New film studio in Pontiac struggles after state says ‘Cut!’ to incentives The studio underwent its first test last year when “Oz,” the $105-million Walt Disney 3D prequel, took over all seven sound stages for much of the year. “I give it an ‘A,’ ” director Sam Raimi, a Royal Oak native, told the Free Press. “It’s the best I’ve ever seen. I recommend it to the world.” “Oz” came to Pontiac because it was approved for a $40-million Michigan film tax credit in 2010. In December, the state further revised the incentives, turning them into grants and reducing the percentage of money paid to production companies. The new law keeps the film incentive program until September 2017.
You haven’t lived here until … you leaf through CMU’s children’s antique book collection Central Michigan University is home to an open-to-the-public collection of antique kids books. Definitely check out the early edition “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” bound in vellum, that author Lewis Carroll gave to Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria, and the 1900 first edition of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” with the complete set of 39 sequels. But No. 1 on your list should be “The Speaking Picture Book,” circa 1880, which made animal sounds by pulling strings attached to a set of miniature bellows inside. This volume is 4 inches thick; only a quarter-inch is paper, according to Clarke Historical Library director Frank Boles.