GRAND LEDGE, Michigan – It was a perfect day to make a movie.
“It’s the perfect day in Michigan, you know, it’s 70 degrees outside, sunny enough to get a good musical number,” said River Magnus director and producer Thomas Streed. “Sunny enough for the colors of our clothes to be really reflective and colorful.”
Right in the heart of downtown Grand Ledge.
“The idea is to kind of connect the city and nature as a single entity instead of two different things,” said producer Tess MacDonald. “There are sidewalks, but we want it to look like it’s always outdoors, so it’s the perfect place to get that kind of energy. “
River Magnus Productions is a Lansing-based production company founded by students at Michigan State University. For some like MacDonald, it’s the first independent project they’ve worked on outside of college.
“This is my first independent project, so it’s been really fun, it’s been a great learning experience,” MacDonald said.
For others like Streed, this is not their first independent film.
“We released our first movie Money Tree in March, our first musical,” Streed said.
The movie is called Aubin and Lucious.
“A story about two best friends with magical power who have a bit of a fight,” Streed said. “But thanks to the power of magic and music and all that sort of comes together in the end.”
For Streed, the concept struck close to home.
“It’s just about my friendship with other friends about, you know, the fights we had and then reconnecting and growing together,” Reed said. “So growing up together as friends is kind of the big idea behind the musical.”
Streed said they plan to finish filming within the next two weeks and then the hard part will begin.
“We don’t actually film with sound, which is a unique thing,” MacDonald said. “So it’s all going to be ADR which is kind of like a voiceover after the fact, so we’ll have a lot to edit.”
While assembling films in mid-Michigan, Streed said he wanted to show that anything is possible.
“Michigan is a place where you can make great movies and we have so many great filmmakers here and so many great talent in Michigan,” Streed said. “You don’t have to be in LA or New York or Atlanta or any of those hubs to be able to make great movies.
What better way to do this than to support the local community.
“We are just a local independent film company and we promote the businesses of other people and different cities in the Lansing area, so we would be delighted if you would support us in return,” said MacDonald.
Aubin and Lucios will be released on August 27. This and their first film The Moneytree can be found on their Youtube channel. The production company is also on Instagram and Tik Tok by @rivermagnus.
Anyone wishing to get involved in future films can contact Streed by email: [email protected]
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