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david48
01-27-2007, 02:44 PM
In the works today there is a re-make of "The Great Locomotive Chase" This production will be Historicly accurate, but will have some fiction added to keep it from looking like a documentry. we are working on this film and have the script. We are part of the technical consulting, and reenactor casting, also we are looking for input on this story as well. The writer wants to tell Both Sides of this project, and showcase the Fact that one of the first "Medals' Of Honor" were awarded to the members of the raid. This project is not going to be a washed over story, it will be a Gritty-Grimey-Realistic project. No actors with the "Blow Dry Look" , but a realistic look of the events. We would like some input on this project, how many people would enjoy seeing this type of film? Any added ideas for the story? Also this will be filmed in the Southeast-not Hollywood-Romania, or Canada.

toptimlrd
01-27-2007, 03:20 PM
As a fan of railroading and growing up along the tracks where the W&A RR ran just south of Kennesaw I would love to see a good portrayal of the event in question. Bear in mind this would not likely be a huge blockbuster but would likely be expensive to do right so I am wondering what kind of budget you are looking at. Also your comment about adding fiction concerns me.

One thing I also would suggest is to not make villans out of either side. Portray both the raiders and Fuller's men as they were, real men doing what they thought was right and both being heroic in their efforts.

david48
01-27-2007, 03:43 PM
Robert, The question of fiction refers to a few characters, not the historical events. As you know some of the events leading up to the Chase were not recorded, and a lot of information about some of the events were broken up by a few different "personal accounts" in the history books. Kurtz who was married to the daughter of Fuller, and the Tech adviser for Disney is the main source of information about this story, but a trip through the Museum in Big Shanty fills in some of the gaps, and we will be working with folks from there. The writer wants to add more "probable characters" to Andrews trips through the South, and make it more then just a One day event of the war. Also the writer and the rest of us do not foresee a "Block Buster" but hopefully a film that will have a modest beginning, and when it goes to DVD will be like the Disney film--still selling DVDS today. The production budget will be well below 8 figures and should make a reasonable profit.

Spare_Man
01-27-2007, 04:01 PM
I hope your endevour succeeds, but I must admit I get a bit cynical when I hear about someone who wants to take a classic film and remake it with a "grittier" look. They recently did this with "The Alamo" and it was a total disaster; a dark and ugly film that had almost no redeeming qualities. Sure, John Wayne's Alamo was not exactly historically accurate, but it had a sincere love of country behind it that will keep people watching it long after the self-loathing remake has disappeared from the discount DVD bin at Walmart.

toptimlrd
01-27-2007, 05:32 PM
Robert, The question of fiction refers to a few characters, not the historical events. As you know some of the events leading up to the Chase were not recorded, and a lot of information about some of the events were broken up by a few different "personal accounts" in the history books. Kurtz who was married to the daughter of Fuller, and the Tech adviser for Disney is the main source of information about this story, but a trip through the Museum in Big Shanty fills in some of the gaps, and we will be working with folks from there. The writer wants to add more "probable characters" to Andrews trips through the South, and make it more then just a One day event of the war. Also the writer and the rest of us do not foresee a "Block Buster" but hopefully a film that will have a modest beginning, and when it goes to DVD will be like the Disney film--still selling DVDS today. The production budget will be well below 8 figures and should make a reasonable profit.

That does give me some level of comfort. With less than a $1M cost, how are you proposing to find proper locomotives?

I am very familiar with the Museum in Kennesaw (formerly the Big Shanty Museum) and they do have quite a bit of information. You may also want to take a look at the Cyclorama to see if they have any information that would help beyond the actual Texas sitting there. One thing you are fortunate is that both locomotives are preserved if not in their original form at least they are there for reference. The Kennesaw museum also has prints of the General as she appeared during the war.

Also sent you a PM

david48
01-27-2007, 06:42 PM
First for your ? Robert, the budget will be around $4-7 Million for production cost, not added is the Marketing cost, that would depend on the distributor. The locomotive (a 4-4-0) is available, the rolling stock will have to be constructed using existing equipment (matting and camera angles will cover modern features). As to the gritty look, a better explaination is a "Realistic Look" to bring history to life. In the near future We will be adding updates on our website www.gandwenterprises.com also here. My Wife's family had 125 family members that fought for the South, and about 65 for the North. She does a lot of Family research their name was Porterfield.

toptimlrd
01-27-2007, 07:59 PM
First for your ? Robert, the budget will be around $4-7 Million for production cost,


Sorry, meant to type $10M in my earlier post not $1M. $10M will not be easy, but under $1M would be a miracle.

jthlmnn
01-28-2007, 12:11 PM
I must admit I get a bit cynical when I hear about someone who wants to take a classic film and remake it with a "grittier" look. They recently did this with "The Alamo" and it was a total disaster; a dark and ugly film that had almost no redeeming qualities.

