Maxsar Digital Studios opens in Livonia

Maxsar Digital Studios isn't only creating jobs in Metro Detroit and doing its part to staunch the region's brain drain, the film studio started by Hollywood producer Philippe Martinez is also helping bring a few ex-pats back to the Motor City.

The Livonia-based studio now has 50 employees and one intern. That's one year after the venture got its start with five people in Metro Detroit developing several film scripts. Martinez has served as a producer for more than 30 films over the last 20 years, including Van Wilder 2, Harsh Times, and Games of Death.

"It was Philippe identifying people from here and who were interested in moving back from L.A.," says Franklin Walker, a spokesman for Maxsar Digital Studios. "He was also looking at people who were graduating from the local schools."

The studio is currently in the midst of developing a few movies now, including Bag Monkeys, a low-budget comedy about baggage handlers at an airport, and Scar 23, which is in CGI pre-production. Both films are set to come out in mid-to-late 2012.

Maxsar Digital Studios is occupying about 60,000 square feet of space in a former ROUSH building. It hopes to continue to expand, which hinges on the status of Michigan's film tax credits.

Source: Franklin Walker, a spokesman for Maxsar Digital Studios
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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