. Jackson returned to Grand Rapids to film this spring and GVSU students were invited to participate as extras in scenes at Lubbers Stadium for his newest movie, “Things Fall Apart.”
A direct result of Michigan film incentives, “Caught in the Crossfire” is set against the backdrop of Grand Rapids, benefitting both the production and the community.
Due to the Michigan film incentives, smaller budget movies, in the range of $1 million to $5 million, have found their way to Michigan because of low production costs and favorable cityscapes.
Rick Hert, film commissioner for the West Michigan Film Office, said 80 films have been produced in Michigan since the incentives bill passed. The hope now is to try and wrangle in the larger budgeted pictures upwards of $20 million.
“Not only is there production money, but there are also promotion and tourism dollars at stake,” Hert said. “Also there is the added benefit of advertising our gorgeous state on the big screen.”
Hert revealed the spending budget of one film recently produced in Michigan. The statement recorded $49,000 spent at a local hardware store and thousands more dollars spent on clothing. Hert also mentioned the great expenditures it takes to house and feed the cast and crews of these films.
“With a film like this, which took about eight to nine months in the making, it’s the beginning of economic development at its best,” Hert said. “When there is someone of note starring, the benefits are increased still.”
Hert said “Caught in the Crossfire” is well-acted with twists and turns that show off various locations of Grand Rapids and its “gritty” side.
In an interview with Channel 8 local news, writer and director Miller said the production was scheduled to come to Michigan even before the incentives passed. Miller added that many Hollywood producers are seeking budget-benefitting locations and when there are visually attractive places such as Grand Rapids available, the decision to shoot here is obvious.
Kline praised the city for keeping its integral, downtown atmosphere and fa?ßade and said Michigan is on everyone’s “radar” in Hollywood.
Earlier this year Jackson and partner Emmett produced the feature “Gun” and plan to continue work in May on “Things Fall Apart,” a feature co-written by Jackson and Miller with director Mario Van Peebles (“Bring Your ‘A’ Game”).
The premier on Tuesday was followed by an after party in the Celebration Cinema North’s Wave Room. Jackson and producing partner Randall Emmett attended the premier along with writer/director Miller, all of whom participated in a Q & A session.