Backlot 

Who's shooting around town now?

The Hollywood invasion hit critical mass this past summer, but our proud metropolis somehow survived a litany of imported horrors including: Gerard Butler karaoke, Ashton and Demi's Twitter overshare, robot-on-robot violence, and the dreaded Miley Cyrus VIP backstage booty shake. While the temperature drop has sent the blockbuster crews and pampered stars hightailing it back to El Lay, there are a smattering of smaller-scale shoots keeping cameras rolling and area film fans guessing where all the showbiz excitement (excrement?) will drop next.

Tetherball
Starring: Andy Dick, Dustin Diamond, Ron Jeremy
The deal: This low-budget, slap-happy dude comedy about the pseudo-sport playground weapon of mass destruction is being shot in and around Ann Arbor and Flint using an almost entirely homegrown cast and crew, including Michiganders Joel Reising, producer, and Chris Nickin, director. The producers did enlist low-wattage star power for bit parts, with the unholy trio of woefully unfunny Andy Dick (News Radio, TMZ), Dustin "don't call me Screech" Diamond and Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy, because those three loco muchachos will show up at the opening of a refrigerator if you ask them nicely. Jeremy's character's name is, you'll note, Jack White. Somebody's takin' a, um, poke!

Interestingly the film did not apply for a Michigan Film incentive credit, though whenever notorious party machines Dick and Diamond are in town, expect an instant stimulus package for area watering holes and emergency responders.

Smooch
Starring: Kellie Martin (ER), Simon Kassianides (Quantum of Solace)
The deal: Don't get too excited, it's a TV movie intended for one of those chick-focused greeting card networks. Expect all manner of crazy misunderstandings and magical romantic complications to spark for Life Goes On sweetheart Kellie Martin, and some blandly handsome British actor you've never heard of. Attention Mad Men freaks: Precocious little troublemaker Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) is also in it, but please cut her a break, fanatics, she's only 11 for heaven's sake! The flick is halfway through an expected five-week shoot all around downtown, including a stop last week at the Old Shillelagh bar, where, allegedly, the basic-cable security budget just wasn't enough to shoo away curious hobos and assorted other colorful Greektown urchins who ambled by.

More by Corey Hall

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