CW50 recently sat down with Marc Zakalik, a Farmington Hills native and 2008 Screen Arts & Cultures graduate of the University of Michigan. Since graduating, Marc has kept busy working on productions both in and out of Michigan (with many of them right here in the Detroit area), with an impressive resume of feature films.
What are some of the films you’ve worked on here in the Detroit area? Ides of March, Red Dawn, Youth In Revolt, etc etc
You’re a U of M film grad, and have worked on some pretty big films right here in the Mitten. What made you decide to stick around? The film incentive was passed right before I graduated, and I got my first job within days of completing college. I didn’t really have much of a decision to make in terms of sticking around. I was working consistently for the best part of two years.
How did you get involved in the Metro Detroit film scene? The initial connection was through Jim Burnstein, my screenwriting professor at U of M. He introduced me to Miguel Arteta, who directed Youth In Revolt. A two-week internship turned into an Office PA job for the rest of the show.
How does filming in Detroit compare to other places you’ve filmed in the past? Detroit offers an incredible number of options in terms of locations and facilities. There are so many buildings that are not in use, that it’s very convenient for projects to make use of space that otherwise would be left vacant. Other than that, it’s just nice to be home. I hadn’t worked here in over two years.
Favorite part of filming in the Detroit area? It’s nice to see projects help businesses outside of the entertainment industry. There have been many vendors I’ve worked with that remained in business solely because of the movies in the area.
What about the city makes it such a great backdrop for filming? The city can take on many different faces. The architecture is fantastic, and you can literally shut down the entire city to shoot scenes. There’s nowhere else where you can do that.
Though you’re from the area, has your perception of Detroit changed at all since you started working on films here? I noticed people in Michigan have a very good work ethic. There are regions where they move on their own time.
Favorite Michigan-made film (whether you worked on it or not) and why? Ides of March. Gosling. So dreamy.
Favorite place to go SEE a movie? The Maple Theater
Favorite film you’ve worked on here? Youth In Revolt
What do you like to do in the city when you’re not working? Eat.
What are your favorite places to hang out in Detroit? I enjoy Park Bar, Motor City Brewing, Astro Coffee, Great Lakes Coffee.
For a listing of the films Marc has worked on, check out his IMDB page.