Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 2 of Filming Jayne Mansfield's Car

For those of you who are tired of hearing about this movie, I can tell you that this is probably the last entry, unless I rouse myself to watch the filming tomorrow night, which is doubtful. There's also an outdoor concert/dance scene to be filmed tonight behind the West, with Dwight Yoakum, but I don't see me walking over for that, either.  A couple of hours standing around waiting for some action to happen was quite enough for me, thank you very much.  But, I do have a bunch of photos to share.

Talking to people around me, I learned that one of yesterday's scenes was a bunch of hippies protesting the Vietnam war.  Kevin Bacon is one of the hippies, apparently.

I've been meaning to post an 'after' shot of the West Theater, with its new paint job.  Compare this to the original, below.

The 'real' West Theater

The streets were lined with cars of the era. Amazing they found so many!

The trusty steed that sat in front of the dime store next to my grandfather's barbershop.  I have clear memories of begging to be allowed to ride it!  Sometimes I got my wish, sometimes I didn't.

This is Hollywood's solution to handicap ramps at street crossings.  Very temporary, but from the street the curbs look quite real.

Spectators, cops and crew standing around waiting for some action to happen.  Much more of this than actual action!

More childhood memories.

Wonderful old police car.

On a side street in a big parking lot lie lots of big white trucks and lots of trailers.  This is where the real action takes place!  There were plenty of people standing around waiting to see a star arrive or depart, but I wasn't really interested in that. Someone in town said they saw Kevin Bacon this morning out walking his dog.

Same area where the trailers are.

This is where the concert scene will be filmed tonight.

It takes an amazing number of big white trucks to make a movie!

Check out the albums in this music shop!

Kevin Bacon cupcakes from Crickett's Cakes. They were actually very tasty.

Billy Bob and his family arrived in a golf cart after some cars had been set up on the street.

The entire scene consisted of cars driving down the street and people walking down the street.  They did this several times, then the crew and cameras went down to the other end of the street, to the left of this shot, and they did it again to get it from another direction.

Then Billy Bob and his family walked back to the other end,  posed for some pictures with local dignitaries, then hopped in his golf cart and left.  

Not surprisingly, the inside of Moore's has also been transformed.  I would imagine there will be scenes filmed in here (otherwise, why fix the inside up?)

Old movie posters at the West.

And -- souvenir t-shirts, which I finally broke down and bought.  It's not the kind of thing I tend to wear, but it's large enough to sleep in. These are available from the Cedarstream Company here in town, who made them, if you want one. 770-748-0608 or click on link.

So, after Billy Bob whisked away in his golf cart the crew began setting up for another scene, but it didn't seem as if it were going to happen anytime soon, so I decided enough was enough and walked back home.  I'm glad I went down for awhile, and I can say I was inside the bakery when I actually see the movie.  For whatever that's worth.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another Update on Jayne Mansfield's Car Filming!

Update Thursday morning:  Here's a link to the local newspaper showing first day's filming photos.  Here's another with Billy Bob and some fans that also has a link to a video. On the same page with that video, look for another on the sidebar 'Cedartown goes '60s'.  I can't make a link to that one work, but it has great shots of various stores and good interviews.  Rain began in mid-afternoon and has continued all night with no let up in sight for awhile.  Not sure what that'll do to their schedule, but I plan to be down there this afternoon by 1pm to find out!

They start filming tomorrow, go through Friday, so I thought I'd take a walk around town to see what it all looks like.  They're still painting signs and hanging signs and getting things ready, but the city has Main Street closed off in that area so we residents are free to wander around at will, talk to folks, see what's going on.  I saw the city manager, one city commissioner and the streets manager, all of whom I know.  The streets manager gave me a copy of the shooting schedule from the production company.  One of the workers told me that yes, we can watch the filming, said that one particular local store was going to be open and would have the best view of the action, and that whoever was in there when they start shooting will need to (!) stay in there while they shoot.  They won't be shooting constantly -- just for 20 minutes or so at a time. The street will be open except for the actual shooting time.

There's a lot of buzz downtown -- you can feel it in the air.  Here are my pics from the morning.

One tidbit that I picked up from the city commissioner.  That mechanical hobby-horse beneath the brown awning is the original one that sat in front of the dime store that was next to my grandfather's barber shop!  He said he'd ridden it plenty as a kid, and so did I.  Hard to see it here -- can't believe I didn't get a decent photo of it.

