Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Movie making in them olden days!

The Fulfillment of Mary Gray is a made for TV movie released in 1989. It just so happens that it was shot near Brenham during the time I had my photo shop. Although I didn’t get to see a lick of the filming of the movie, I did get involved (slightly) in the movie prep.

You see, way before the stars (in this case Cheryl Ladd, Ted Levine, and Lewis Smith) came to town, a crew of set decorators marched through the area gathering props of the time period of the movie. Nowadays, with the invention of digital cameras, I’m sure the process is completely different, but back in "them olden days", it was all done with film and photos.

The first day they came to town the big boss told me to keep a lot of money on hand for making change for large bills. Sure enough, for several days people moseyed into my shop to have their film developed, and they'd hand me hundred dollar bills for payment. After a couple of days they got into the habit of just meeting at my place with their boss and looking at and discussing pictures of possible props - enamelware, buggies, linens, tables, beds, everything needed to decorate Mary Gray’s home, church, and dance hall. (Sniff, sniff. Dance hall. Makes me think of the night IT Guy and I met.)

The crew would ask me and my small staff where they could get certain items. I’m sure they would have loved my old stove, but I didn’t have it at the time. IT Guy wasn’t in my life yet, and it was his grandmother’s wood burning cook stove before it became my treasure. It’s a beauty, having been kept in their old house years after all the people had vacated the building. The floor beneath it was giving out due to the stove's weight; and every time we went to Brownwood, I’d beg IT Guy to rescue it and cart it home for me.

And then one day he did exactly that. It was a giant task getting the stove out of that rickety house. But the four-hour drive home with the stove in the bed of our pickup was totally fun with people in other cars and on the streets pointing it out to their friends.

After the film was done shooting, all the pieces they'd bought from the locals were auctioned off. Everybody wanted a piece of movie history, so I'm sure prices went high. I was working and couldn't go, but somebody did buy me the enamelware on the cooktop.

And, of course, I had a pile of hundred dollar bills for my own fulfillment.


  1. What I want to know is did you get to meet Lewis Smith? Hubba Hubba

  2. Darn it, no. And I didn't get to meet Sam Elliott when he did a movie near us called Gone To Texas. Drat it all!

    The Texas Woman

  3. Sam Elliott makes me weak in the knees. But, I digress. IT Guy brings a good trousseau. You should keep him.


  4. OMG-Sam Elliott! Girl, I need to give you lessons in stalking.

  5. Thanks for your comment on my artspot. I did roses here


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