Archive | July, 2011

Montgomery to Alabama

30 Jul

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Montgomery to Selma, A Journey Back

30 Jul

The last few days have found us taking the scenic route as we head for Mississippi. With a desire to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement, we headed to Montgomery Alabama.

Montgomery is a place dripping with history. It’s incredibly humbling to walk the streets, knowing that this is where so much history has taken place. The streets we walk on are the same that the activists walked on. The churches and the buildings we go through are the same where change was taking shape 60-7o years ago. You walk through a city, and sometimes, you forget what the world did before your feet found the pavement. That’s what Montgomery was for us. We wanted to see where everything changed. Where the Capital, once a beacon of Confederate oppression, towers above the streets of change and progress, somehow, these two opposing forces still coexist. The people, the history, the pulse of life in Montgomery really got to us. Sad we had to leave it.

From there, we went to Selma. Selma, also a big catalyst for MLK’s movement, has seen better days. The economic collapse hit the people hard. You head over the famous bridge to find the Main Street with so many varieties of architecture and personality — it feels like a new world. You get closer, and many of the buildings have “FOR RENT” signs, many are abandoned and broken. It’s troubling to find this vibrant city fallen on hard times. But it’s clear to see that the people still push on, the folks still have a beating heart left in them. There are still the sights and sounds and noises that call to an earlier age of excitement and purpose.

As night fell, we headed to the Elk’s Lodge for some Blues and to meet new friends. We had such a blast. Everyone was dancing and singing. The merriment was palpable. It was encouraging to see the people of this town, who have seen it through both light and dark, still banding together to enjoy the family they created.  The smiles never left them. Selma will find a way to bounce back, that’s for sure. With people who care, people who continue to push onward despite the hardships, this town will begin again. The paint will find a new coat, the streets will brighten again, and Selma will be stronger. Stocks can rise and fall, houses can lose their foundation, but you can’t break the community that lives and loves like Selma.

 

WCTV in Tallahassee

30 Jul

http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/European_Filmmakers_Find_Amsterdam_in_South_Georgia_126285878.html

Georgia Clay. Watch out.

29 Jul

It was quite the day.

We began with visiting the local sheriff, Wiley Griffin, at the Decatur County Jail. We couldn’t have asked for a more accommodating person. Sheriff Griffin was amazing. He helped out with anything we asked.

First, we shot some footage of the Sheriff at his place of work. Despite the early morning Georgia gnats, we were able to get all the shots we wanted.

The big goal of the day was to head to Amsterdam Road and take some footage. One of the Sheriff’s deputies, Dana, agreed to come by and be a part of the film. By noon, we all joined up there. Sheriff also got in touch with the local media down in Tallahassee and had them come by. Caroline Gonzmart showed up. She was such a trooper through the whole thing.

Despite a rainstorm that delayed us about two hours, we made it back to the site. The first shot was a crane shot. We didn’t have a crane, so we managed to acquire a front loader. DP Ben and Rob headed onto the lift, tri-pod all good to go, and rolled camera. Somehow, we made it work. And Dana did amazing. We had her walk down the dirt road until the end of the trees. I’ll tell you, there is something special about a dirt road in Georgia, just after a downpour.

Then, it was onto the goodbye shots. The trucks headed a little further down the road, hoping for more open spaces. Well, what we found is that you can’t really compete with Georgia clay after a rainstorm. It thickens and you will get stuck. After two other rigs tried to save us, we finally got out of the car and headed back to camp. We did some work we could still do, did the goodbye shot in a different car, and waited for the clay to lessen. Finally, this guy came by and used his big truck to get us out. 30 minutes later, another rig came by and also  got the front loader home free.

You go into each day, and you never know what’s going to happen. But you make due, and soldier on. Endless thanks to Sheriff Griffin and his fantastic staff. A big thank you to the guys who came to help us out of the clay. Georgia has been one of the most memorable places we have been to.

Now, we’re on our way to Alabama. Keep a look out!

Lake Seminole

26 Jul

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Here we are on Lake Seminole. A big thank you to Dub for the boat, and Jacquie, Jackson, and Cody for putting together the best country trio this side of Georgia. We caught a sunset that only Georgia could give you. It was the kind of day of shooting where everything goes right for you.

 

Bainbridge Great, Jack Wingate

25 Jul

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We met Jack Wingate at Wingate’s lodge. We talked fishing, we talked about his life. In Bainbridge, Mr Wingate is a treasure. Through every piece of wood, through every clap of the water, people know who he is.

We also had the chance to meet his daughter and grandson.

Jack Wingate is a true American.

Georgia

23 Jul

We have made it into the heart of Georgia.

Yesterday, we became brutally aware of how hot it is down here. The country is experiencing a heat wave, and we are feeling it big-time.

We found ourselves on the Hog Farm of the Stephensons. They are lovely people. We took some shots of their farm, we tried to get the hog involved. Word of warning: 400-pound hogs are not easily tamed. Finally, we managed to get it under control and take some photos.

From there, it was off to visit the King of BBQ, Myron Mixon. He’s a friend of our DP, Ben, and he was just the best person to meet; fun, opinionated, adventurous — an all-around great guy. Wait for the interview. It’s going to be great.

More to come as we travel around Georgia, discovering all the stories that make it something special.

The amazing and brilliant Russell Banks

23 Jul

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Great Newspaper Article

20 Jul

Rebecca and Ann Amsterdam, NY

20 Jul

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