Main Street at West Avenue, a couple of weeks ago

The same scene, more or less, today.  They actually did remove those new traffic lights and standards and walk lights, and have worked on the crosswalks.

Moores, a couple of weeks ago.

Moore's today -- with more authentic Rexall colors.

What I thought was going to be a bar is actually a barber.

The far end of the 'set'.

This new local business hadn't had a chance to get signs on the windows, so the movie folks painted it for her, and kept the name.  This is one of the stores that are front-and-center at the intersection.

There was one just like this in my grandfather's barber shop.  Could be the same one.

Takes a lot of power to shoot a movie!
I won't be able to watch tomorrow, unless it's after work, but I can sure wander down there on Thursday and check out the action.  They'll be filming behind the West Theater on Thursday night and IN FRONT of it on Friday night, as well as daytime stuff inside and outside various shops.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

From Main Street to Movie Set

Changes are really happening downtown, and with good reason: filming begins next week.  Last I heard they'd be re-striping the road on Saturday, then beginning Sunday Main Street will be closed intermittently all day every day through Thursday of next week.  Also last I heard, they plan to put the cars of the era on the street Tuesday night so everything will be ready for filming on Wednesday, although that may have changed.  I just took a brief stroll through downtown to check it out and take a few photos.

All of the old storefronts on the blocks around the intersection are being changed.  Fortunately or unfortunately, lots of them are empty.  Binderson Hardware, for example, doesn't exist and I believe the property to its right has a fresh coat of green paint, although I wouldn't swear to that.

All of the signs on the upper parts of the buildings are new -- such as this Jewelry sign.  I asked one of the workers if they were going to leave anything behind when they were finished, and he said they'd probably leave the signs, which is interesting.

Oh no!  A bar on Main Street!  You can't read the signs painted on the windows here, but they are turning it into a bar.  The citizens will turn over in their graves.  Polk County was dry until just a few short years ago, and alcohol is still seen as an instrument of the devil.  Do you think maybe that comes from the County's notorious bootlegging past?  I think the awning here is new, and a new paint job.

Moores is being transformed, too -- all new signs painted on the windows, new red trim, and work going on inside.  I was tempted to poke my head inside to see what they're doing, but didn't want to be run off.  Chicken.

Lots of new signs on the other side of the intersection.  The blue-striped awning is actually a deli/cafe with its name on the glass. I'm wondering what they're going to do with that.  The sidewalk tables are new.  The wide tan awning toward the end of the block is new, I think.  They were working on it one day when I drove past.

Another tid-bit of information I've gleaned from a little web-searching is that the movie has nothing to do with Jayne Mansfield or her death, despite the title.  It's a story of 'human relationships' that  Robert Duvall described as 'brilliant'.  One character, presumably his, is faced with an interesting dilemma when the wife who left him behind in Alabama sometime between WWI and WWII to marry an Englishman dies and wants to be buried back in Alabama.  Her old family meets up with her new English family, and things get interesting from there.  There are also three brothers involved somehow.  If you're curious, spend a little time with Google and you'll find more info.

That's it for today.  I'm going to try to get some photos next Thursday of some action.  They did say we'd be able to watch the filming if we want to, and I have a good zoom lens.  We'll see.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nature Photography Day

Did you know that June 15 is Nature Photography Day? I didn't, either, until yesterday.  The GATC is asking for photos from members taken today.

I did my best with what I had to work with, but since I had to go outside before 7am this morning to take a few in the dim light, it's not as good as I would have liked.  By the time I got home tonight -- even now -- the skies are dark and thunder is rumbling.

Another gorgeous pink/apricot poppy in my back yard.  They come in a whole range of colors, but this was the best of today's bunch.  I'd have liked better focus and resolution -- but before 7am with a hand-held camera, this was as good as I could manage. I do love the colors!

The real nature story around these parts this evening has been the hail storms, accompanied by thunder and lightning and wind and rain.  This was the second of two that swept through, and there may be more yet to come.  Tore big holes in my baby limas!

Couldn't stop the motion while that hail was -- well -- hailing down.   This was ugly stuff, and lots of it.  But, assuming my roof survived all is well and the garden has gotten a really good watering.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My latest project....

