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

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

Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Tonight I was reminded of a lesson my friend Joe Connolly taught me back when he was Propmaster of the long-forgotten Aaron Spelling series “Savannah”. That fabulous, opulent saga of murder and intrigue by the rich and powerful was actually being produced out of the drafty old storefront of a disused lumber yard more than half an hour north of Atlanta’s state capital . It was so far out of the way that I sometimes wondered if the owner (referred to by some as “Secret Squirrel”) was actually paying Aaron Spelling Continue reading Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Remembering Tate Nichols

tate-nichols-passing_001

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

Thoughts About Sarah’s Legacy

Sarah Jones Location Sign

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

The Mystery of Bunny’s Soft Mark

The Mystery of Bunny's Soft Mark - Another Drewprops Adventure

I was worried for my friend Joe Thomas. As the “First Camera Assistant” on our show he was directly responsible for making sure that actors were always in razor sharp focus, no matter where they were during a scene. Like all 1st ACs he accomplished this by turning a big fat dial on the side of the camera to match the actor’s distance from the Continue reading The Mystery of Bunny’s Soft Mark

Poor Man’s Pile-Up

Poor Man's Pile-Up

One day, during the first season of the Aaron Spelling television series “Savannah“, we found ourselves faced with shooting a scene between the characters Dean (David Gail) and Lane (Robyn Lively). The scene was set at night and featured our two actors sitting in a parked pickup truck beside a moderately busy highway. The problem was, it was in the middle of the day and we were inside the old lumber warehouse that had been converted into our ersatz stage.

We were going to have to fake it.

To simulate a busy highway in the out-of-focus background, it was decided that we’d use a clumsy Continue reading Poor Man’s Pile-Up

We Fly Real Fast

Richard and Carol LangDo any of you remember the mixture of giddy excitement and utter bafflement that swirled around the production of the “pre-pilot” for the Aaron Spelling series “Savannah” back in 1995? The production seemed to swing from silver spoon to shoestring with wild abandon. We were in high cotton during the swank wedding exteriors that we shot at the house of that Atlanta Barbecue sauce magnate (with the really hot redheaded trophy wife). And it wasn’t too bad when we shot at the clubhouse at Eagle’s Landing. But the day that we rolled into the as-yet-unfinished Delta terminal at Hartsfield International Airport? That was pure guerrilla filmmaking. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were really lucky to have Richard Lang directing.
Continue reading We Fly Real Fast

Highway To Glidden

Have Roller Will Travel

Have you ever been watching an old car chase movie and thought to yourself “Gee, there sure are a lot of skid marks right there…” just as the good guy’s car fishtails its way onto the asphalt exactly where you spotted the skid marks? Until the advent of computer graphics technology, long black trails of rubber were a thorn in the side of action film editors; these days you can hire a skilled computer artist to erase all those pesky skid marks over a long lunch. I personally never gave car chase skid mark continuity a thought until working Second Unit with my Propmaster friend Joe Connolly on a wreck of a movie named “Black Dog“, back in 1997.
Continue reading Highway To Glidden