I had a different experience of the recent production of "The Alamo". I liked it so much that I own a DVD that I watch over and over. Aside from being more historically accurate in clothing, equipment, setting, etc., I was drawn to the characters, themselves. These were real people, flawed people, who, when it mattered most, rose to the occasion. Travis' growth as a leader is, in my opinion, very well portrayed. Crocket I find much more admirable without the mythology that his name accumulated. I can even relate to Bowie, shady past and all, as he relinquishes control and command when he becomes physically incapable. Most of all, I saw courage being portrayed as doing what needs to be done despite your fears, rather than courage as an absence of fear.

If the new production of "The General" can capture the characters of this event in the same way, it will be well worth the effort. I wish them well and look forward to viewing the finished product.

david48
01-28-2007, 03:20 PM
I thank all of you for your comments, all types are needed for a project that is of interest to a large section of the world. I feel, and I may be wrong (won't be the first or the last) That folks with an interest of Trains, History, and Family entertainment will want to see this Film. The best rating we can hope for is a PG13 (any violence At All gets this rating) The writer wants this to be a "Family Film", and one that has the potential to be a classic. All comments are welcome, and thanks again for the ones so far.

david48
02-03-2007, 12:17 PM
We are looking for input on casting Ideas, anyone have any input? Thanks

Radar
02-03-2007, 12:56 PM
We are looking for input on casting Ideas, anyone have any input? Thanks
IF you're looking for the re-enacting community to flock to your filming, there's a lot of cynics that have gotten burned in the past. The film companies want you to show up with all your kit, drive for hours on your own gas, and participate in their money making venture for MAYBE three meals a day and the rest the re-enactors have to pay for.

I certainly hope you're not going there.

david48
02-03-2007, 01:23 PM
Great question, We are not looking for volunteers! ANY work done by ANYONE will be a Paid positon, I know how it is to spend time and energy in this day anmd time. We do not expect anybody to work for no pay. This is not a "Hollywood Type" project, the writer is from NC (lives in CA now) wants this to be produced in the Southeast. Here we have the means and the people to make this a good project, not just Hype. I have worked on film projects for low-pay, and Good pay as well, but this one is not all about the money for me. I grew up in Chattanooga, worked for the Railroad for 34 years, and love history. We want Reenactors that are willing to get muddy, and have the knowledge of the era. This film will not have any Huge Battle scenes, but a number of "close" type action that gives everyone a chance to be in a scene. Some will be needed for a few days, some for a few weeks. Also some will be "Mounted" in calvary scenes. So far the crew that want to work on this film are doing it because it appeals to their sense of history, not just $$. Thanks for your response.

David

david48
02-03-2007, 01:25 PM
My Mothers family settled in KY, and What is now W.VA in the early 1800's

Wounded_Zouave
02-03-2007, 02:46 PM
There is one low-budget film I've seen that proves you don't need a cast of thousands or huge battle scenes to make a high-quality movie set in an historical period. Anyone who's seen 1977's "The Duelists" knows what I'm talking about: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075968/ That film is the best cinematic rendition of the Napleonic Wars ever made and l'empereur himself never even appears in the film. If the filmmakers of the new "Andrews Raiders" can capture the combination of economy, historical accuracy, visual beauty and sincerity of purpose you see in "The Duelists," then they will have created an instant classic. The Andrews Raiders story is itself a kind of duel between small groups of men and their machines. That should serve as a metaphore for the unseen backstory that is the war itself.

david48
02-03-2007, 03:15 PM
Cryus, Thanks for the input, what you say is exactly what everyone working on this wants to do. Even though there will be a small amount of fiction in this screen play (personal interaction that is not recored in history) We are using as many sources as possible to be accurate. I have been doing many hours of research for the Writer, and continue to dig. My wife and I travel as much as possible visiting historical sites for research in our business. Last year we went from Shiloh to Antietam, and met some very knowledgeable Reenactors along the way. I will keep all interested on the progress of this Film. Thanks again

Wounded_Zouave
02-03-2007, 03:58 PM
That sounds great, David. Your travels have given you a good feeling for the land... the terrain... which in and of itself will be an important element in the design of the film.

I have long hoped the proverbial "good Civil War movie" would some day be made. Seems like like the spirit behind the Andrews Raiders will get it there! Godspeed!

(P.S.: I have W.Va. ancestors too!)

toptimlrd
02-05-2007, 05:10 PM
Deleted as posted in error.

Army30th
02-06-2007, 02:44 AM
David,

What 4-4-0's are you planning upon using? To my knowledge, there are no operable 4-4-0 locomotives in the Southeast, at least not any from that time period.

The William Mason, currently operable in Baltimore, is a period CW locomotive and actually portrayed the General in Disney's movie.

The only other 440's that I am aware of that come anywhere near close are all in Nevada, and even these are post war by about 5 years. On this one point, your movie will be historically inaccurate, as there are no examples in existance of what the General actually looked like during the war. It is significantly different from the way it looks now. Even Disney had to compromise in this area. A huge chunk of your budget will just be getting correct locomotives, operating crews, correct rolling stock. Believe me, this is not easy. I used to work at a transportation museum and have been involved in the filming of no less than four movies using trains in three different time periods. As you may know, unless they are already on "location", they are a logistical nightmare.

