Location, location, location

That’s the old real-estate mantra, but it works for movie-making, too. It’s been a bit slow here in Austin, but now the Fried Worms movie is in the making. Perhaps you’ve noticed some of the casting calls. Maybe some part of your world has been scouted as a potential location (watch out for people unknown to you walking around and taking pictures of everything). The state Film Commission usually has some information about productions, specifically and in general.

The Film Commission keeps a database of potential locations. It this resource that led a production company to our very neighborhood a few hot summers ago. We hope never to repeat the experience so close to home, but I see that it’s happening all over again just mere blocks away.

Our first word was via a next-door neighbor, who reported that her house would be used “for a couple of days.” It all went on for many, many days. And generators were spewing forth noise and Diesel fumes around the clock. When we complained, we were offered free nights out of the house. This offer we refused, having already seen that we needed to be on the premises because the crew would take to sawing off tree limbs and chopping down shrubbery if not stopped. The filming also attracted gawkers, who left trash. Some neighbors had the pleasure of cooking smells from the commissary set up. Others had their driveways blocked and were unable to park anywhere at all near their houses.

There came a time when the production needed a place to lay heavy cables of various sorts. Some people gave permission for free. We were fed up by that time and refused access. They tried the same thing on an adjoining neighbor, in her upper 90s in age. She consulted us and we advised her to hold out. Eventually, both households received very decent recompense for granting access to cross the properties. It was another such summer as this has been up until recently, extremely hot and with no prospects of rain. The production, though, had arranged for stunt rain, provided by the most beautiful little vintage LaFrance pumper that anybody’s ever seen. And the owner arranged for a lot of the rain to fall in our yard, and on us, out sitting in our lawn chairs in the dark.

After all that, the movie never attained theatrical release. Its working title was changed and it was aired on a cable channel. But we still talk about our artificial rain.

1 Comment so far

  1. pylorns (unregistered) on July 21st, 2005 @ 5:40 pm

    Yeah I heard on the radio the other day they were looking for Families to come to their casting calls. Gotta love Austin for its blooming movie industry.

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