Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a beautiful city located in the state's southwest corner. It is home to Western Michigan University and offers an array of attractions for visitors. Kalamazoo provides a variety of cultural offerings, including museums, galleries, and theater companies, as well as a lively nightlife. Beyond the city's natural beauty, the region's rolling hills and vibrant green fields make it an ideal filming location for movies and television shows.
With its mix of modern amenities, industrial parks, and large residential areas, Kalamazoo provides filmmakers with plenty of options for finding a place to shoot their films or television shows. The scenic country roads surrounding the town also offer breathtaking backdrops to many scenes. The city also offers many unique venues that can provide exciting sets or settings for films or television shows. Beyond shooting locations available within city limits, there are plenty of options outside of town too.
Many forests in surrounding areas offer incredible scenery perfect for any scene, from peaceful woods to rugged wilderness – whatever style you’re looking for! Farms can provide rural scenery and open spaces for more significant projects if necessary too. Some old abandoned factories offer a variety of exciting features inside, like long-forgotten machinery or eerie architecture – just the kind you need to create a horror movie scenario.
Film Shoot Options in Kalamazoo
- Film Production Companies
The film production companies in Kalamazoo are ready to help you film your video production. Production firms can handle the logistics and staffing needs of your project while also taking care of day-to-day operations. Leaving the heavy lifting to the professionals allows you to focus on directing your film or sourcing for funding to get the production on its feet.
- Makeup Artists
With many experienced makeup artists in Kalamazoo, you're guaranteed to find a skilled professional to work on your film shoot. They all have different skill sets and it comes down to whether you need simple touch-ups to complete character transformations or special effects looks. No matter your film's genre, the right makeup artist will masterfully get your cast ready for the screen.
Food is required for any film shoot, and catering businesses in Kalamazoo can provide food for your cast and crew. Look no further if you're searching for a catering firm in Kalamazoo that can prepare delicious meals, offer timely service, and provide lists of other food-related services.
Lighting companies in Kalamazoo can assist with the process of illuminating your film shoot. Whether you only need set up service, lighting design, or help to operate the lighting equipment; the film rental companies in Kalamazoo have your back.
Film Shoot Vendors in Kalamazoo
- Rhino Media
Whether you have a ready script or just an idea; Rhino Media is the production company in Kalamazoo you want to work on your project. The team specializes in creative development, idea generation, concept development, storyboarding, scripting, and motion design. Their range of services also extends to video production, photography, digital deployment, and ad placement.
- Millennium Catering & Events
A well-fed crew and cast equate to a productive team, and Millennium Catering & Events can provide that much-needed energy boost through the delectable meals they supply. While their event specialty is primarily weddings, their catering services extend to various events, including film shoots in Kalamazoo.
Rentalex is a full-service rental firm in Kalamazoo that provides high-quality event solutions. They know that your event represents you and are prepared to curate an unforgettable experience. The company supplies tents, tables, chairs, tablecloths, china, and catering equipment, most of which come in handy when setting up film shoot sets.
Pros and Cons of Film Shoots in Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo is an attractive film shoot location that offers filmmakers unique advantages and drawbacks. It has a fascinating history, a vibrant culture, and many distinctive locations to provide filmmakers with the perfect backdrop for their projects. On top of this, it also offers interesting financial incentives for production.
- Kalamazoo boasts an incredibly diverse array of landscapes and settings, so filmmakers can easily find the right look for their project without traveling long distances.
- The city is known for welcoming film production crews, assisting them in scouting locations, and finding local partners to help with their projects.
- In addition to its many scenic locations, Kalamazoo’s cultural diversity provides unique opportunities for any filmmaker to capture authentic stories from various perspectives.
- For budget-conscious filmmakers, Kalamazoo provides various financial incentives to help offset production costs, such as tax reductions or grants from either state or county governments.
- Wintertime, in particular, can present challenges due to cold weather and potentially hazardous road conditions. Filmmakers should plan accordingly if they intend on shooting outdoors during colder months of the year.
- Unlike larger cities such as Los Angeles or New York City, where more resources are available at nearly any hour, smaller towns like Kalamazoo have limited hours for obtaining certain necessary supplies such as camera equipment or additional crew members.
- While Michigan offers some generous financial incentives for film production within the state, these tend only apply if budgets exceed a certain amount, which might prove cost prohibitive for smaller indie projects operating on limited funds.
Tips on How to Organize Film Shoots in Kalamazoo
Organizing a film shoot can be intimidating, especially if the film takes place in a new city. From finding the right location that fits the story to finding ways to minimize costs, organizing a film shoot in Kalamazoo can present unique challenges. But with some careful planning and preparation, you’ll be able to create an efficient and successful production:
- Research: Before heading out on location, research the city beforehand. Check out local regulations and guidelines for filming within the city limits and look into any potential permit requirements that may be necessary for your project.
- Reach out: Connect with locals who may be familiar with certain areas or know someone who can help you connect with people who might have access to unique locations or resources. Networking is vital to ensuring that your production moves forward smoothly.
- Prep work: Ensure all logistics are taken care of before arriving on location. Map things out ahead of time and ensure everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities during filming days, so there are no surprises once shooting begins.
- Budget wisely: Developing a practical budget plan is crucial for producing a successful film shoot in Kalamazoo as costs can quickly add up due to various city regulations such as permits and additional expenses associated with using specific locations such as parking fees or other miscellaneous charges related to filming in particular areas or buildings within Kalamazoo.
Famous Locations in Kalamazoo
- Kalamazoo Mall
The Kalamazoo Mall is a historic pedestrian walkway dating back to 1959. It was one of the first outdoor malls in Michigan and the United States' first outdoor pedestrian mall. Several city blocks collectively make up the Kalamazoo Mall, and the complex houses diverse stores, restaurants, bars, and other businesses. Don't miss out on seeing the Kalamazoo Mall when exploring the downtown area.
- Kalamazoo Nature Center
The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a haven of natural beauty with more than 1,100 acres to explore. Ponds, prairies, forests, marshes, and more can be found there. The numerous walking and hiking trails crisscrossing the site present visitors with opportunities to discover all of its mysteries at their leisure. The tracks are labeled with difficulty to ensure that novices don't end up where they shouldn’t and that experts enjoy a challenging experience. Nothing beats relaxing among the butterflies and dragonflies around one of the Nature Center’s ponds on a hot day.
- Kalamazoo Public Library
The Kalamazoo Public Library offers a variety of lectures, classes, workshops, and other programs. It is a beautiful structure that houses a vast collection of books and other historically significant reading materials. In addition to the book nooks, history rooms, and state-of-the-art computer labs, the Library also hosts book clubs and live readings. One of the most popular features is the digital media lab dubbed The Hub, where visitors can enjoy everything from podcasting to preserving vintage vinyl records. Anyone interested in learning more about books should visit the Kalamazoo Public Library.