Hooray For Hollywood, Part 10

Production trucks from Hadaad's fill the old Steve Barry lot.

Almost overnight, the old Steve Barry lot was filled with semis, various trucks, and strange housing units. Then after a quick read of the name on the trucks: “Haddad’s”-- it became clear, Hollywood was back in Lakewood, Ohio!

This time it was for a $50 million dollar feature for HULU called “Stickshift” which is just a working title. As of right now the film will be called “Eenie Meanie” when it reaches the small screens around the world. The movie has a common Hollywood story line. A person is dragged back into their criminal past to save a loved one. fThis one has Australian actress Samara Weaving (40 films, 2-time Producer, and 1 time director), actor Steve Zahn (93 films, 1-time director, 4-time producer), and Randall Park (173 films, 8-time director, 4-time writer.) This time the girl is the reforrmed get-a-way driver who comes back to help her ex-boyfriend.

They will be filming through the end of the month at various locations around the city. If you see them filming, please give them space. While we can argue about what an inconvenience it is, or how much tax deferment they get, it is hard to argue that it isn't good for a community from fees they pay, to local purchases of food and various items from daily needs to gifts, down to, in most cases, a sense of pride when the final product hits the streets. The best way to see a little part of Hollywood is to give them room. During the shooting of "White Boy Rick" with Matthew McConaughey, he wandered into a local establishment with his daughter. Someone posted it and the place became a zoo, and he left, and never went back. Meanwhile The Coffee Pot would place him at a back table where he quietly ate breakfast most mornings. No one likes being interrupted while eating or working.

We should also be honest about the real reason films are in Lakewood, and Ohio: Tax credits. And these state tax credits are so large that most states only offer them for a year or two, then take time off. While we love to believe Cleveland was chosen for the Marvel movies based on being a great city, or where the superstar directors the Russo brothers (Joe and Tony) came from, it is the tens of millions of tax credits coming from the state and the city that are the real attraction. Like many industries in this day and age, they go where they get the best benefits. For what it is worth, privacy is also an asset.

Other films shot in Lakewood that I can remember are:
“With This Ring”
“American Splendor”
“Draft Day”
"My Blind Brother"
"The Christmas Heart"
"Pinned" -- a wrestling film from Lakewood’s Norman brothers
There was "White Boy Rick"(thanks Scott MacGregor) with Matthew Mcconaughey, and “The Final Goodbye,” another one that used The Shore Restaurant, Westlake Cleaners and Trios Bar which is now Woodstock BBQ.  Also the murder mystery, "Beautiful Garden" where they filmed for 2 nights at Ross Beverage.


Jim O'Bryan

Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 3:03 PM, 05.08.2024