Monday, November 23, 2015

Part 7 of 7 (9/30/15, DAY FIVE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

This is Part 7 of 7. 

Here's part 1: Part 1 of 7 (9/23/15, ARRIVAL): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 2: Part 2 of 7 (9/24/15, DAY ONE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 3: Part 3 of 7 (9/25/15, DAY TWO): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 4: Part 4 of 7 (9/26/15, DAY THREE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 5: Part 5 of 7 (9/27/15, DAY FOUR): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 6: Part 6 of 7 (9/28/15, INDIANAPOLIS): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

September 30th is the anniversary of the death of James Dean. He died in a tragic car accident in Cholame, CA (on the way to a race that would take place in Salinas the following day). 2015 marks the 60th anniversary since that fated day in 1955. 

On this day in Fairmount, Indiana there are traditions in place to continue to remember and celebrate James Dean. 

Sam (Dir.of Photography), Deaners Naomi Yamada, and Katherine L. Fogg
Day Five for 'Deaners' was with just a 1-man crew! It was Sam Webb, our Director of Photography, who had not only shot footage on his camera, he also rigged up a boom and/or shotgun mic, when necessary to catch any sound that was needed. I had already gone back to L.A. by this point, and Russell was back at Ball State University. 

Maxwell Caulfield at Memorial Service
There was a lunch put on at the Back Creek Friends church. This preceded the Memorial Service there. This particular church was the one that James Dean would go to as a young'n with family. There was a good number of speakers at the memorial service, including Phil Ziegler, Lee Raskin, Lew Bracker, and Maxwell Caulfield (of Grease 2 and Empire Records fame). I'm SO sad I missed meeting Maxwell Caulfield. Most who knew me in elementary school know how much I loved Grease 2. Dang. 

At the grave of James Dean, 60 years to the day of the accident. 
Those that were at the memorial service then made their way on foot to the nearby Park Cemetery (James Dean's final resting place). This is where Naomi Yamada had ceremoniously placed her handmade 1,000 paper crane bouquet on the grave with the help of others. Group photos were taken... and all readied for a once-in-a-lifetime special occasion that was to happen next on the agenda. 

Sam capturing the monument at the JD birth site after the dedication ceremony
David Loehr of the James Dean Gallery had spearheaded a project to put a monument and park at the actual birth site of James Dean, just 10 miles away in Marion, Indiana. It came out beautifully, and the dedication ceremony was emceed by Pamela Des Barres, with speakers also including Lew Bracker and Marcus Winslow Jr. Maxwell Caulfield was on hand to cut the ribbon at the well-attended dedication. 

Candelight vigil around the grave at night on Sept. 30th
Deaners then went back to the grave as night fell, to hold a candlelight vigil at 8:45pm (the time of 5:45pm PST) when the fateful accident occurred. People shared stories, lines from his films, remarked on how he brought them together, and spent this time together as a group, thanking him, making wishes, and celebrating his life. 

All of this day Sam was able to catch moments to use for the film... and by the end of the day, 'Deaners' the film was officially wrapped (shooting finished). 

Official poster art for 'Deaners', the film 
A good number of hours of footage was shot over 5 days for this short form documentary. And we look forward to sharing the finished product for audiences out there in the world. The film should be completed by the beginning of February 2016. Next step after that, it would be submitted for film festivals to hopefully garner attention and larger audiences, rolling the dice for the chance for it to be played in different theaters. After festival season is over, and the chances of it playing in theaters in different locales has come to an end, it will then be released online for all to see. There is a lot that goes into the process of finishing a film, and we look forward to sharing our steps as we go along on our 'Deaners' Facebook page. Notably (current news), the poster for the film (credits come later) is above, and was recently created by graphic designer (and James Dean lookalike contest participant) Nolan Karwoski. 

It was a great trip to Fairmount, Indiana for the annual James Dean festival. I'm glad that I've documented the trip while it was still fresh in my mind (in this blog), and I'm glad to be able to be so inspired as to produce a film that captures the loyal and dedicated fans of legendary actor and cultural icon, James Dean. 

THE END (of this particular travelogue blog, that is).  ;) 

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 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Part 6 of 7 (9/28/15, INDIANAPOLIS): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

This is Part 6 of 7. 

Here's part 1: Part 1 of 7 (9/23/15, ARRIVAL): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 2: Part 2 of 7 (9/24/15, DAY ONE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 3: Part 3 of 7 (9/25/15, DAY TWO): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 4: Part 4 of 7 (9/26/15, DAY THREE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 5: Part 5 of 7 (9/27/15, DAY FOUR): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

I woke up in the morn at Fairmount Camp around 9am, and eased into it... got some coffee in their rec room, and started loading my little rental car to head off to CMG Headquarters in Indianapolis... 