Aside from being an eyesore, this old, beat-up medicine cabinet  was placed too high on the wall. I could only see the top half of my head.  For the last year or so I've been thinking of replacing the cabinet with a mirror.

Last week I decided to drive to Cave Spring and check out the antique stores to see if I could find  a decent price on a mirror sized to fit (cover the hole plus extend more toward the sink).  I found this one for $20, and snapped it right up. I wasn't crazy about the frame, but that didn't matter because I had other plans for it anyway.  The mirror is good and has beveled edges, which is nice.

Came home and sanded off the old finish and gold leaf trim, then played with it a bit.  First, I put a wash of leftover blue paint on it and scuffed it up some when it dried, but that looked too white.  So, I put a wash of leftover green paint on it, then scuffed it up some more.  Actually, I did a good bit more after this photo was taken.  I wanted it to look old, and it does.

So, this morning I tackled getting it on the wall.  Naturally, the old cabinet did not come out easily -- the screws holding it in place didn't want to budge and I had to pry the last one out, but I got it out.

This probably isn't necessary, but it can't hurt and it gives me some small sense that it'll keep critters from coming through the hole.

And -- here it is!  Too bad that ugly cord has to be there, but  there is only one electrical outlet in the room and it's too  high for me to reach to plug and unplug, so it stays.  The discerning eye might notice that it's not centered on the vanity, but neither was the original, and the hole had to be covered.  I would have placed it lower on the wall, but again, it barely covers the hole at the top.  Someday, if and when this room ever gets a facelift, all this can be solved.  For now, I'm happy to have a real, usable mirror here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jayne Mansfield's Car filming update

For later updates, check newer posts, click on label at bottom!

The local newspaper has announced online today that the movie company is looking for local people to be extras, and looking for cars of the era.  Filming is due to begin around the third week in June.

I've been curious to see what changes they would make downtown -- clearly, it will need a little work to make it look like 1969 not 2011.  I've also wondered where they would be filming downtown.  Now I know -- some of it, anyway.  The two places named in the story are Moore's Soda Fountain and the West Theater -- both of which carry fond memories of my childhood in this town, and both of which are relatively unchanged over those intervening 60 or so years.

Moore's was for many years a pharmacy, drug store and served the local ladies needs for cosmetics.   It's currently for sale and pretty much unchanged.  Hollywood, however, has already begun changing the building to suit their needs.  This long side, where the red and beige now lie, is normally covered with murals for various local businesses.  Those coverings will be painted to look like brick, and are removable once shooting is complete.  If I had money, I'd love to buy this place and re-open.  Doesn't look as if the last person with that idea had much success.

Hard to photograph through dirty glass with the sun coming up behind you!  But, you can get a sense of the soda  fountain, which was perhaps my favorite place in the entire town, aside from my grandfather's barber shop just down the block. Fountain Cokes and the best chicken salad sandwich I ever ate.  Yum. You can bet that Hollywood will have this place up and running for the movie -- I don't expect there are lots of these left, especially in such pristine condition.  There weren't any tables back in the day -- that entire area was packed with tall cosmetic stands and a cosmetic counter.  The pharmacy was way in the back with just an access window.

I spent countless hours here!  A dime would give us entry into an all day double feature of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, musicals and most other movies that came to town. Once inside, you could literally stay all day.  It was a Saturday ritual for the local kids, and the mom's didn't have to worry about babysitters because we were glued to the screen, even if we saw something twice.  Didn't matter. I remember once when my dad got home from Japan around 1952 he came down here and dragged me home, really pissed off, one Saturday afternoon when he had something else in mind for me.  This, too, is virtually unchanged since my childhood, although the paint job is new. I haven't been inside yet, but my understanding is that the inside has been as lovingly maintained and restored as the outside.

When you get right down to it, the entire downtown has been preserved virtually unchanged.  We did have a traffic light at this intersection, but no walk lights. Wonder what they'll do about those?

The town is starting to buzz, and I'm not someone who's really in the loop for those things.  A kid at the local hardware store this morning was talking about it -- he'd read the same online article I did this morning.  This location is only a couple of blocks from my house. I doubt that we citizens will get much opportunity to actually watch what's going on, but it should be fun anyway.

Gonna be another scorcher today.  I did a little gardening, plan to spend my day indoors where it's cool, reading.  I do have to bake brownies sometime today, but will put that off until late in the day when the kitchen is already hot from the day.