TRANSFORM-ing Detroit

by Chanel Cathey, Viacom

 Allegra Clegg

More businesses, artists, activists and entrepreneurs are focusing on Detroit as a hotbed for innovation and inspiration. In 2010, Paramount Pictures filmed Transformers: Dark of the Moon in Detroit and this year marked the production return of the 4th installment of the franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction. Filming in the Motor City brings a pleasant boost to the economy, and last week the franchise also lifted the spirits of hundreds of young people at Durfee Elementary-Middle School, when throngs of excited students welcomed Transformer co-producer and Hollywood all-star Allegra Clegg to their school.


Clegg worked on the filmmaking team for all four Transformers films, and she spoke to the students about careers in entertainment and gave them a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Transformers. Viacom’s Get Schooled, Paramount Pictures and Detroit Public Schools made Clegg’s inspiring appearance possible. Durfee was selected to host the in-school event as the winner of the “Get Schooled Attendance Campaign” in October. The attendance challenge encouraged students to attend school all day, every day through an interactive online competition. DPS students were afforded the opportunity to win prizes by “checking in” on the Get Schooled webpage as they attended school daily.

This is not the first instance of Viacom and Get Schooled’s support for Detroit. Back in 2012, Get Schooled partnered with General Motors and the United Way to launch the Metro Detroit Attendance Challenge in 17 local high schools. Lincoln High School won the contest with a nearly 10% improvement in overall attendance. As a reward, Get Schooled brought rapper and hometown hero Big Sean to their campus for the day.

Whether you notice our Viacom employees volunteering in Detroit on Viacommunity Day or you hear about Scratch (Viacom’s creative insights swat team) working collaboratively with General Motors to engage the millennial generation further, Viacom is acting on its deep commitment to empowering the Detroit community, finding unique ways to engage and spotlight so much of the great work happening within the city limits.

For example, MTV’s “True Life” took to Detroit for the episode “True Life: I’m Saving Detroit.” Check out how this episode underscored the current state of Detroit, through the positive narratives of young, Detroit women tackling some of the city’s issues through their own neighborhood projects. By shedding light on local activism, MTV True Life tapped into the loyal and entrepreneurial spirit of Detroit residents and their passion to help the city bounce back.


Stay tuned for more on Viacom in Detroit in 2014!


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