I wanted one more look at Main Street Fairmount, Indiana to see what it was like after the crowds have all gone. It was still being packed up, but the town was much quieter. I popped by the Fairmount Historical Museum once more, and out front was Phil
Ziegler, Cole Reeves, and I had an opportunity to meet Jason Carpenter, the emcee of the Dance contest and James Dean lookalike contests from Saturday night. Phil was the last guy I talked to before driving out of Fairmount. Such a great spirit. I've talked to him a few times on the phone since then to share what's going on in our lives, in addition to Chad Hanna. :)  I filled up the car with gas ($2.29 a gallon?!). Sooo different than Los Angeles. I don't remember the last time I had seen it below the $3.00 range... 

CMG Worldwide Headquarters in Indianapolis, IN
I was glad to have a rural route to go down towards Indianapolis (the same way I came) to catch all the small towns along the way. I made my way to CMG WorldWide Headquarters (a virtual tour at that website) in Indianapolis. They act as representatives to some celebrities (living or dead) and their estates. Their most famous clients are James Dean, Bettie Page, Betty Davis, Hugh Hefner, some of Marilyn Monroe, and other sports and historical figures. 

Some James Dean items that CMG Worldwide licenses 
They have a museum of sorts where they have some celebrity artifacts at the headquarters, and they also have a gift shop of items that they brand and license out with the celebs likeness and name. It's mostly James Dean and Bettie Page related items that they churn out regularly from their downstairs mail room. Through this and other related reasons, James Dean is #13 for the Top Dead Celebrity Earners of 2015, at 8.5 Million

Around this beautiful building is also artwork, larger framed versions of famous postage stamps featuring these celebrities, a few frames (framed) of celluloid from the actual films such as 'Rebel Without a Cause' or 'Giant', etc... and more. I had been given a tour of the place, and then had met with a couple of attorneys there to get a brief 101 on licensing (James Dean) images and such (that they have jurisdiction over) for my film, if I were to choose to go down that road.  

After we said our goodbyes, I had made my way to the airport in Indianapolis, to prepare for my flight back home to Los Angeles. Sam (Director of Photography) was staying behind in Muncie to be able to go back to Fairmount for one last day of shooting (him being a one man crew) for September 30th...the day of the memorial service and more, which would be exactly 60 years later (to the day) of the tragic accident that had taken James Dean's life... 

To Be Continued... (Part 7 of 7 is 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 is part 7 of 7: Part 7 of 7 (9/30/15, DAY FIVE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Part 5 of 7 (9/27/15, DAY FOUR): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

This is Part 5 of 7. 

Here's part 1: Part 1 of 7 (9/23/15, ARRIVAL): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 2: Part 2 of 7 (9/24/15, DAY ONE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 3: Part 3 of 7 (9/25/15, DAY TWO): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 4: Part 4 of 7 (9/26/15, DAY THREE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

Day Four of shooting was going to be a quieter one. There was still a good amount of people there for the car run and carnival rides, booths, of the James Dean Festival, etc. But it would start to pack up by the afternoon. 

We started off with a quick breakfast from Subway. Hard to believe that a fast food chain had infiltrated this small town, but it did. I think apart from the Village Pantry (convenience store chain in the midwest), this was the only other chain in Fairmount, Indiana, however. 

Scott Brimigion in front of the farmhouse James Dean grew up in. 
 We worked on getting more establishing shots of the town (more corn!), and more signs that said 'Welcome James Dean Fans'. I wanted to get driveby shots of the cemetary, and of the farmhouse JD grew up on. At one point, we drove past the farmhouse, and Russell had pointed out that one of the JD lookalikes was there posing in front of it...and maybe we should turn around. We went back to the house, and lo and behold, it was Scott Brimigion there at the house, in lookalike mode (who we had seen at the contest the night before). It was a great opportunity to get an interview with someone else we hadn't planned on, who shared his experience with us on being a lookalike, and adding something fun to the fandom. 

Russell, Sam, Me, Naomi, and Chad
We then went off to the James Dean Gallery to meet up with Naomi Yamada for her interview. She comes from Japan each year to the James Dean festival, and makes a paper crane bouquet out of 1,000 small handmade paper cranes sewn together. Read about the origin of the meaning behind 1,000 cranes here. She places this bouquet on the grave each year after the memorial service. After getting some shots on her finishing up some cranes, we brought her to the place Chad Hanna (President of the James Dean Remembered Fan Club) was staying at, a B&B. Special thanks to Kathi Solms of Fairmount for opening up her home to allow us to use it as an interview location. Naomi was fun to talk to and to hear her story of how she became a fan, and why she keeps coming back each year. 

We then went back to the James Dean Gallery, and captured a small tour of it on camera with Chad. After that, Sam, Russell, and I went off to shoot more...catching the grave at a different time of day, the water tower with JD and Garfield on it, Friends Church (where the JD funeral was held). It wasn't where the family typically went for services, but it was the church in town that could handle the numbers of people that came out for the funeral in 1955. 

