Friday, June 25, 2010

Maybe you should plan a trip to Greenwood in the future!

I am reading The Help and I really like it. For those who don't know there will be a movie filmed about the help starting July 23 in Greenwood. Everyone is excited and things are buzzing around town.
What will it be like when the movie adaptation of “The Help” begins filming in Greenwood in July?

-->“It’s like the circus came to town,” producer Sonya Lunsford told the Greenwood Kiwanis Club Thursday. “There will tons of trucks and people running around with microphones and headsets.”

Lunsford is one of the producers of the film version of “The Help.” The best-selling novel, written by Jackson native Kathryn Stockett, is about black maids working in whites’ homes in early 1960s Jackson.

Greenwood will play the role of 1960s Jackson in the movie. The reasons for that are architecture and economics, Lunsford said.

“Greenwood hasn’t changed that much. It’s got the look (of the 1960s),” Lunsford said. “Jackson has completely changed.”

She said it’s also cheaper to film in Greenwood than in Jackson.

Lunsford said filming will begin in Greenwood on July 23 and joked that it will last “as long as the studio will let us.” Actually, she said, the shoot is scheduled to last 56-58 days.

After that, she said, the production company will return to Los Angeles for 22 weeks of post-production. That includes editing the movie and putting it together with the soundtrack.

Lunsford said “The Help” is scheduled to be released to theaters during the last three months of 2011.

Lunsford’s primary co-producers are Jackson natives Tate Taylor, who will also write and direct “The Help,” and Brunson Green.

Before becoming a producer, Lunsford worked in accounting jobs on many films, including “Traffic” and “The Good German.” The former Atlanta resident’s first job as a producer was on “Pretty Ugly People” along with Taylor and Green.

The group always wanted to film in Mississippi, and Taylor’s father suggested Greenwood, Lunsford said. Taylor was familiar with the area because he had hunted in Carroll County while he was growing up.

Lunsford said they visited Greenwood last December, even before they secured financing from the movie’s distributor, DreamWorks Pictures. Then they had to convince the studio to film in Mississippi in spite of the fact that Louisiana offers greater incentives for film production companies.

She said other filming sites considered in Mississippi included Clarksdale and Holly Springs.

In addition to Greenwood, the film crew will shoot scenes in Jackson and Clarksdale.

Lunsford said she is already working in Greenwood “for the duration” along with about half of the 170 people who will compose the film’s crew. She said the crew members’ duties now include preparing locations and sets for filming.

Shooting locations in Greenwood will include area homes and the Greenwood Garden Club, Lunsford said.

She said crew members were enjoying themselves because “it’s so much fun in Greenwood and everybody is so nice.”

Lunsford said the film will use approximately 40 main cast members and up to 1,300 extras.

The four female leads in “The Help” — Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer — will be in Greenwood throughout most of the filming, Lunsford said. The other members of the cast will come in when their scenes are scheduled to be filmed.

Lunsford said that once filming is completed, some members of the crew will remain in Greenwood until November finishing their work.

The filmmakers are still looking for extras, Lunsford said. One open call was held last week. Another will be held Saturday in Jackson at Woodland Hills Baptist Church. People interested in being in “The Help” can also go online to get information at www.visitmississippi.org/film/

Information taken from http://www.gwcommonwealth.com/


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. It is about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s.
The novel is told from the perspective of three characters: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson, an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family's struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.
A USA Today article calls it one of 2009's "summer sleeper hits" and notes the book's climbing of bestseller lists. An early review in The New York Times notes Stockett's "affection and intimacy buried beneath even the most seemingly impersonal household connections" and says it is a "button-pushing, soon to be wildly popular novel". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said of the book, "This heartbreaking story is a stunning debut from a gifted talent".

The novel is Stockett's debut. It took her five years to complete the book, which was rejected by at least 45 literary agents. The Help has since been published in 35 countries and three languages. As of May 27, 2010, it had spent a full year on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list and was sitting at #1.

I talked to the guy working on the house Thursday, we should be all settled in before The Help is filmed. Contact me and come to visit during the time Greenwood makes history!

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