Rappahannock News - - NEWS - Robane Beroza Sper­ryvillenew­[email protected] – R.B.

When you get onto Oven­top Moun­tain Lane from U.S. 211, then wind up and down a gravel road and go on for­ever un­til the road ends at a house and a pond, you’ll find the house of Ed and Linda John­son. Ed is now mostly re­tired from con­struc­tion, but that gives him more time to do what he loves: work with wood. Ed gets his wood from wher­ever he can. He for­ages the moun­tain, finds it float­ing in a river and gets it from land that is be­ing cleared. One rus­tic wooden chair has hick­ory, cherry, oak and even ai­lan­thus. He is an artist at carv­ing oak leaves and acorns into his pic­ture frames with a Dremel tool. His cedar slab clock was cre­ated from a cedar tree found float­ing in a river. He has both cedar and black wal­nut chests, the lat­ter from lo­cal wood. This na­tive of South Dakota has called Rap­pa­han­nock home for sev­eral years now; now that he has more time to make cus­tom pieces for you, call Ed John­son at 540-987-9097.

Poor­town Road was a ver­i­ta­ble bustling av­enue two weeks ago as the cast and crew shoot­ing a com­mer­cial wound their way up to An­drea and Steve Wooten’s farm, Car­di­nal Springs. The com­mer­cial, for de­fense and gov­ern­ment-se­cu­rity con­trac­tor Sci­ence Ap­pli­ca­tions In­ter­na­tional Cor­po­ra­tion (SAIC), is part of the com­pany’s “Se­cur­ing the Fu­ture” pro­mo­tional cam­paign.

An­drea Wooten said that she was sur­prised when she re­ceived a phone call from the scout­ing crew a week ear­lier ask­ing if they could come out and take a look at the farm. The Wootens had al­lowed pho­tos of their farm to ap­pear on the Vir­ginia Film In­dus­tries web­site a few years ago and after­wards had not thought much about it. Rap­pa­han­nock County tourism di­rec­tor Laura Over­street had ar­ranged for the state tourism of­fice’s film lo­ca­tion scout, Tom Trigo, to shoot lo­ca­tions around the county. “At the time Tom was here,” said Bar­bara Adolfi, who serves on the county’s tourism ad­vi­sory group, “he said he thought that this farm was the sig­na­ture piece of his col­lec­tion of pho­tos.”

De­spite the heat wave, Wooten said, the SAIC art depart­ment scouts fell in love with the site and asked if they could re­turn the fol­low­ing week to shoot the com­mer­cial. They ar­rived on Wed­nes­day (July 11) with truck­loads of equip­ment, ca­bles, lights and lots of phys­i­cal en­ergy.

Wooten said she had not re­al­ized how big the pro­duc­tion would be, and found it in­ter­est­ing to watch it all co­a­lesce. “I had planned a va­ca­tion at home to do some gar­den­ing,” she said, “so the tim­ing was per­fect.” Some of the crew stayed in the farm’s guest house and spent some free time en­joy­ing the prop­erty’s en­chant­ing am­biance. The crew also needed to bor­row a num­ber of props from the Wootens, in­clud­ing ta­ble set­tings and food­stuffs for some of the shots. The Wootens’ adopted cat, Mr. Jef­fer­son, was there to over­see ev­ery de­tail and greet ev­ery guest.

SAIC art di­rec­tor Ja­son Mullis could be heard shout­ing, “Po­si­tion one!” as the four ac­tors, two adults and two chil­dren, pre­pared for the cam­era to roll on their make-be­lieve fam­ily. Chris Doud, a se­nior video pro­ducer, watched a mon­i­tor in­tently.

On Wed­nes­day, shoot­ing was out­side amid the breath­tak­ing scenery sur­round­ing the Wootens’ home; the heat wave had taken a turn for the bet­ter, with tem­per­a­tures in the 80s. The chil­dren “played” over and over in the re­fresh­ing spray of a sprin­kler as Mullis filmed them, over and over, hop­ing for the per­fect shot. Al­though fun in the be­gin­ning, Wooten said, the child ac­tors were vis­i­bly re­lieved when the wa­ter was fi­nally turned off for the day.

The shoot moved in­doors Thurs­day and the Wootens’ kitchen be­came a movie set with cam­eras, mon­i­tors, light screens, booms and a dozen­plus pro­duc­tion folks crowded around. The fam­ily pets were not to be de­nied their mo­ment of fame, An­drea Wooten said, and tried to get into the shots as well. A few re­hearsals were run, and the makeup artist ar­rived to work her magic be­fore the ac­tual shoot­ing be­gan. Di­rec­tor, pro­duc­ers, as­sis­tants, lighting and sound pro­fes­sion­als and cater­ers buzzed around the house mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing fell into place.

Ru­mor has it that the com­mer­cial will air dur­ing the up­com­ing Olympics, though the SAIC crew mem­bers couldn’t say for sure. But keep an eye out start­ing this week­end and see if you catch a glimpse of the Rap­pa­han­nock coun­try­side and the Wootens’ adorable dogs!

Photo by E. Ray­mond Boc

Ed John­son with one of his re­cent works, made from wood he finds wher­ever he can.

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