GRAND LEDGE, Mich. — It was a perfect day to make a movie.
“This is the perfect Michigan day you know, it’s 70 degrees outside, sunny enough to get a great musical number shot” said River Magnus Director and film Producer Thomas Streed. "Sunny enough so that the colors on our clothing look really reflective and colorful."
Right in the heart of downtown Grand Ledge.
“The idea is to kind of connect city and nature as one entity instead of two different thing,” said Producer Tess MacDonald. "It has sidewalks but we want it to feel like it’s still outdoorsy so it’s just the perfect location to get that kind of energy.”
River Magnus Productions is a Lansing based production company started by students from Michigan State University. For some like MacDonald, this is the first independent project outside of college they've worked on.
“This is my first independent project so it’s been really fun, it’s been a good learning experience,” MacDonald said.
For others like Streed, this isn't their first independent film.
“We released our first film Money Tree back in March, our first musical,” Streed said.
The movie is called Aubin and Lucious.
“A story about two best friends with magical power who have a little bit of a falling out," Streed said. "But through the power of magic and music and all that stuff, kind of, reunite at the end.”
For Streed, the concept hit close to home.
“It’s just about my friendship with other friends about, you know, falling outs we’ve had and then reconnecting and growing together," Reed said. "So, growing together as friends is kind of the big idea behind the musical.”
Streed said they're anticipating wrapping up shooting in the next couple of weeks and then the hardest part will begin.
“We’re actually not filming with sound which is kind of a unique thing," MacDonald said. "So, everything's going to be ADR which is kind of like voice over after the fact, so, we’ll have a lot to edit.”
By putting together films in mid-Michigan, Streed said he wants to show anything is possible.
“Michigan is a place where you can make good movies and we have so many great film makers here and so much great talent in Michigan," Streed said. "You don’t have to be in LA or New York or Atlanta or any of those hubs to be able to make great films.”
What better way to do it than supporting the local community.
“We’re just a local independent film company and we’re here promoting other people’s business and promoting different cities in the Lansing area and so we’d love it if you supported us back,” MacDonald said.
Aubin and Lucios will be released August 27. Both that and their first film The Moneytree can be found on their YouTube channel. The production company is also on Instagram and Tik Tok by @rivermagnus.
Anyone who wants to get involved with future films can reach out to Streed by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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