We had shot just a little more of the carnival atmosphere of booths, rides, crowds and all, and Sam and Russell convinced me to have my first ever pork tenderloin from one of the carnival booths, which is a must have in the midwest for sure. It was pretty HUGE and quite funny that it had a little bun on the top/bottom of it, which took up maybe 25% of the space of the tenderloin. But it was oh so good! 

Pamela Des Barres
We set up for 1 last interview of the day at Fairmount Camp. Special thanks to Matt Landis for providing another cabin (location) for us to shoot in! It's a tough call sometimes to find locations to shoot where you won't have sound as an issue, but with the help of others, we were successful at this. Our last interview was with Pamela Des Barres, famous for being a groupie in the 60's/70's with major rock bands, and for being a bestselling author of 'I'm with the Band'.  She also is a big fan of James Dean, and comes often to Fairmount, Indiana for the festival and for other events. She participated in the dance contest the night before, and would speak at the dedication of the James Dean birth site memorial days later. Having been in tons of documentaries over time, she was a natural at sharing her insight on the Deaner culture and the James Dean allure. 

By the time we were done with the interview, it was 3pm. Over 4 days of time, we had captured so much footage and interviews, and there was still 1 more day (a few days later) to shoot during the day of the memorial service and all, 60 years later to the day of the tragic end of James Dean...September 30th. We finished early, and I said my goodbyes to Sam and Russell as I wouldn't be there for 9/30. 

Lew Bracker and James Dean (on left). Myself with Lew (on right). 
I then personally switched gears, slowed down not having tasks at hand, and took some time to take in some of the sights. By now, the town was getting much quieter. I went to the Fairmount Historical Museum, and was the only one in the building (besides staff) for about a half hour, taking in the artifacts. I then went to the James Dean Gallery, and took my time looking around. On the front porch of the gallery, I met Lew Bracker, who was James Dean's closest friend for the last 16 months of his life. Honestly, I was a little shy and didn't quite know what to say... I had also just finished reading his biography, 'Jimmy & Me' that he wrote just a couple years ago. I was a little starstruck, but it was just cool to have met him.  

Me and Chad at James Dean grave on night of lunar eclipse: 9/27/15
Chad had started to gather a group together to go to Ivanhoes, a restaurant a couple towns over (in Upland, Indiana). It was us, longtime JD fans Sue Lyon and Carol Thailing, and a few others. Afterwards, Chad, Carol and I went to James Dean's grave. It was dark... around 9:30pm or so... and the night of the lunar eclipse. The 3 of us hung out there for nearly an hour or so before anyone else came by. It was nice... being reflective, sharing, etc. A car that eventually pulled up was a mother from a neighboring town showing her kids the grave as part of an explanation on why the kids had gotten out of school on Friday (for the special day/weekend). 

This was such a great way to end my stay in Fairmount before going to Indianapolis the next day... 

To Be Continued... (Part 6 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 6: Part 6 of 7 (9/28/15, INDIANAPOLIS): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Part 4 of 7 (9/26/15, DAY THREE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

This is Part 4 of 7. 

Here's part 1: Part 1 of 7 (9/23/15, ARRIVAL): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 2: Part 2 of 7 (9/24/15, DAY ONE): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!
Here's part 3: Part 3 of 7 (9/25/15, DAY TWO): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!

This is the biggest day of the shoot! Many people come from all over for Saturday to be there for just the day... there's much activity, the car show and carnival is in full swing, and Deaners have a good amount of activities to check out and participate in!

We had a later call as we would go pretty late on this day. There was also no sit-down interviews on the schedule due to all the activity. But we still managed to catch 11 interviews on the go, regardless! 

I was able to sleep in a little, wake up at Fairmount Camp, have some coffee, and hang out and chat with Matt Landis, manager/director of the camp...learning more about the camp program, about Fairmount, and more. Was great to hang. 

Sam, Rachael, and Russell 
There was much traffic coming into town, which delayed us for nearly an hour. Today, it was me, Sam (DP), Russell (Sound), and Sam's girlfriend Rachael, who was able to join us for the day to help us out with being production assistant! She was great at getting on-camera waivers signed by people we captured, and roping in a couple people to get on camera, and more. The four of us together had a positive vibe, upbeat, and we had a good amount of laughs and fun throughout the day, while still getting SO much done. I miss them already, and would hope to cross paths in person again with them someday, some way... 

There was a bit of rain in the morning, but by the time everyone got there, the rain had stopped. It was overcast for a good portion of the day, which is great shooting weather (good lighting, not fighting sun glare or much shadows, etc.)! 

We found Chad Hanna, president of the James Dean Remembered Fan Club in front of the James Dean Gallery first to say hello and get B-Roll... 

