Friday, March 04, 2005

A few images of Detroit, circa 2005, awaiting its 2042 makeover

I thought I’d drop in and post some images from the two location photo scouts of Detroit we've done thus far. There are so many photos that I only selected a few here for now, not even the most impressive either, though I think the fisheye Guardian shot is rather cool. I feel very much the same as Jeff does about how Detroit has gotten an awful rap, much undeserved, by media and America in general. Sadly I have to admit I even fell into that mode of thinking, in the past and I live here... well the burbs north of the city. Detroit, central heart of it, has some incredibly impressive examples of architectural beauty and some of the countries most incredible examples of art deco (The Guardian building) you’re going to set eyes on and much of this is not a part of the American consciousness, few think Detroit when they think of a city to check out.

Sadly I can understand this thinking as there is a great deal of decay surrounding the city and even within the heart of it where much of what makes Detroit interesting actually is. No question the city needs help, it needs a makeover in the places that need it and it needs to SAVE the architectural treasures that are in danger of destruction at the hands of half-baked corporate ventures, gambling anyone, a new bland-o-tecture shopping mall or corporate headquarters? Let’s just level the whole city and make it a big-ass parking lot and mega-mall… right. Progress is fine but destroying the culture, art, and beauty that founded this city (such as the destruction of the historic Hudson’s Building) and making it into another bland homogeneous corporate venture that likely will generate far less outside interest in the city (tourism folks we could use some) is a foolish road to travel.

As Jeff pointed out, many films have been set in Detroit, a few filmed here, but all too often they never actually feature the city in any visible way. Not much chance of generating interest in the city if you never actually SHOW it. Well, although this is an animated series proposal set in a future, nobody will know the visual landscape of until we get there, we actually WILL show the city with as much detail and respect as possible. Going out and shooting photos of the city and looking at it from this angle gives one a new perspective on what’s actually there. Detroit is a city in trouble for sure, financially and in many ways culturally, but it’s a city that deserves a chance and an honest portrayal. If “Cricket Song” gets the green-light, that’s what we plan to do, show a fascinating city, different in the future for sure, but still distinctly Detroit.

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