Waterford, Michigan -- Tom Nahas knew where he wanted to shoot the majority of scenes for his first film: Oakland County, Michigan. As an Oakland County IT employee, he knew all the locations he needed were within an easy drive of his home base in Macomb.
Over the course of the last six months, the 42 minute film, 'Amendment,' was shot in Rochester and Holly, as well as in the Macomb County communities of Richmond, Clinton Township, Macomb and Mt. Clemens.
"I came to the conclusion that Rochester would be where the main timeline of my movie would take place," said Nahas. "The film required a cozy downtown neighborhood, a cemetery, a busy 'Main Street' and a park, all within a few blocks of each other."
'Amendment' is the story of a man who's lost everything meaningful in his life. With little hope of regaining his place in the world, he decides to take the easy way out. But this easy way out is interrupted when fate intervenes.
One of his first pre-production calls was to the Oakland County Film Office, who put him in touch with the resources in the Rochester Area Film Office.
"Tom made the right move by calling our office early," said Susan Dorris, coordinator of Oakland County Film and Digital Media. "We assist dozens of location scouts, production managers and directors find the locations they need, contact the right officials for permission, and smooth out the inevitable bumps that come with the project."
The Oakland County Film Office, The Rochester Area Film Office, and the city of Rochester, including its police and fire departments, helped secure locations in the Rochester area. A scene was filmed in the famous Red Knapps Dairy Bar in Rochester. Holly was the setting for the emotional ending.
A scene in Mount Clemens takes place on top of the Macomb County building, and was made possible with help from the Macomb County Film Office.
Nahas, 38, and co-producer Phil Lupo met in middle school 1985 in Sterling Heights. In 2010, Nahas saw that Lupo had just graduated from Specs Howard and was working on his own film; a documentary called 'Saving Brotherhood.' Nahas offered to do the soundtrack for him.
"In 2003, I began writing my first short screenplay, 'Amendment,' with the intention of one day producing and directing it as a film," said Nahas. "When 'life' happened, things were put on hold. Throughout the last seven years, whenever I would revisit the script it would consume me. When the subject came up for Phil and I to do a new project together, 'Amendment' was on the top of my list."
They have combined their filmmaking talents to form Shining Woods Entertainment. Nahas and Lupo successfully raised more than $1,500 towards production costs via a grassroots fundraising campaign on www.Kickstarter.com.
"Through Phil I met some great people who were willing to offer up their time to work on our project," said Nahas. "Now, with the help of a network of friends and family my dream is almost a reality."
The film stars Mike Coakley, Hannah Gurecki, Kelley Nahas, Pat Caporuscio, Lilliana Nahas, Christy Edwards, Bill Osad, Francesca Omilian, Ryan Cuniff, Chad Donahue, Danny McBride and Zach Browder, all of whom reside in Oakland and Macomb counties.
The world premiere of 'Amendment' is set for Thursday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. with a second showing at 8:30 p.m. at the Main Art Theater in Royal Oak. Although there is no offensive language, sex, nudity, or violence in this film, parents should use their own discretion as the film contains adult themes and a short scene of disturbing images.
For more information, see www.facebook.com/amendmentmovie.
Contact Oakland County Film and Digital Media at 877-651-FILM or www.OaklandCountyFilm.com.