My friend Katie Willard Troebs called me today and told me that Burt Reynolds was in heaven with JL, a legendary transportation captain we all knew and loved. We lost JL nearly a year ago. JL and his wife Cindy were longtime friends with Burt and have several hysterical tales of regular life incidents with him. After Katie and I ended our call I began thinking back to the spring of 2010, when I was struck by a sudden, inexplicable nostalgia for the movie Smokey and the Bandit.
Sure, I enjoyed the movie when I was growing up, but I was more of a Star Wars kid which made it kind of odd that I suddenly felt compelled to track down a copy of the original soundtrack from the movie. At that time I couldn’t find the album in an MP3 format, so I ordered an old CD from someone on eBay. It was crazy, but the only deal I found was from some dude over in England. That’s right, England. When the package made it across the ocean I cut open the envelope only to discover that I had paid for Continue reading Saying Goodbye to The Bandit
On Wednesday my friend Denise mentioned that she’d been saddened to learn of the passing of a 1st AC she had worked with recently. She linked to a video (included below) and out of curiosity I clicked play. The man in the video looked kind of familiar and after the fourth or fifth time hearing the name “Zoran” I finally realized that I had actually worked with him on the feature Sweet Home Alabama.
Zoran joined our crew when production replaced our 1st AC on A camera. It’s always an uncomfortable day when you lose a focus puller, and kind of bad Continue reading Focus on Zoran Veselic
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
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!
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
This is my 20th year as a member of an international film union best known as IATSE, which is an acronym for a 4-mile long run-on sentence describing what its members do and the incredibly specific places where they do them. It’s my theory that nobody actually knows all the words in the actual title of the organization and instead just make up something, hoping that nobody calls them out on Continue reading The Time We Saved Georgia’s Film Industry
In the early hours of Saturday morning word went out that our friend Tate Nichols had passed away in North Georgia, and my condolences go out to all of his loved ones. For those of us who have not seen Tate in recent years the news of his death has been a shock. In the “old school” Atlanta film circle it has been felt most keenly, especially by my friends in the art department, many of whom have worked side by side with Tate for Continue reading Remembering Tate Nichols
[See update at the end of this blog post] This past Sunday there was an Atlanta screening of the upcoming Marvel film Ant-Man, featuring comedic actor Paul Rudd in the lead role (YouTube clip). I’m told that among the dignitaries in the audience was Georgia Governor Nathan Deal who, along with a number of our state legislators has been a major supporter of our state’s motion picture industry. Governor Deal has been especially outspoken about Georgia’s plans to continue growing its film industry, going so far as to Georgia Night in L.A. to thank studio executives who have shot in Georgia and to woo more who might consider filming here in the future. It’s unlikely that anyone made a transcript of the Governor’s remarks to the gathered cast and crew of Ant-Man (because I haven’t heard them either), but I’ve been told that his Continue reading Growing Pains
It was a week today when the news of Sarah Jones’ death began spreading around Atlanta. I didn’t even know the girl’s name last Thursday. A lot has happened in just a week – now it seems that everyone knows Sarah’s name and at least something about her life.
The Slates for Sarah page on Facebook skyrocketed into a very powerful and emotional movement in a very short amount of time and the people who have run the page have been diligent and loving with the project. A friend who works on Homeland tracked me down in Minecraft to tell me that my blog post “Sarah was all of us” had been posted on his wall multiple times (I couldn’t even hide myself from this tragedy in a video game). Every morning I wake up to find new posts on the slates page from all over the production spectrum, from tiny insert slates to Continue reading Thoughts About Sarah’s Legacy
Dolly grip Tripp Pair has been handing out little stickers that say “Stop and Care” for several years now, and he’s been so very earnest about it. He has meant it with every fiber of his being and I saw him sharing #stopandcare on Facebook again this morning and was moved to write about something that’s been on my mind.
This past Thursday a young woman named Sarah Jones, a member of our local film community, died on the set of a movie shooting in south Georgia. She was hit by a train. We all hold the strong suspicion that she died due to some very bad decisions made by the people producing the film, but that suspicion has not been confirmed by criminal investigators (not yet, anyway). While the final assignment of blame is still under investigation, Atlanta crews have been mourning the loss of their friend and of a bright young woman whose lifetime of cinematic adventure ended far too soon.
So many people have written about Sarah and shared stories and photos and clippings about her. I appreciated the Continue reading Sarah was all of us