The St. Louis premiere of "Up in the Air" was Saturday night at the Tivoli Theatre in the Loop in University City. It's filled with St. Louis connections.
Obviously, much of it was shot here so it has not only parts of the St. Louis area as backdrops for the movie, but it's also filled with St. Louis extras and actors.
There's even a song from a U. City man that plays during the film's credits. Kevin Renick wrote a song called "Up in the Air" before he knew there was a movie being made with the same title.
When Renick learned that the film's director, Jason Reitman, was lecturing at Webster University he went to see him. After the lecture he approached him, told him he had written the song and gave Reitman a cassette with a copy of the song.
In this day and age of high-tech, Renick says he was a bit embarrassed that it was on a cassette.
"What?" I asked him. "You couldn't find an 8-track to give him?"
"Or maybe a wax cylinder," Renick replied.
The next thing he knows, the song is included in the movie.
We also talked with Adrienne Lamping, an aspiring actress from St. Louis. Look for her in the wedding scenes of the movie.
George Clooney's character attends his sister's wedding. Lamping plays the Maid of Honor in the wedding. She's hoping this leads to bigger and better things.
We spoke briefly with Michael Beugg, a native St. Louisan who is the Executive Producer on the film (before you ask, he graduated from SLUH). He was talking about building up the film industry in Missouri.
If you want to create jobs, he says, you have to have more than just a film shot here every now and then. People who work on the films are, generally, freelancers. But if you get a steady stream of movies shot here then you can create an "industry."
So what will make Missouri more attractive to the movie studios? Tax breaks. Is it worth it? Missouri legislators are considering it.