Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You Wanna Be In Movies, Part 3

It was an uneasy drive to Chattanooga. The entire way, I worried about the car deciding to burn itself down. The first hundred miles, approaching Nashville were easy. The light, Sunday morning traffic wasn't bad, the weather good for March. It's not quite three hundred miles and I covered the distance in less than four hours. The only hassle was an asshole in a pickup truck who wanted to run over the car. It comes with the territory. You drive a sports car, you'll have clowns who hate it. They don't appreciate the good points of the car.

One of the reasons that I drive this car is the great gas mileage. The 912 gets around 30 miles per gallon on the highway, even with the A/C running. One of the other reasons is that I can work on it. Yes, I know, most people hate to check the air in the tires, much less crawl underneath a grimy car to service it. The Porsche's not grimy and it's easy to maintain. Even though it's a four cylinder, it's still fairly fast. I don't need four hundred horsepower, I'll just want to use it. That's why all my big bikes are now gone. Let's just say that it's difficult to have something that will do 150 MPH and not drive it that fast.

I got to Chattanooga two hours early for my haircut. The location was in an older, industrial part of town. I found it without too much trouble. When I rolled onto the set, I was surprised at how deserted it was. No one stopped me at the entrance, I just drove in. There were a few people about, most of them crew who were doing prep work for the day's shoot. I parked the 912 and walked around, getting the lay of the land, so to speak.

They had three medium-sized tents set up for dressing rooms and a place for the caterers. The Tennessee Valley Railroad is a train museum, so they had a pretty good collection of trains. Since I'm a gearhead, I wandered around, up and down the tracks, looking at the different models.

Met a Teamster who used to work on the Union Pacific railroad. David and I wandered around, looking at the old steam engines, then he opened the engine covers, like big steel doors, on one of the newer diesels. Huge engine. I have written service and operator's manuals on big diesels, but nothing like the engine in a train.

The whole time, I was shooting photos. Only after I asked him about doing it. He assured me that as long as I was with him and didn't point my camera towards the train they were going to use for the shoot, that I would be OK. Which was reassuring, since I wanted to at least get some pictures to prove that I had 'been there, done that'. Didn't figure that there were going to be any t-shirts available.

David gave me some background on the movie, told me that they might need people who could drive a Model T Ford. Which I know that I could, but I've never had the chance. My neighbor had one, which I've ridden in, but never driven. Something to look into.

Meanwhile, I checked in, got on the list for my free haircut and met some of the other actors. The first person I met was a dude that I'll call the Politician. He has that tall, semi-dignified attitude, while being just a touch disconnected from what's going on. Glad to meet you and let me show you what I know. Don't worry about a thing, I'm sure that I can do this and not get into any trouble. You, on the other hand, might just get hung for doing it.

I wasn't out of Tennessee and here I was, back swimming with the land sharks.

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