Early Sunday morning I received a text message about a casting call for extras for a film that was being shot at the Moon River Brewery, that building was constructed in 1821. Jamie Caskey, a fellow author and historian had teamed with another Savannah author, Murray Silver, in attempt to bring back to life some of the colorful histories behind some of Savannah's most historic buildings.
I was curious, so I called my friend about the film and he explained to me they were shooting scenes from 1832 and 1860, based on actual events that occurred at Moon River, but at that time it was the City Hotel. I knew the stories. My interest grew when I was informed that there would be scantily clad ladies in the bar room scene, my mind was made up. I told Kirk that I was interested and that I would be there at 2 PM for wardrobe and make up. As I thought about it, I knew I had a period hat that could work both time periods, but I had to take the hardware off. There was a bugle and light blue cording around the black hat, it was representing head gear used by Hood's Texas Brigade during the Civil War.
Upon arrival I was introduced to the filming crew that had traveled from Nashville, so one of these folks had won Emmy's for previous projects, so that was confirmation that was the real deal. Each extra was sent to wardrobe and then to make up. When finished, I was in the character of a gambler for the 1832 scenes.
In the basement of Moon River in 1832, there was a long standing rivalry between two men; Doctor Philip Minus and James Stark. Stark was basically your town agitator and Minus was a well respected Physician, both had frequented the City Hotel and quarreled in the past over gambling and other things. One day, things came to a head and a duel was arranged on nearby Hutchinson Island. Both parties were confused on when the event was to happen, so Stark showed and Minus never did. Stark immediately called out Minus throughout the town, calling him a coward. Minus furious later shot and killed Stark at the City Hotel. Minus was acquitted of murder and there are reports that Stark haunts the Moon River Brewery looking for his killer.
The scene opened with myself purchasing a Lady of the evening, as the camera a moved across the busy bar room; individual transactions were occurring as well as conversation, but at one end of the room, the shouting captured everybody's attention. It was the heated argument between Stark and Minus. Later scenes have Minus sending for Stark and then Minus shooting Stark.
For the 1860 sequence, Savannah is furious that Abraham Lincoln is running for president and a few days after his election, people take to the streets protesting that election. Secession and war fever were running rampant throughout Savannah and the rest of the South.
In this sequence, I find a Yankee and set him up for his assault. I have told him that there are some people outside that wish to see him. So I lead him outside to where the mob is waiting and he is attacked; punched, kicked and pistol whipped. Of course I joined the mob with a sword.
The filming was wrapping up today at the 1790 house. They will then be going into post production and the project should premier sometime before Christmas. It will either be picked up by the History Channel or PBS. It was fun; future projects include more stories from Savannah, as well as Beaufort, Daufuskie and Charleston. I guess we will see how good of an actor I was, look out Tom Hanks.