CLE neighborhood turns into movie set for upcoming action film, residents don’t seem to mind the distraction | News 5 Cleveland

Cameras are rolling again in the Slavic Village neighborhood for the film “Stickshift.” The plot is about a reformed getaway driver getting pulled back in for one last job.

SOURCE: News 5 Cleveland | Damon Maloney
April 24, 2024

CLEVELAND — Cleveland has seen its fair share of movies shot in the city over the years. Big-time films, including “White Boy Rick,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Judas and The Black Messiah” and “The Avengers,” found something special about the area.

Cameras are rolling again in the Slavic Village neighborhood for the film “Stickshift.” According to local casting director Lillian Pyles, the plot is about a reformed getaway driver getting pulled back in for one last job to save the life of her always-in-trouble ex, who is indebted to their former boss.

Wednesday morning, a rigged car was speeding through the street as crews filmed.

Noni Johnson lives in the area and didn’t know a movie was being filmed at first.

“See any stars yet?” asked News 5’s Damon Maloney.

“No I ain’t seen no stars. I’ve seen actors. You can tell they’re actors, but I didn’t see no stars,” Johnson said.

But there were still plenty of sights to see and sounds to hear.

“We knew they were doing it in the area, but not exactly where until like last week,” said Brian Williams, who works near where the action was taking place.

Williams isn’t sweating the street closures or the production team’s big rigs parked in the neighborhood.

He sees the filming as an opportunity to show the world that Cleveland is open for business.

“Cleveland is a good city… is not the mistake on a lake,” Williams said. “If anything it’s the great place on the lake to be.”

Williams also has a personal link to what’s being created for a streaming audience on Disney-owned Hulu.

“The restaurant across the street that they’re shooting at is actually my cousin’s restaurant.”

Williams said husband and wife Dontay and Tangee Sims own Marsha’s Soul Food Café.

Bill Garvey, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, said Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit, created in 2009, drives filmmakers to do business in our state.

“This is a growing industry,” Garvey said. “Obviously everybody’s talking about streaming, theatrical… it’s all growing and the appetite for content is there.”

The tax credit awards $50 million yearly for the filming of TV series and feature films.

Garvey said the program has generated $1.38 billion in economic output in Ohio, with Northeast Ohio getting 60% to 70% of the work.

He said Northeast Ohio is a draw for several reasons.

“We have this rich history of architecture that looks great, but then it’s also you know something that isn’t overshot,” Garvey said.

This year, he said the film commission has secured a $147 million total production budget to choose Northeast Ohio.

“It means a lot of spending for Northeast Ohio. And that money goes out into the community. It gives opportunity to locals to take those jobs. There’s hundreds of jobs that are behind that camera wherever they’re filming.”

Williams looks forward to seeing the movie once it’s finished.

“Now that you’ve seen behind the scenes… is that going to ruin your movie experience when you watch it?” Maloney asked.

“No. Nope. Not at all,” Williams said. “It makes me want to see it more now.”