Actor filming scenes from Miles Davis movie in Dayton area

Don Cheadle and a production team filmed a scene for the Miles Davis biopic, “Miles Ahead”, downtown.


Parts of a Miles Davis biopic are being filmed in the Dayton area, and actor and director Don Cheadle was at the former Dayton City Jail on Friday shooting a scene.

Cheadle is directing and starring in “Miles Ahead,” which is a fictionalized story about Davis, the legendary jazz musician.

Cheadle and a production team were at the vacant jail on the top floor of the safety building at 335 W. Third St., reportedly to shoot a scene in which Davis is incarcerated. In the late 1950s, Davis was arrested and jailed after being beaten by police officers outside of a New York City night club.

The film is set in New York but is being shot in Cincinnati.

Cheadle chose to film several scenes in Dayton and Kettering last week, and they are expected to appear in the finished film, city officials said. Filming will likely continue in the area in coming days.

“We have a lot of good locations,” said Karri O’Reilly, board member with FilmDayton.

Cheadle, who is best known for his roles in “Hotel Rwanda” and the “Iron Man” sequels, told Entertainment Weekly that the film will not be a traditional biographical movie.

“I want to tell a hot story that’s full of his music that feels impressionistic in that it finds a way to incorporate all his musical styles and influences and ideas,” Cheadle said.

Part of the film’s funding comes from the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, according to city officials.

After the tax credit program was established, the city of Dayton created its own Film And Screen Team program, which seeks to provide a single point of contact and local resources for filmmakers who chose to work in the city. The program is in partnership with FilmDayton.

“This project is a great example of how we are helping to grow the film production industry in Ohio,” said Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph in a prepared statement. Joseph helped launch the program.

The program team has assisted dozens of small film projects since 2009, though “Miles Ahead” is the largest film production in Dayton since the horror movie “True Nature” wrapped up in 2010.

The program has been recognized as a model program for other Ohio cities. Keith Klein, a senior development specialist in Dayton’s Office of Economic Development, has managed the program since its inception.

Filmmakers look for locations that are a creative fit but also that are cost effective, said O’Reilly, with FilmDayton.

“In this case, Ohio has a very, very advantageous tax credit program, which is not only fantastic for filmmakers, but several studies have shown it has a good net benefit for the state of Ohio,” she said.


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