Fox 45 News interview on the Miles Davis movie with Don Cheadle at Refraze Recording Studio in Kettering, Ohio.
DAYTON — When Hollywood comes knocking, Dayton answers the door. A number of scenes in a new movie about legendary jazz musician Miles Davis were filmed right here in the Miami Valley. The old, gritty, rusty jail in the Safety Building downtown was one location. It was just what actor/director Don Cheadle needed for his movie “Miles Ahead.” The movie, based on Miles Davis, was released in New York and Los Angeles today, April 1, 2016. It opens nationwide April 22. Cheadle filmed most of the movie in Cincinnati during the summer of 2014. But, Dayton provided a couple key locations as well.
“Yeah, he sat right on the bench and just did some emotional shots of him thinking about perhaps what got him into that situation,” said Keith Klein, Dayton’s Senior Development Specialist. He and the Dayton Police Department gave FOX 45 a tour of the seldom-used area of the Safety Building, built in 1954.
“It was an active city jail for several decades and then they built the new jail so it’s been empty since then and so it fit the time period of the film,” said Klein.
Meanwhile, some of the music scenes were filmed in Kettering at Refraze Recording Studios. Owner Ron Pease said when he got the call they wanted to see his studios, there was no mention of who was in the movie or what it was about. He said he didn’t learn those details until a group of about 25 people showed up to discuss logistics.
“Out of the middle of the pack walks Don Cheadle. Walks up to me and says, ‘Hi I’m Don Cheadle,'” said Pease.
The studios, built by former Dayton musician Mark Fraze, have high ceilings and unmistakable curved wood walls that can be seen in the movie trailer. The crew also used a lounge area.
“They took everything off the walls and put gold albums on the walls,” said Pease.
Meanwhile, making more movies in Dayton is something the local film community wants to see.
“It’s all economic development, that’s what it truly is,” said Lisa Grigsby, Executive Director of FilmDayton. “Bringing the movie business here is hiring people. It’s jobs,” She said FilmDayton is actually becoming the Greater Dayton Film Commission. That will allow them to be more active in pursing more movies in the Miami Valley. They plan a formal announcement at a private “Miles Ahead” screening April 21, in Dayton at the Neon.
(Courtesy of Dayton Daily News & FOX 45 News)