South Florida business to appear on silver screen
By Suzy Valentine
A film in production in Miami-Dade County and a second filmed here and on general release Friday will showcase local places and products.
"Miami Vice," filming here until fall, and Wes Craven's "Red Eye," opening Friday in theaters, highlight the county's businesses through chosen locations and incidental inclusions.
Among those that could benefit from exposure in "Miami Vice" are restaurant frontages creeping into footage, though there's no way to know yet what sites will make the final cuts. The movie is scheduled for summer 2006 release.
Local eateries on film so far include Tobacco Road on South Miami Avenue and Big Fish, visible from the Miami River, according to those working on the set.
"We've been in other movies," said Tobacco Road General Manager Lou Callahan. "We have often had customers tell us they spotted the bar in this or that film."
If Big Fish makes it into the final cut it could help re-nourish business. The restaurant is closed June 15 until Oct. 30 for refurbishment.
Mansion club on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach may also be featured in "Vice," as are the products of liquor company Bacardi.
The company's distinctive US headquarters buildings are on Biscayne Boulevard, making it another brand synonymous with Miami.
"The director is capturing what is cool and hip about the new Miami," said Patricia Neal, vice president of corporate communications for Bacardi of director Michael Mann, "and Bacardi is such a big part of this.
"Bacardi mojitos, the hottest drink in the country now," she said, "will be featured in the film along with the Bacardi boat."
While a host of hopeful companies could end up on the cutting-room floor for "Miami Vice," the "Red Eye" locations are known, because the movie is ready for viewers.
Exterior shots of the Lux Atlantic hotel are played by The Continuum condominiums in Miami Beach, while interiors, reminiscent of the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key, were created on set in Los Angeles.
A painting hanging in a suite of the hotel - or a penthouse at The Continuum - is by Palmetto Bay artist Marcelle Zanetti and is for sale at her gallery. "Bismarchia Nobilis II," a 60-by-30-inch oil on cotton canvas costs $6,000. Ms. Zanetti received $500 for the rental.
"The painting was hired for three to four days," she said. "The producers must have seen it at Details at Home on Alton Road on the Beach when they went in to hire furniture. They paid $1,000, which the store and I split 50/50."
Shots of Miami International Airport are spliced together with shots of concourse retail from another location. A Miami Beach Office of Arts, Culture & Entertainment representative commended the collage.
"The parking lot and main concourse shots are of MIA," said Film and Print Coordinator Graham Winick, "but some of the storefronts are probably from Los Angeles International Airport, though I expect that's how the North Terminal at MIA will look when it's finished."