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!

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