Film shooting underway
Newborn mayor apologizes for controversial sign used in shoot
NEWBORN — The bucolic quiet which normally enfolds the city of Newborn was briefly interrupted Thursday afternoon when an old brown station wagon driven by two young boys crashed into the bawdy sign of a strip club.
The two boys, Tyler Chase and Michael May, play brothers in the upcoming Southern caper comedy “ Good Intentions” which was filming scenes in Newborn yesterday and today. Though it will appear to moviegoers that the boys are driving the car, a stunt driver scrunched up beneath the dashboard does the actual driving in the scene.
“ Good Intentions” stars Elaine Hendrix (“ The Parent Trap”) and Luke Perry (“ Beverly Hills, 90210”) as the parents of the two boys and is directed by Jim Issa. The movie is produced by Shadowlight Pictures. Filming on the movie is set to wrap later this month with the remaining scenes to be filmed in Rutledge.
The film prop of the bawdy sign with the picture of a topless woman caused a brief ruckus in an otherwise quiet day of filming when one Newborn resident called the Newborn City Hall, objecting to the sign.
In response to the resident’s objections, the mayor of Newborn, J.W. Cummings, released a brief statement to local media, apologizing for the movie props set up to make it appear that there was a strip club on Johnson Street in Newborn.
“I had no idea that they would be in such poor taste,” said Cummings in his statement. “I assure you that any other movie coming into the town will be scrutinized more closely.”
In response to the concerns of Cummings, producers for the film also released a statement to the media saying that the town of Newborn will not be identified in the movie. Rather scenes shot in Newborn will be combined with other scenes filmed in Rutledge to create the fictional small Georgian town of Myra.
Producers also highlighted the fact that the movie is a family-oriented comedy with a “moral to the story” which is that people with good intentions will sometimes make bad decisions even though their hearts are in the right place.
“We think it’s an interesting comic point that they’re crashing into the strip club sign,” said associate producer Robert Ballentine.
Newborn City Clerk Elisa Rowe was quick to caution that there was no disagreement between film producers and the city of Newborn.
“They’ve been great from the very beginning,” Rowe said of the filmmakers.
One would never know there was ever any conster- nation over the sign by the attitudes of residents of Newborn who braved the hundred degree heat Thursday to visit the outdoor film set.
While film crews worked to ready scenes for filming, local residents strolled up and down Johnson Street, slurping from snow cones provided by the movie’s caterers and enjoying the presence of a major movie film crew in their small town.
Katy Kearney — who lives down the street from the D&R Food Center where inside filming took place earlier in the day — sat watching the movie crews happily from a lawn chair she had brought with her.
“It’s been pretty low-key,” said Kearney of the day’s filming. “The crew are all very nice.”
Newborn resident Joe Hoffman, whose front porch gave a great view of the filming taking place 20 feet away, said he had been up since 4 a.m. watching the crews get ready for the day’s filming. Hoffman was gregarious enough to share his porch with other movie spectators who were quick to set up chairs on the spot.
The movie’s most famous star, Luke Perry, was almost unrecognizable beneath a trucker’s hat, sporting a beard and mustache for the role. Perry can currently be seen co-starring in the HBO surfing drama “John from Cincinnati.”
Additional scenes from “Good Intentions” will be filmed in Newborn on Aug. 16 and 17. Sam Walton’s pasture on Church Street will be used for filming. Goats from the petting zoo Country Critters will be used for the pasture scene.
“Good Intentions” also stars country music star LeAnn Rimes — who is not expected to be present in Newborn for filming — and Jimmi Simpson (“Zodiac.”)
Lights, camera, action: A controversial “ gentlemen’s club” sign comes crashing to the ground in downtown Newborn in a dramatic car crash scene, filmed Thursday for an upcoming movie staring Luke Perry, Elaine Hendrix and LeAnne Rimes.
Star power: Actor Luke Perry, left, prepares to film a scene in downtown Newborn as “Good Intentions” director Jim Issa, right, readies the cast and crew for their next shot Thursday afternoon.