Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Part 2 of 7 (9/24/15, DAY ONE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

This is Part 2 of 7.

Here's part 1: Part 1 of 7 (9/23/15, ARRIVAL): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

Day One of shooting 'Deaners' began on Thursday, September 24th, 2015. Sam Webb (DP) and Russell Stewart (Sound) and I met in the morning at Fairmount Camp where I was staying, and got into my tiny rental car to head off to The Outpost down the road, a down-home diner in Fairmount. 

Sam and Russell
I talked to them both over the phone before getting to Fairmount, and was happy to finally meet them face to face, connect and bond on any number of topics over breakfast, and set a game plan for the shoot. Sam comes from Chicago with a background of working on a good number of film and doc projects, including winning a regional Emmy for one that's a documentary. Here's a channel of his work. Russell is in the telecommunications department at Ball State University (in Muncie, Indiana) and has worked on a good number of projects himself. 

After breakfast, we did a test shoot with me as the test subject, and got our process down with camera, lights, and sound. We then rolled a little around the perimeter of Fairmount and got some shots of corn fields, barns, and threshers. 

Phil Ziegler in front of barn at JD farmhouse 
Then, on to Phil Ziegler's to interview him! He told us some stories on camera, some fun anecdotes, and realizing that we're shooting for this to be a short film (15-20 minutes maximum) it's going to be tough to round all this good stuff down! He showed us his collection of James Dean memorabilia, and then we went over to the farm that James Dean grew up on.

Myself, Russell, Phil, and Sam in garage with JD motorcylce. 
We got shots of the horses, and Phil showed us the barn where JD would play basketball during highschool with his friends that came over (hoop intact) and hand/foot prints in the cement inside the barn (also from when he was young). We were able to go inside a garage that was built later on on the land, that housed vintage JD movie posters, and restored (or preserved) vehicles, such as the
motorcycle JD would ride around in in Fairmount (and also LA) the car that he drove during highschool, and the tractor that was used on the farm. 

It was pretty cool to be there and match up a shot of the farmhouse (where JD was standing in front of in the shot below) to present day. 

We went off to lunch at El Metate Mexican Grill on Main Street, Fairmount. Main Street is pretty much a block (maybe two) of businesses. Some businesses off a few side streets here and there, but realizing how small this town really is. But really nice for that. 

After a late lunch, we caught more of the town and met Chad
Hanna at the Memorial park in the town center that has a matching bust of James Dean, same as the one at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, by artist Kenneth Kendall. 

Off we went to interview Chad on the porch of the place he was staying at (bed and breakfast). He is the president of the James Dean Remembered Fan Club, and told us about the fan club, about Fairmount and his visits there, and being a fan himself. He was so awesome to take us on a tour of other JD sites in Fairmount, including the old, nearly torn down highschool that JD went to, the
water tower with painted images of JD and Garfield the cat (as Jim Davis the artist of Garfield is from Fairmount, as well) and Chad drove us to the perimeters of the town to get more shots of corn, barns, and threshers! We also caught Main Street starting to get shut down, and a preliminary car show right there on Main Street. 

Chad Hanna, Marcus Winslow Jr, Phil Ziegler, and myself
I also met Marcus Winslow, Jr. ('Markie') who was the young cousin of James Dean in the famous photo spread by Dennis Stock (for Life Magazine). He had grown up with JD, and after his parents died (aunt and uncle), he inherited the house and farm. He's a great ambassador to the town and memory... and is gracious and generous with fans that visit Fairmount. I'll admit I was a little nervous in meeting him. But he was friendly and laid back. 

James and Dean performing at the James Dean Gallery
We then went to the James Dean Gallery. The James Dean Gallery is a place that houses an extensive private exhibit and collection of archivist David Loehr. It also sells books and collectibles related to James Dean. We didn't have a chance to pop inside just yet, as there was to be a performance on the porch...We were introduced to James and Dean by their manager, Rob Jarrell, and found out that they would be performing. James and Dean are 16 year old twins who are musicians, as well. After a quick introduction to the
onlookers by David Loehr, they performed their song 'Forever 24', which is a nod to James Dean and the age that he had died. We were able to catch this on camera as well. Afterwards, James and Dean signed autographs inside the gallery. 

Day One of shooting was done at this point (around dusk)... Sam and Russell went off to Muncie, and I did some grocery store shopping for an early breakfast for the next day at the cabin, as we had a very early call... Trucks were unloading carnival rides at this point at night, and you start to also see booths start to get set up on Main Street. 

To Be Continued... (Part 3 below) 

I would love it if you could 'Like' my page (if you haven't already), which is free! For more updates and to follow along with the film page, please visit and 'Like':   Deaners-The Movie.   

Thanks! - David Garry 


Here's part 3: Part 3 of 7 (9/25/15, DAY TWO): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

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