The Southside Bar & Grill in Helen

This is a new installment in my series of posts over the years about by experiences on the movie Black Dog, which shot in Georgia and North Carolina. The lead photo was originally posted by user Python423 over on AdvRider.com back in 2007.

Second unit turned into a fighting unit once we made a company move to Helen to shoot some big truck stunts. Suddenly we were all out-of-towners and while we tried out all the local restaurants, a bar called The Southside Bar & Grill became our crew’s main hangout.

“The Southside Bar and Grill on the southern end of Main St. offers karaoke and live bands during the week and entices with big-screen TVs and pool tables (not to mention a tasty, casual menu).” – TripAdvisor.com

“Tasty, casual menu” my ass – we shot there almost five years before TripAdvisor even existed, and that place was a Continue reading The Southside Bar & Grill in Helen

Aints and Uncles: My Southern Thing

I can’t exactly remember the first time I heard someone refer to their parent’s sister as an “Ont”, but I was probably still a kid and it was probably said by a character on a television show. It might have been All in the Family or The Jeffersons, but in my heart I know that it was actually Continue reading Aints and Uncles: My Southern Thing

The Balkanization of Episodic Television

According to my social media feeds there are now MORE episodic series in production than there are people living in the ACTUAL United States. If you are like me, you have observed your friends posting about “TV shows” that you have NEVER EVEN HEARD OF BEFORE.

Sally posts “Oh I really enjoyed this week’s episode of Nuzzled!” while Petey posts “The season finale of Continue reading The Balkanization of Episodic Television

Thank You Governor Deal!

On Tuesday morning I drove up to the state capitol for ‘Film Day’, an annual event where members of Georgia’s film industry gather with the Governor and members of the state legislature to review the success of our state’s film tax credit in a public setting. As in previous years the crowd consisted of representatives from various film studios, business owners Continue reading Thank You Governor Deal!

Fischer’s Books in Riverdale

My life is now punctuated with occasions of cataloging the artifacts that my dad saved throughout his life. One of those artifacts I recently ran across was a coupon from a local used book store called Fischer’s Books.

I think my dad introduced me to Fischer’s around the time I was in junior high. Like any small town used book store in a shopping center off the main drag, it was a no frills place. Unlike the fancy book stores in the mall, the shelves in this place nearly reached the ceiling, and books were stacked in the aisles. They were everywhere. I’m sure that it was probably a fire hazard, but it was the late 70s and Continue reading Fischer’s Books in Riverdale

The Snowflake Slur

During a commercial break in last night’s Super Bowl I was intrigued to hear the unmistakeable voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, ringing out from the nearly 30 year old Sony Trinitron in our living room. I stopped fiddling on my phone and started watching. At first I assumed I was seeing something that the NFL had prepared in honor of Black History Month. But it looked all the world like a Continue reading The Snowflake Slur

The Time I Met Gary Duncan

I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot this week. One memory in particular. It was the late 1980s and I was still a college student. We were at the Burger King in Arrowhead Plaza, in Jonesboro. We had already eaten and were heading back out to the car when we spotted a strange looking truck parked off to the side of the restaurant facing toward highway 19/41.

The truck looked like it was covered with scaffolding – interconnected pipe rails ran from the front of the truck to the back, and the bed resembled a set of risers stepping down to the ground the further back it went. It looked crazy.

Behind that truck was a strange Continue reading The Time I Met Gary Duncan

2018 Georgia Film Day Call for Submissions

Thanks everyone! The video is complete and should run on Tuesday the 27th at the Georgia State Capitol and on the internet soon afterward. With this effort completed I have removed the upload link. We couldn’t have done this without contributions from the local community and I wanted to say thanks to those who had time to help out. The final cut is tight and is weighted toward clips with good lighting and clear audio. All the clips in the final were further trimmed so we could show a lot in a short amount of time. What I’m saying is: you may not be in the final – but you will likely be shared with the Governor and legislature soon after. Continue reading 2018 Georgia Film Day Call for Submissions

Dad’s Time Machine

It’s closing in on two years since I lost my dad. His memory dominates my thoughts tonight because I just finished spending a few hours working on cleaning up the basement where he kept nearly everything he had ever owned. It’s a combination of junk pile and museum. I like to think of it as a time machine for traveling back and spending more time with my dad, because his presence is so strong in that place.

Two years flies by quickly.

I was certain that the first year after his passing would be the hardest, and it was so terribly difficult in so many ways. The grief hit me the worst around 6 months after his passing, which coincided with his birthday. I never cry, but I sure did cry a lot that month.

My mother and I had spent so much of our time as caregivers we had ignored taking care of ourselves and we were ragged that first year. I had no idea of how badly in need of a reset I was.

Instinctively, I began avoiding stress. If I had the ability to eliminate something that made me feel bad, it was gone – whether it was a situation or a specific person. I circled my wagons and took care of myself.

I’m still doing that.

Even as my world was shrinking I was gaining perspective.

Cleaning up Dad’s Time Machine has been great therapy for me. It might take a few more years, but I’ll get there eventually.

And you will too.

 

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Soundtrack

I was in my second year of architecture school when the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure hit theaters. It was (and still is) a significantly absurd movie, but it was absurd in all the right places and had a most excellent soundtrack. Something that would appeal to a kid in his early 20s pulling all-nighters making drawings and architectural models.

At some point I discovered the soundtrack to the movie on cassette tape and I listened to it religiously until I knew the songs by heart and the order in which they played – the way that anybody raised during Continue reading Bill & Ted’s Excellent Soundtrack