Thursday, May 15, 2008

Public Enemies Filming Monday and Tuesday

I give Johnny Depp a key to the city after filming was completed early Wednesday morning. Johnny thanked the city for our hospitality and complemented Columbus on our beautiful architecture and polite, respectful citizens.

Movie Stars, props and lots of energy and excitement in Columbus this week as Universal Studios finished up the Columbus portion of filming for the Michael Mann / Johnny Depp movie “Pubic Enemies”. On Monday the crew worked on several scenes at a private house and Tuesday night they were in the downtown. What fun, and what an experience to have hundreds of people descend on our city with cameras, props, sound and lighting. They brought in a huge spotlight and put it in the alleyway behind F&M bank to light up the sky and give the appearance of the moon rising. The cobblestone road was laid, and just as quickly removed and packed off to go back down outside a theatre in Chicago.

Headlines in the Portage Daily Register Souvenir Edition on Monday read “Wanted in Columbus.. Public Enemies Wraps up Shooting in Columbus”. Priceless positive publicity for our city. We had visitors from all over the county on Monday and Tuesday who came to Columbus to see the filming and found a friendly, helpful town. Here’s what I heard from visitors, actors and crew. “This is a beautiful city”, “I’ll be coming back this summer to spend more time”, “this city is real”, “everyone is so friendly”, “everyone has been so wonderful” And from Johnny Depp …“Thank you. The people in your town are very respectful and polite. I have enjoyed filming in your beautiful city.” Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success. Thanks to the police officers who worked extra shifts, Water and Light who removed and then replaced streetlights, Public Works who were everywhere helping out, the senior center for sharing their space with extras, the downtown businesses who were right in the midst of it all, restaurants and gas stations that worked extra hours to accommodate all the folks who were hungry, and everyone who helped show the world what a wonderful city we have here in Columbus. Thanks.

This has been a huge economic boom to our town. Universal paid for all the city services that they used and had individual contracts with each of the downtown businesses. In addition they spent a lot of money in our city on supplies, food and additional services… things that I wouldn’t even think of like a hair cut, a visit to our local dentist, and emergency room visits for minor injuries just to name a few. As with any big event, there are always some folks who are inconvenienced and perhaps didn’t directly benefit. Sorry for the inconvenience you experienced.

Detours should be down by the time this is printed, and the city will be pretty well back to “normal” again. For a few days in March and again in May we were truly Hollywood, Wisconsin. Famous people walked our streets and experienced our hospitality. This is a time that we will remember and talk about for years to come, and an event that has given Columbus a positive image in our state and around the country. Thank you to everyone… and goodbye and good luck Adam Boor – locations, Steve Helms – construction, Michael Mann – Director, and Johnny Depp – superstar and really nice person. See at in the movies!