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Oxford Twp. ought to be in pictures

Searching for the perfect location to shoot a movie?

Look no further than scenic Oxford Township, tucked away in northeastern Oakland County.

Whether it’s a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster or a small, quirky independent film, Oxford offers a diverse assortment of settings.

That assortment includes gravel pits, picturesque horse farms, classic homes built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a historic downtown, more than 500 acres of park land, crystal-clear lakes in every direction, bountiful wildlife, a variety of nature trails, old churches, modern subdivisions and thousands of acres of open space.

"We’ve got it all," said Jack Curtis, chairman of the township’s Economic Development Subcommittee (EDSC). "Whether a movie is set in the past, present or future, whether it takes place on the moon or in small town USA, we can accommodate it right here. We want to become the film industry’s home away from Hollywood."

Oxford has already served as a movie location on more than one occasion.

Part of the 2011 movie "Real Steel," starring Hugh Jackman, was filmed in one of the American Aggregates gravel pits.
In 2010, part of the Lifetime Television movie "Close Quarters" was shot on the 1,200-acre Koenig Sand & Gravel property located along Lakeville Rd.

"We’re definitely on the hunt to have more movie magic happen here in Oxford," said EDSC Member Todd Bell. "It’s exciting for the town, it’s good for business and it’s fun."

Because Oxford isn’t part of some sprawling urban area, it can offer film production companies two extremely valuable benefits – privacy and security.

"We’re kind of off the beaten path up here," said EDSC Member Ed Hunwick. "It’s a lot easier to keep something under wraps here than in the middle of Detroit. There are plenty of places to film that are shielded from prying eyes."

Actors and film crews certainly won’t starve in Oxford as the community is home to at least 20 restaurants, many of which offer relaxing bars and casual atmospheres.

"We’ve got steaks, barbecue, European bistro fare, Asian dishes, American classics, gourmet sandwiches, bar food – you name it, we’ve got it," Curtis said. "A number of our eateries offer catering services, so it’s absolutely no problem for them to deliver food right to the set."

Oxford is also home to a myriad of licensed builders, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc. who bring a wealth of expertise and experience to every project.

"If something needs to be built for a movie, we have plenty of local talent available," Bell said. "They’re reliable, they’re based in town and they’re eager to get the job done with a high degree of quality and professionalism."

Anyone interested in filming a movie in Oxford is encouraged to contact township Supervisor William Dunn for assistance and guidance.

"If you need information on which properties are available for shooting, the types of permits that might be necessary or how to contract for extra security using our police force, Mr. Dunn is the person to talk to," Curtis said.

Dunn can be reached by calling (248) 628-9787 Ext. 109.

*****

Oxford Township is home to 20,526 residents (including Oxford Village) and experienced the third highest population growth (28.2 percent) in Oakland County based on the 2010 U.S. Census. Its diverse business community ranges from a revitalized downtown district to a healthy manufacturing sector. For two straight years, the village was recognized by a University of Michigan-Dearborn study as one of the top communities in the state when it comes to fostering economic development and entrepreneurial growth.

Oxford is served by a full-time, professional fire department, which currently holds the record for the fastest cardiac care time in the county.

Oxford Community Schools is the first public school district in Michigan to receive PreK-12 authorization from the International Baccalaureate organization.
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