We then caught booths, carnival rides, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a tattoo on the back of a guy's neck. Recognizable instantly to me, it was a James Dean signature as tattoo. Clint Hemstalk (who traveled from Vancouver) became our first unplanned, 
on-the-go interview of the day. 

We then talked to Richard White on camera who had been coming to the James Dean Festival for many years. We kept walking along and saw the James and Dean booth and was able to do a quick interview of Olivia Winslow, president of the James and Dean fan club (and granddaughter to Marcus Winslow, Jr., cousin of James Dean), and we also interviewed Rob Jarrell, manager of James and Dean. 

We ran into and got Peter Gallo and his friend Janet (from NY) on camera after having met them briefly at Jimmy's grave just the day before... Then we heard so much about the fireman's burgers booth, so we nabbed some for a late lunch as we grabbed a good spot to catch the parade! 

Parade Drum Core 
There was a good number of people that we met or would meet in the parade... Marcus Winslow Jr. with Lee Raskin, James and Dean and Scott Brimigion to name a few. Even Garfield was there! There was a drum core (that was outstanding!) that came from Dayton, Ohio (have to find out the name) motorcycles, horses, fire engines, scout troops, and candy tossed to the onlookers. We caught a good amount of footage from this. 

We made our way to the Fairmount Historical Museum. We found that between that and the James Dean Gallery, those seemed to be the 2 main hangs for Deaners during the weekend. We got exterior shots of the museum with the crowds, the interior shots of fans looking at the James Dean artifacts, and outside, we met Marlin Wilson who was talking with Phil Ziegler. We interviewed Marlin and he showed us a cool scrapbook of JD photos. We went off to the Car Run for a little bit to catch some more of that. 

Lee Raskin and Me 
Returning to the Fairmount Historical Museum, at a booth outside, we interviewed author Lee Raskin, who wrote James Dean: At Speed, and James Dean: On the Road to Salinas. Having been interviewed by Jay Leno before, he's old hat at interviews! 

J.R. Dziengal and me 
I was asked to be on camera and interviewed myself by filmmaker Nadine Bass (about my 'Deaners' project). And then we got to interview filmmaker J.R. Dziengal. I had been in touch with J.R. before meeting up with him in Fairmount. He comes from LA, as well... and has a film script in the works- 'Bastard- the film' answering a question fictionally about what if James Dean had lived? J.R. is a real cool helpful cat, lending us a spare camera battery when we were in need a couple of times as he had the same camera Sam had, and fun to hang with, too. I'll look forward to catching up with him in L.A. soon... 

For dinner, we went to Grains & Grill, a new restaurant in Fairmount. It was all outdoor seating on this evening, bands playing, and we got there before the mad rush. It was good to sit down for a wee bit as we had been on our feet for hours by this point. 

Pamela Des Barres and Lenny Prussack
After a good break, we made our way back to the festival and main street to catch the night's big events. Held in a parking lot between 2 buildings, with a tent and a main stage, we caught Sack-O, or Bag-O, or some people like to call it 'Corn-Hole'. This is a hardcore annual tournament that lasts hours. We caught the tail end of it. That led right into a 50's dance competition. Armed with our dessert waffle cones from a booth, we were able to catch Pamela Des Barres (legendary groupie and author of 'I'm with the Band' who we would interview the next day) participating in the 50's dance competition with Lenny Prussack. There was a group of other couples competing for the winning title, as well, that we were able to capture on camera. 

 James and Dean got on the main stage in cool suits and performed their song 'Forever 24' for the crowd, along with doing a freestyle jam. 

Little James Dean Lookalike
This then led into the kid's portion of the Little James Dean lookalike contest. This was for kid's to participate as lookalikes on the stage... and the audience would vote for who would win based on applause. Before and after this, we worked on grabbing a few adult James Dean lookalikes who were readying for their contest. We interviewed Evan Derry, Nolan Karwoski, and Jason Naylor. Pretty stoked that we had gotten interviews of 2 of the final 3 contestants (out of 10 total) and one of the interviews was the winner! 

James Dean Look-Alikes before the contest
On our way out, we caught nighttime lit up carnival rides and booths, and made our way back to the James Dean Gallery. From 10:30pm-11:30pm we went on a night 'Walking Tour' with Mark Kinnaman (who we had interviewed the day before). He took a decent sized group to the different James Dean sites of note around downtown Fairmount. 

Group shot from Mark Kinnaman's Walking Tour
Walking that much at the end of a very long day added to us all being uber tired. Full day, very successful with tons of good stuff preserved for the future 'Deaners' film! Off we went to bed to catch some sleep before the next morn of another day for the shoot. 

To Be Continued... (Part 5 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 5: Part 5 of 7 (9/27/15, DAY FOUR): Travelogue for 'Deaners' film shoot!