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  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

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    The post Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / gettyimages.com As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

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  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

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Cover Story

Disassembly lines

Detroit author spent a year inside a stamping plant as it lay dying.

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: Photos: Paul Clemens., License: N/A

Photos: Paul Clemens.

This cavern once housed a press line.

Photo: Photos: Paul Clemens., License: N/A

Photos: Paul Clemens.

Budd as it was being disassembled.


"What I thought I had seen inside the closed Budd Detroit plant through a particularly bad summer, fall, winter and spring," Clemens writes, "was the American working class, mopping up after itself."


The following are excerpts from Paul Clemens' Punching Out (Doubleday), published this week.

When Jon Clark started his newsletter, Plant Closing News, in 2003, he promised subscribers that he'd report on the specifics of 25 plant closings a month — 300 per year. In 2003, he reported on 983; the next year, 1,130; the next, 1,180. When I first talked to him, in October 2007, he'd reported who, what, when, where, and why on 980 plant closings in the calendar year — "that's so far," he stressed, "plus an additional 250 bankruptcies."

The newsletter comes out biweekly and is "targeted to surplus industry service providers," including "rebuilders, used equipment dealers, dismantlers, demolishers, remediation contractors, equipment riggers, craters and equipment transport firms looking for current business opportunities, particularly those arising from the closing or relocating of North American industrial manufacturing plants." Each issue begins by noting the number of closings in the United States and Canada included in the issue. For instance, the January 15, 2007, issue is headlined: "44 Companies Closing 48 Plants + 18 Bankruptcies." These are then subdivided by industry— food processing, textile products, wood products, pulp, paper products, chemical products, rubber, plastics products, glass, cement products, metal products, electrical, electronics, other manufacturers — and again by state — "AL 2, FL 3, MI 6" — before the specifics of each closing are given. Clark recalled getting a phone call from a manager at a plant in Arkansas angry that his plant had appeared in the newsletter. Clark pointed out that the closing had already made the papers.

Clark has also written Plant Closing Checklist, which includes a couple hundred questions and comments covering areas pertinent to plant closure. "Know what one of the first things on the Plant Closing Checklist is?" Clark asked. "Tell your people what's going on!" His memory for individual plant closings is unusually good. When we first spoke on the phone, I told him I was working on a book about the closing of the Budd Detroit Automotive Plant, Stamping and Frame Division. "That was a 2-million-square-foot facility," Clark said of the plant, whose closing had appeared in the July 15, 2006, issue of Plant Closing News. He has industrial facts and figures at his mental fingertips, and his knowledge of plant closings is sought-after. The Democratic National Committee had contacted him in the buildup to the presidential election of 2004 in an attempt to determine "how many jobs had been exported under Mr. Bush." It was a question impossible to answer exactly but one that led Clark to a larger point. "I tell you what," he said he told the Democrats. "If you can get everybody to vote for you that's lost their job in this country, you can easily be elected." He added, "And that was four years ago. And that's 5,000 plant closures ago. And I think that had a big impact on Obama being elected."

We met over breakfast in the Houston airport a week after the 2008 presidential election, when the depth of the country's financial crisis was becoming clear. The Great Recession had officially begun eleven months before, and later that month the leaders of Detroit's Big Three would arrive in Washington for a public flogging — a prelude, for General Motors and Chrysler, to the bankruptcies to come. Auto suppliers — Delphi, Lear, Tower Automotive, Dana, Dura — were ahead of the downward curve, beating GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy by years. Budd, a major Tier 1 supplier, avoided the possibility of a similar fate by simply closing.

I had flown from Detroit to Houston to talk to Clark while en route to central Mexico to see a press line. Once the largest press line in the Budd Detroit plant, stamping body sides for the Ford Explorer and Ford Expedition, it had been sold after the Budd plant's closure to Gestamp, a Spanish auto supplier. Gestamp had the disassembled presses moved, piece by piece, a couple of thousand miles to its newly expanded plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where it was now stamping body sides for the Dodge Journey, the Chrysler crossover assembled in Toluca, Mexico.

I'd observed the disassembly of that press line, along with much of the rest of the Budd Detroit plant's equipment, for the better part of a year. The trip to Mexico would cap a process that had begun two and a half years before, on May 15, 2006, when ThyssenKrupp Budd, citing the declining sales of the Ford SUVs for which it supplied components, announced that it would close its Detroit plant by year's end. The Budd plant had been built in 1919 by Liberty Motor — which, like most motor companies in Detroit's early days, would soon go bust — and bought by the Budd Company in 1925. The German steel giant Thyssen bought Budd in the late 1970s and merged with the German steel giant Krupp in the late 1990s. The Budd Company became the ThyssenKrupp Budd Company in 2002, though no one called it that. "Budd," "Budd's," and "Budd Wheel" — so-called after its former Wheel and Brake Division — were the plant's names around town. The new name with the German pre?x lasted just four years anyway: the Detroit plant closed, officially, on December 4, 2006. A sign saying "ThyssenKrupp Budd Detroit Plant" still hangs on the exterior of the empty plant — a misleading headstone on an exhumed industrial grave. At its peak, plant employment approached 10,000.

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