If the township gives the nod, the Lake Township Cemetery could be the setting for pivotal scenes of an independent feature film set for production next month.
Barbara Troy, the film’s director and producer who lives in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan, has asked township officials for permission to film at the cemetery on Walbridge Road.
Scenes for the film, “Grave Decision,” will also be shot at the Toledo Executive Airport in the township, as well as in Toledo, Bowling Green, and possibly Perrysburg, according to information Troy provided to Tom Hays, township solicitor.
Grave Decision is the story of two young men in college, Joe and Tim, who find summer jobs working at a cemetery, Troy told The Press.
On their first day on the job, a funeral is held for a wealthy man who was killed by his bodyguard and buried with his diamond collection worth millions of dollars.
The bodyguard returns to the cemetery intending to rob the grave but Joe and Tim, after several events, have the diamonds – temporarily. Joe steal’s Tim’s share and with his new girlfriend embarks on a world tour in a private jet. The girlfriend is kidnapped by the bodyguard, and Joe and Tim join forces to save her.
The film was written by Gil McRipley, a 26-year-old graduate of the film school at the University of Michigan, said Troy, who is also a U of M graduate “a century earlier.”
She’s secured an incentive grant from the Ohio Film Office and projects a preliminary budget of $310,000 will be spent in Ohio.
Filming is scheduled to start June 2 and is expected to be completed before the end of the month.
“At the Lake Township Cemetery we plan scenes of a funeral and employees working,” Troy said. “This should take us approximately three days to shoot, depending on the weather and natural light. If all goes well we’ll be hanging out at the airport for about a day or so where there will be scenes shot around an airplane as well as some miscellaneous interior scenes.”
She said locations have also been secured for filming in Toledo at the Ritter Planetarium at the University of Toledo, the Ottawa Tavern, the police department and museum, Yaeger’s Shoes, as well as the Maumee Indoor Theater and the Ben Franklin Crafts store in Bowling Green.
Troy’s first film, “Detroit Winter,” premiered at the Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham, Mich. in March and the lead actress, Jaclyn Strez was nominated for Best Actress in the Michigan Film Awards competition.
Troy said the film is currently for sale in the Cannes Film Market in France.
Hays told The Press that the township trustees wanted to be certain the film company had adequate liability insurance and that proper decorum would be followed during any filming at the cemetery.
According to Troy, her production company carries $1 million in insurance and has never had to file a claim for any of her work.