Entries Tagged 'Trivia' ↓
November 1st, 2009 — Articles, Memorabilia, Pre-Roger & Me, Trivia
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, City of Flint and civic leaders announced an ambitious plan for the rebirth of Flint, in which nearly $100 million would be invested in building an
amusement theme park called Six Flags’ Autoworld, a gigantic indoor facility dedicated to the history of automobile, a shopping center called Water Street Pavilion (based on New York City’s South Street Seaport), and a Hyatt Regency Hotel & Convention center.
The original idea came from Harding Mott, a son of Charles S. Mott, one of the founding families of General Motors. Harding Mott wanted “a hall of fame” to the automobile to show it’s importance in American Culture. The year was 1969. Fifteen years later, using $25 million in federal, state, and local tax dollars and funds, and $35 million from the Mott Foundation, the vision was realized. The problem was the visionaries couldn’t see past their own nose.
At the time AutoworldFlint had 26% unemployment and the writing on the wall – General Motors was packing it up and leaving Flint – was apparent to some, but not many.
But Michael Moore, co-founder and editor of The Michigan Voice, knew what was going on, and saw right through the charade. The concept wasn’t going to work. It was too expensive, the rides weren’t really rides, and it was all too little, too late.
In September of 1984 Moore published what would inadvertently become the screenplay for Roger & Me in a cover story titled Dance Band On The Titanic. There are several passages in the article that are repeated word-for-word in Roger & Me. The article’s title was an homage to a Harry Chapin song (Chapin’s benefit concerts for The Flint Voice were critical. Moore once wrote: “Without Harry, there is no Flint Voice.”)
The article eerily predicts Autoworld will fail miserably. About the only salvaging feature mentioned was the IMAX movie Speed, which was produced exclusively for Autoworld. Moore wonders, however, why you wouldn’t spend an additional $2 dollars and go to Cedar Point.
October 1st, 2009 — Trivia
It has been widely rumored that Michael Moore had Warner Brothers pay rent (or buy homes) for the people who were evicted in Roger & Me.
This story is 100% true. Warner Brothers – for whatever reason – called it a marketing fee. As part of the sale of the movie, $25,000 was distributed to the evicted tenants so they could stay in their homes. (Adjusted for inflation, $25,000 in 1989 is $45,000 today!)
October 1st, 2009 — Trivia
When Warner Brothers finally came through with the winning bid at $3,000,000 for Roger & Me, collective jaws dropped. Where did Warner Brothers get that kind of money to spend on a documentary about laid-off GM autoworkers?
The answer: Batman.
Batman (starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson) was so successful that it gave Warner Brothers some play money to dabble around with these new-found indie movies. Roger & Me would be one of the first acquisitions. In an interview with Michael Moore at the Torch Bar & Grill held in Flint in 2005, he acknowledged that Warner Brothers was cash-rich from the proceeds of Batman and could easily afford to buy an indie documentary like Roger & Me.
Moore was interested in the money per se, but more interested in getting the film into as many theaters as possible. If had been only about money, he could have sold it earlier and for an equal or greater amount to Disney or Sony.
Moore was dubious as to the real intent of some of the major studios – who had partnered with General Motors in the past – and suspected that certain studio management were friends with Roger Smith, and wanted the film shelved. Warner Brothers had promised the largest distribution, even declaring it would play in Hays, Kansas.
Moore signed over the movie to Warner Brothers on October 17, 1989.
September 28th, 2009 — Trivia
Almost all of Roger & Me was shot in Flint and the surrounding county with a few scenes from Detroit, San Franciso, and New York. Below are some of the locations in Flint and where they appear in the movie, along with some trivia.
View Roger & Me Filming Locations in a larger map