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You are here: Home > Recent > News > "The Majestic" production - End of week three
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"The Majestic" production - End of week three
07 Apr 2001    

Another week went by and JCO's Anonymous reporter makes a new round-up of the weekly goings-on at "The Majestic" production in Ferndale, now practically at its mid-point. Accompanying it are also several photos kindly sent in by Gary Franklin and David LaRue:

A crew member readies the Majestic marquee on Tuesday
A crew member readies the Majestic marquee on Tuesday.
© Gary Franklin
«Yes its been rainy on and off this week, and some of the shooting has been paused: the big memorial scene in the cemetary was postponed on Monday, and Friday (today) things were moved down to the fairgrounds. But they will return to shoot on Sunday, next Friday being Good Friday they wanted to make up some time before giving the crew Easter weekend off.

On Tuesday they spent a lot of time shooting Jim up on top of the theatre marquee, taking the old grey tarp off, and climbing a ladder up to the front of the sign.

On Wednesday Frank Darabont (people in Ferndale just call him 'Frank', and he seems to stroll through town without an entourage, an unassuming guy with glasses and a faded green ball cap)---Frank was seen swing dancing with (we think) Laurie Holden to music provided by a boom box, before shooting began.

A bit later they shot a sequence with a bunch of local guys piling out of a light green 1940's hardware truck carrying musical instruments.

An aspect of Wednesday's shoot at Main Street Another aspect of the shoot at Main Street Extras do some chattin' between takes
Several aspects of Wednesday's shoot at Main Street.
© David LaRue

A big tray of sandwiches was ordered from the Ferndale Meat Company (now called Lawson's)---one of them was snatched (I'm not saying by who) "Hey! Those are props!" on their way to the volunteers who are helping Luke to rebuild the Majestic across the street.

And the Majestic is being refurbished: Thursday and Friday they sprayed the front of the building with a fresh coat of white paint: and the rusty signs have been repainted yellow and orange and green under the neon. Old coverings came off the magnificent bronze (looking) pillars in the front entrance, matching the bronze clad ticket booth. The sides of the Majestic were covered with rusty corrugated metal siding, and that has come down revealing wood siding to be cleanly repainted.

Detail of an old mail box and rusty metal sidings The Majestic with its vertical sign wrapped in an old tarp Old rust stains and plumbing on the side of the Majestic Detail of the decrepit-looking ticket booth
The Majestic with carefully applied effects simulating age and abandon.
© David LaRue

This set was wonderfully detailed: old rust stains ran down the wooden sides of the building, applied by a scene painter after it had been built, and old plumbing climbed up the side of the theatre that had become corroded with age and time: even an old mail box next to the steps leading to the apartment upstairs looked as if it had been in place for thirty years: it's all the magic of movies. That's all being cleaned up now as the Majestic is restored and reborn in the story.

They came back on Thursday late afternoon for a short set-up in front of the half-finished theatre.

Just goes to show you what effort can do: every detail is planned, every color is coordinated, even down to finding matching earrings for the lady extras who might never be seen.

Are those bargains or what?? Notice the WWII veteran photo and casualty star Mother always said 'Dress well and succeed.'
Attention to detail is a constant, either it's the window of the grocery store (left, © David LaRue) or "Sally's Clothing" (center and right, © Gary Franklin).

We have noticed that Jim appears to be more relaxed this week: he smiles more, he's a little more easy going than the first two weeks. Local people have come to recognize his car (Jim is driven to and from the set by a driver several times a day)---and they often wave at the tinted windows as it zips past.

Another view of Main Street, with Mabel's Diner visible on the left
Another view of Main Street, with Mabel's Diner visible on the left.
© David LaRue
Crowds are not huge: Main Street is closed much of the time so parking is a hassle, although visitors can come in on foot, following directions from our green-vested conductors and production assistants---its mostly just local people in this town of 1300 on their way around town, with a few visitors from Eureka twenty miles north.

I've heard that this crew gets along well with each other: some shoots are hard and less than fun, but this one is a blast, according to one of the crew members.»

-- Our biggest Spanks to Anonymous for the detailed update, and to Gary Franklin @ KHUM/FM and David LaRue for the cool photos. Click to comment this article.

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