A movie titled “Cedar Rapids” will not be filmed in Cedar Rapids. The production company, blaming the suspension of the Iowa film tax credit program, has decided to move the work to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Tim Boyle says the city will still receive plenty of exposure, but will miss out on a lot of money.
“You know, several hundred thousand dollars certainly just with hotels, caterers, extras and that sort of thing,” Boyle said. “But, I think the real benefit – which is still a benefit for Cedar Rapids – is that’s actually the name of the production. So, it’s that exposure and name recognition that I think would be the greater value to any place like Cedar Rapids.”
The movie’s lead character will be played by Ed Helms who starred in the summer hit “The Hangover” and also appears on the T-V show “The Office.” Boyle admits he’s a little apprehensive about how the city of Cedar Rapids will be portrayed on the big screen. “One always has to be a little concerned with a comedy which, of course, is rooted in parodies and exaggeration,” Boyle said. “But, as near as I can tell – and I’ve seen the script that they’re working from – the city of Cedar Rapids comes off quite well.”
The story centers on a naive Wisconsin man, played by Helms, who travels to Cedar Rapids for an insurance convention and is overwhelmed by the big city experience. Boyle says the Cedar Rapids skyline and various parts of the city should still be part of the final production.
“I think they’re going to start shooting in another week or two in Michigan. The last I heard is they are scheduled to come to Cedar Rapids the week of November 9 to shoot exterior scenes and that sort of thing,” Boyle said. Iowa’s film tax credit program was suspended in September after officials discovered questionable spending and accounting procedures within the Iowa Film Office.