It’s been almost two years since local ad agency Flipeleven changed Milwaukee forever with its “LoveMKE. Blow Up A Car” campaign. The Kickstarter campaign set out to raise $10,000 to film a car blowing up for use in a short film, which would then turn Milwaukee into a “creative powerhouse” or something. Shameless pandering to local pride paid off, of course: local media and arts groups dutifully jumped aboard, city officials got involved for some reason, the $10,000 goal was reached, and the goddamn car was blown up good in the Reed Street Yards. Then, like the career of Rick Moranis post-1997, nothing.

Until now. Yesterday, in the first “LoveMKE. Blow Up A Car” update since October 2012, Flipeleven assured the nearly 100 people who donated to the project (including yours truly) that the project was still, you know, a thing, even if it failed to turn Milwaukee into a Midwest movie mecca.

First, the film update:

All the footage has been transcoded, combed through, culled and edited into a real story. It took an incredibly long time, partly because of our lobbying efforts and partly because we can only work on it after-hours. Right now, volunteers are still working hard to finish the film—we’re in the process of colorizing the footage, designing sound effects and mixing sound, creating the soundtrack, and adding the credits. We appreciate your patience on sponsor gifts and the final product.

And now about those “lobbying efforts”:

After shooting wrapped, we began work on another component of the LoveMKE. Blow Up a Car. project, the Art Bomb initiative and subsequent lobbying effort. A bus full of art advocates from Milwaukee, along with other Arts groups, converged on Madison for an opportunity to impress upon our legislators the importance of art in the community and the economy. Alongside other film advocates, we talked with state congressmen and women about changing film tax incentives, which we believe will support not only other filmmakers in the community to make films like this one, but also benefit local businesses and result in increased tourism. The fight waged on, and ultimately our authoring and lobbying efforts were futile. Eventually the film tax incentives were stricken completely from the state budget. If there is a silver lining, it is that there is now room for a well-written bill to reinstate them.

Sadly, it seems like a press-friendly, social media-engineered lobbying stunt somehow failed to produce any real results, which totally sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Anyway, Flipeleven is promising another update in mid-June. Hopefully it won’t get lost in the flurry of inevitable press surrounding Milwaukee Record’s upcoming Kickstarter campaign, “LoveMKE. Just Give Us Some Money.”