490touring

Difficulty of finding restored cars for indie film

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A couple of years back I was a regular here while fixing up my '66 Thunderbird for an indie film I produced (prior to that, I was here posting photos of a 1919 Chevy 490 I had purchased). Been into old cars my entire life so I thought it would be easy to find 60's cars to populate the film, "Summer of '67". I started going to local car shows and handing out a flyer to get owners interested in having their car in the film. 

 

Problem is, the responses I was getting were from guys with modified cars. For an accurate representation of the 60's, I needed bone stock cars or ones with period mods. Gradually I weeded out the hotrods and came up with a list of cars :

 

'57 Chevy Ambulance (owned by a local funeral home)

'65 Chevy C-10 truck

'62 Corvair convertible

'62 Nova

'65 GTO

'65 Rambler wagon

'59 Chevy convertible

'61 Impala bubbletop

'68 Camaro

'64 Chevy C-10

'66 Mustang convertible

'66 Thunderbird (mine)

Volkswagen bus (mine)

'67 Cadillac hearse

 

There are others but you get the idea. With the exception of the hearse, the use of all the cars was donated by the owners, most of who belonged to local car clubs. All had stock wheels and tires, except the Rambler wagon (we kept it well in the background). So for an indie film, I felt we ended up with an accurate representation of the 60's. It wasn't['t easy, as it seems 8 out of 10 cars these days are modified.

 

The movie itself is a Vietnam war story, told about the wives and girlfriends of the soldiers left behind when the men ship out. It's based on my father in law's story (he was on the USS Forrestal when it burned in 1967). He was below decks while John McCain was on deck starting his plane 

at the time. The film has received over 10 festival awards and is getting great reviews on Amazon Prime, where it can be watched for free if you have an account. Here's the direct link and hope you enjoy it:

https://www.amazon.com/Summer-67-Rachel-Schrey/dp/B07GWS1CV3

 

If you take the time to watch, be sure to leave a review- Amazon movies live or die by the number of reviews.

 

 

 

 

tbird meme.jpg

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I don’t think you want a 68 Camaro in a film called “summer of 67”. !   

Dave S 

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11 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

What is an indie film?

 

Bob

Independent film. It's a movie made without the backing of a big studio. Usually, they are done on a tight budget.

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Correct on the definition of an indie film- and it also explains why Hollywood might insist on a '67 Camaro, but we don't have that luxury when asking owners to bring their  cars for free. We put the authentic cars in the foreground and the not so authentic cars far in the background, where no one will notice the year. The only drastic compromise we made was with the VW bus, which was a '78 (the body style changed in '68). I bought and fixed up the bus myself, and buying a pre '68 would have cost more than the whole film!

 

To Dave S, who I noticed is in Central KY- we shot a major scene at the train station/museum in Bowling Green KY, and the rest in and around Nashville. I encourage old car lovers to watch- especially if you are a veteran or just a patriot-  I think you'll be surprised what we accomplished with our tight budget. 

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Credit to you for wanting to get it right with non modified cars from the era.  I like that kind of attention to detail. 

 

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Congratulations on a successful film!

All the hard work must have been worthwhile

when it was finished.

 

It must be hard to get a representative sample

of cars to produce a street scene.  I've noticed that

the cars that once were common on the streets

are nowhere to be seen, as collectors save and

restore the high-end or specialty models.  For example,

you'll readily find a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS hardtop

or convertible;  but try to find an unmodified 1965

Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door sedan, and you may be 

looking for years.  Yet back in 1965, the Bel Airs were

at least as common as the SS's.  Many once-common

models barely exist anymore.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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Yep, just the vent window is different to the casual observer.

 

67 has one, 68+ does not....

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A few screenshots with cars...

'57 Chevrolet combination (Ambulance/hearse) waits in front of home during wake 

ambulance.jpg

Red cross lady delivers bad news to sailor's wife -'62 Nova and Corvair convertible

nova.jpg

Hippie "Van the Man" picks up Kate for a date after her boyfriend ships overseas. VW bus and Chevy C-10

 

c10.jpg

Sailor Gerald makes phone call back to states- same C-10

c10 two.jpg

Boyfriend reunited with Kate at military funeral- '67 Caddy hearse. This car was being transported from a different part of TN and 

it's trailer blew a tire on the way. We had to spend 3 hours trying to shoot a funeral with no hearse and no casket! Finally it got there 

on a tow truck. Total cost of having a hearse, $600- but worth every penny.

hearse.jpg

Mailman delivers to home with Rambler wagon parked out front, along with '64 Impala. Wheels incorrect for period on both, which is why

they are far in the background. 

rambler.jpg

Edited by 490touring (see edit history)

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6 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

Congratulations on a successful film!

