Lights, camera and action could be coming to the village this winter after the McFarland Village Board offered it’s support via a letter from village President Brad Czebotar for a movie to be filmed at the Madison Curling Club.
Writer and director Michael Graf provided information about the motion picture, titled “Throwing Hammers,” at the June 10 meeting.
“Since I moved here, I have fallen in love with curling, and I have become an avid curler,” Graf said.
Last year, he wrote a script focused around the sport, which he hoped to make into a feature-length film. Graf said he wants “Throwing Hammers” to celebrate curling, Madison and Wisconsin in the same way that “Hoosiers” celebrated basketball in Indiana.
The writer and director said the movie will be filmed in Madison, Monona and McFarland with the curling club as the primary location. However, Graf’s desire to film at the facility will be disruptive to the schedule of the Madison Curling Club, and the club’s board has not made a decision of whether it will allow “Throwing Hammers” to be use the facility as a filming location.
Graf requested the village send a letter to the club’s board of directors in support of the facility being used as a location for the movie.
Graf, who lives in the Town of Cottage Grove, explained the economic impact of the filming in the Madison area. “Throwing Hammers” has a budget of $2.5 million; a bit less than $2 million is scheduled to be spent in Wisconsin, particularly in Madison. About $40,000 will be spent at the curling club for renting the facility and hiring club members.
“Out of that $2 million, most of it will go to hiring local crews, local equipment, housing actors, hotel accommodations, local location costs,” Graf said. “The producer (Bradley Ross) has made it very clear that the only reason that we’re shooting here in Madison is because of the Madison Curling Club.”
In effort to influence the club’s board of directors to allow “Throwing Hammers” to film at the facility, Graf has gathered letters of support from the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Wisconsin Arts Board in addition to the letter from the village.
If the Madison Curling Club’s board does not allow the movie to be filmed at the facility, the motion picture will be shot entirely in New York state, which offers 30 percent tax incentives to movies shot in the state. Wisconsin does not offer any tax incentives to motion pictures filmed in the state.