A company wants to borrow up to $675K from Youngstown to film a movie

By David Skolnick



A New York City company wants to borrow up to $675,000 from the city to film a movie in Youngstown.

Michael Alden, co-founder and co-partner of Alt House Productions, outlined the proposal at a Wednesday city council housing, community and economic development committee meeting.

Council will consider the proposal as soon as its May 2 meeting. Before that meeting, Alt House officials would come up with an official request for city funding.

The company is planning a thriller/horror film called “Unhinged” about a prominent psychiatrist at a state-run hospital who is trying to stop an escaped patient from killing five people held hostage in a remote house. The film would star Mickey Rourke, an Academy Award-nominated actor, Alden said.

About 70 percent of the movie would be filmed in Youngstown. Alt House will try to use city companies for things such as catering, lodging and transportation as much as possible, said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s director of community planning and economic development.

To qualify for the money, the filmmakers would be required to guarantee the loan with an irrevocable letter of credit from an accredited bank, Woodberry said. The loan includes 0.25 percent interest and has to be repaid in a certain amount of time, typically 12 to 18 months.

Pre-production work could start as early as June if approved, Alden said.

This would be the third film to receive such a loan from the city in the past year.

Roadkill McGillicutty LLC of Canfield was given $2.5 million in December for a drama set to be filmed shortly in the city.

In September 2017, the city’s board of control approved a $1.25 million loan to a Los Angeles company to film a coming-of-age dramatic thriller called “Them That Follow.”

Council members, however, complained that most of that movie was filmed outside the city limits with noncity companies.

“We have guarantees with [Roadkill] that they’ll be filming in the city using companies in the city when possible, and we want the same from this film” as a condition of funding, said Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd, committee chairman.

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