All the hard work must have been worthwhile

when it was finished.

 

It must be hard to get a representative sample

of cars to produce a street scene.  I've noticed that

the cars that once were common on the streets

are nowhere to be seen, as collectors save and

restore the high-end or specialty models.  For example,

you'll readily find a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS hardtop

or convertible;  but try to find an unmodified 1965

Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door sedan, and you may be 

looking for years.  Yet back in 1965, the Bel Airs were

at least as common as the SS's.  Many once-common

models barely exist anymore.

Thanks! Finding the right cars for a 1960's street is very tough these days. Last month I went to an AACA show in Red Boiling Springs, TN (it's been going on every year for over 50 years). It looked more like a Good Guys show- street rods , rat rods and LS swaps everywhere. I'll bet the faithfully restored cars were only 20% of the total. I can understand why the organizers have to let everything in, as who wants to come to a show with just a few cars?

Edited by 490touring (see edit history)

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I only mentioned the 68 when I saw the list of cars and the name of the film. My daughter has been in film & TV production for two major cable television stations for years. They were (both of these channels) sticklers for accuracy as they are long standing household names.  As supervising producer for the network she made sure everything was double checked and accurate. I personally couldn’t tell you a 67 from any other Camaro, nor would I care. I just don’t believe in alternate facts?.  

I will watch the film, our little town of Versailles has been the local for a couple movies. The Flim Flam Man, and most recently Elizabethtown. Orlando Bloom drove up and down main street multiple times to get all of the shots they needed. 

Dave S 

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On this site, you probably have read comments by antique car owners with film and TV experiences providing props. You very likely treated the vehicles and owners well, but some guys here had big-time studios mistreat their cars, and some had good experiences. My grandfather provided a Lincoln for an early Steven Spielberg project. They didn't mess the car up, but they wanted to set an actor on the car dangling from an airplane at 50 mph in one scene, which would have. He declined, but spent several days providing it for other scenes for about 10 seconds worth of screen time in the final cut.

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21 hours ago, jeff_a said:

On this site, you probably have read comments by antique car owners with film and TV experiences providing props. You very likely treated the vehicles and owners well, but some guys here had big-time studios mistreat their cars, and some had good experiences. My grandfather provided a Lincoln for an early Steven Spielberg project. They didn't mess the car up, but they wanted to set an actor on the car dangling from an airplane at 50 mph in one scene, which would have. He declined, but spent several days providing it for other scenes for about 10 seconds worth of screen time in the final cut.

 

We tried very hard to be respectful of the cars and the owners time. Typically in big budget films the car owner would say bye bye to his car being taken to the set on a trailer. Myself, I wouldn't let my car out of my sight, so I assumed the same of other owners. They were invited to watch the scene being filmed. Typically they were on set for only 1 or 2 hours and got to shoot the breeze with the other owners while watching. We provided snacks and gave them a parts store gift card for their help. Later they were invited to the red carpet premiere in a theater where they got to see their car on a 40 foot screen.

Edited by 490touring (see edit history)

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Just to be a PIA, 67 and 68 Camaros had two different taillight bezels each, base and RS, all four easily spotted. Back then almost every GM model had differences in trim, grilles, and taillights even in the same car line. And then there are the interiors...

 

You did a remarkable job in keeping the period correct something many majors often miss (my favorite is "Hurry Sundown"). Guess only a fanatic would notice though.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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A friend's 30 Hiso limo was used in a Nero Wolfe movie filmed in Brooklyn NY many years ago. The film company was very respectful of both he and the car. He drove it in to Brooklyn from Port Washington every morning and home whenever they finished for the day. It was about a week involving his car needing to be there (he had early retired back then).  They not only paid him well for each day of filming, they allowed him to stay on set and mix with the actors and crew during breaks. He also spent quite a bit of time coaching the actor who played the Chauffer how to drive the car (RT hand drive with French labeled controls, manual spark and fuel rich/lean controls on steering hub). And he got to eat with the cast, which on many movie sets is a feast. 

 

During filming a cameraman accidentally damaged the upholstery with his equipment. They were very apologetic and quickly had it repaired at their cost. My friend really enjoyed the experience.  

 

Here's the movie on You Tube. His Hiso first appears at 49:38 minutes as the Chauffer is adjusting the "ruptured duck", as my friend like to call the Hiso stork radiator ornament.  Enjoy,  

Paul

 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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On 10/4/2018 at 11:34 AM, padgett said:

 

You did a remarkable job in keeping the period correct something many majors often miss (my favorite is "Hurry Sundown"). Guess only a fanatic would notice though.

 

Thanks- we really tried to be accurate in both household props (TV's, radios, furniture) and cars. Considering that Hollywood spends more on catering than we did on the whole film, I think we did OK.

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