Filmed In Cleveland: Finding locations for movie shoots in the city

Mike Wendt shows how he helps Greater Cleveland Film Commission produce movies in his hometown, finding locations for shoots and coordinating major movie productions.

When a major movie shoot, like the latest Marvel movie or White Boy Rick, comes to Cleveland, they didn’t just happen to show up. It’s┬ánormally the result of hard work on the part of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, an organization that is dedicated to bringing movie shoots to the city.

Mike Wendt is a Production Coordinator with the Film Commission, where he spends his days communicating with film producers and directors, telling them about the location opportunities and financial incentives available in Cleveland. Thanks to its mix of classical and modern city architecture, and easy access to nearby rural areas, Cleveland has a variety of location “faces” that can work as multiple time eras, as well as stand-ins for other cities.

Wendt spends many days going out to photograph and scout possible locations to suggest to directors. The locations are as diverse as shopping malls, abandoned factories, high-end apartments, and rolling fields. The only things Cleveland can’t provide, according to Wendt, are mountains and deserts. (But with CGI, they can fake it.)

Take a look at a small part of what goes into his day, as he and the Film Commission work towards building a thriving, year-round job market for Cleveland’s burgeoning film industry.