"Vice" filming impact put at $25 million
By Suzy Valentine
The filming of "Miami Vice," under way this week on Miami Beach, could bring an estimated $25 million to $30 million and hundreds of temporary jobs to Miami-Dade County's economy.
A production team spokesman said the estimate is based on calculations of spending during the next three months on hotels, food, car rentals and hiring of police and fire crew.
The production team is using an office suite at 1221 Brickell Ave. in Miami as its base during the shooting.
Another cops drama shot in the county two years ago, "Bad Boys II," starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, brought in $35 million. Some of the beneficiaries of that windfall were unexpected, said Jeff Peel, director of the Miami-Dade Mayor's Office of Film & Entertainment.
"They hired the services of a lemonade vendor," said Mr. Peel, "to placate those stuck in traffic during the filming. A lot of 'Miami Vice,' is to be shot on the water, so boating and marine companies will benefit."
Last week, the producer of "Miami Vice," Pieter Jan Brugge, said 80% to 85% of the crew and talent for the Universal Pictures project would be drawn from the local workforce.
"That's a pretty high number," Mr. Peel said. "When the base is Los Angeles, the trend is to build a crew based out of there."
The services of several hundred film professionals have been used pre-production, a film spokesman said, though that figure should rise throughout the shoot.
The crew for the film version of the 1980s hit TV series that is to be directed by Michael Mann will be in town for 13 to 14 weeks, Mr. Brugge said at a June 22 press conference. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are to play James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, respectively.
Mr. Mann, who produced the TV show, has used the county as a location for other movies, including "Ali" in 2001.
There's extra work for 60 to 70 police officers drafted to supervise overnight filming of car chases. The southbound lanes of Interstate 95 will be closed from Interstate 395 to southbound State Road 836 toward the Rickenbacker Causeway between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. July 5-7.
"These will be additional officers," said Lt. Ron Papier of the Special Events Division of the Miami Police Department. "They're additional officers hired by the movie, officers that are off that day. Their involvement won't reduce cover elsewhere. It'll be more work and pay for them."
Universal Pictures will pay tens of thousands of dollars for up to 210 shifts, as many as 1,260 man hours.
Tim Plummer of David Plummer & Associates, a Coral Gables traffic engineering company, was hired to devise the schedule.
"It's good it's a nighttime shoot," said Mr. Peel, "which minimizes the impact on the community."
Mr. Brugge said he saw no reason other feature films shouldn't be filmed in the county, citing a tradition of production that began when the TV series started 21 years ago.
Preparations are under way on two other projects to be shot in the county this summer.
Filming of the 13-episode Paramount Network Television drama "South Beach," starring Vanessa Williams, is to start in August, coinciding with shooting of a "Vacanza" Italian holiday film.