Inquisitive minds want to know!

toptimlrd
02-06-2007, 08:28 AM
David,

What 4-4-0's are you planning upon using? To my knowledge, there are no operable 4-4-0 locomotives in the Southeast, at least not any from that time period.

The William Mason, currently operable in Baltimore, is a period CW locomotive and actually portrayed the General in Disney's movie.

The only other 440's that I am aware of that come anywhere near close are all in Nevada, and even these are post war by about 5 years. On this one point, your movie will be historically inaccurate, as there are no examples in existance of what the General actually looked like during the war. It is significantly different from the way it looks now. Even Disney had to compromise in this area. A huge chunk of your budget will just be getting correct locomotives, operating crews, correct rolling stock. Believe me, this is not easy. I used to work at a transportation museum and have been involved in the filming of no less than four movies using trains in three different time periods. As you may know, unless they are already on "location", they are a logistical nightmare.

Inquisitive minds want to know!

Will,

The Southern Museum in Kennesaw has prints of the General as she looked during the war. The main differences are the balloon stack, a second steam dome, a slightly diferent looking pilot house and green paint if I remember corectly. As to operable 4-4-0s, they are not from the era but Stone Mountain used to have two full scale 4-4-0s they used to haul tourists around the base of the Mtn. (both were designed to represent the General and Texas respectively in their modern appearance). In recent years they have used diesel locomotives so I have no idea what happened to the two steamers or if they even exist any more. Although I am not an expert, would it be that dificult to have the William Mason loaded on a flat car and shipped via rail to the SE? It's how the General was snuck out of Chattanooga in the middle of the night.

david48
02-06-2007, 01:08 PM
Gentlemen, yes 4-4-0's are in very short supply. The "Mason" in Baltimore has been used in a number of films, and was transported by a trucking company from NJ. Having talked to the Museum people, they do not let it go off the property anymore. Last time it was used by Hollywood, it incured some damage. After this abuse, they said "NO More". But there are a small number of 4-4-0's still around, most have to have a boiler job. and all would have to have temp cosmetic changes. This fact has been added to the budget, which along with the building of box cars, and the transportation cost of period passenger cars is going to be in the 7 figure mark. But along with modern computer generated VFX, and other methods a lot can be added to change almost anything that stands out. Having worked for the RR for 34 years, and being involved with steam operations,passenger equipment, and Museum equipment. I have a tendency to "Pick apart" any film involving RR scenes, as well as historical events--But if the story is good, and everything is as close as possible, most of the audience is too busy to notice. After reading a lot of posts on this forum, I have noticed some being refered to as "Thread counters" etc, I am sure there will be that type picking apart this film as well, but again, We are trying to do the best job we can. That being said, I thank everyone for any input they give-Wart's and all, because we are trying to make a great project for all to enjoy.

Army30th
02-06-2007, 02:42 PM
Will,

The Southern Museum in Kennesaw has prints of the General as she looked during the war. The main differences are the balloon stack, a second steam dome, a slightly diferent looking pilot house and green paint if I remember corectly. As to operable 4-4-0s, they are not from the era but Stone Mountain used to have two full scale 4-4-0s they used to haul tourists around the base of the Mtn. (both were designed to represent the General and Texas respectively in their modern appearance). In recent years they have used diesel locomotives so I have no idea what happened to the two steamers or if they even exist any more. Although I am not an expert, would it be that dificult to have the William Mason loaded on a flat car and shipped via rail to the SE? It's how the General was snuck out of Chattanooga in the middle of the night.

Robert,

I am well aware of the museum in Kennesaw and as to what the General originally looked like. Also been to Stone Mountain and seen the abysmal steam they had there. I think those were late 1890's early 1900's 440's.

I merely was pointing out about the historical accuracy, as David has mentioned in his previous thread, there are those out there that are "thread counters" as far as RR related movies are concerned. I happen to be one of those.

As far as loading a locomotive onto a flat car, there are two ways this is done: one is pushing the locomotive onto the flatcar via a ramp built specifically for the purpose OR to have it lifted by locomotive/construction crane. Neither method is cheap.

If anyone needs any assistance with this movie endeavor, I hereby put my name in the hat.

david48
02-06-2007, 02:54 PM
Will, there is the third way also, the Mason was transported by a specialized Trucking company based in NJ. there are several of these carriers around the country. For small equipment (compared to todays locomotives) trucking is cheaper and it has the advantage of placing equipment on Railroads that do not have interchange. Moving equipment on Class 1's can be a big headache even on it's own wheels. The last big film project I worked on was modern, and the equipment movement was going to be a Huge expense, and lots of headaches.

toptimlrd
02-06-2007, 04:07 PM
Robert,

I am well aware of the museum in Kennesaw and as to what the General originally looked like. Also been to Stone Mountain and seen the abysmal steam they had there. I think those were late 1890's early 1900's 440's.

I merely was pointing out about the historical accuracy, as David has mentioned in his previous thread, there are those out there that are "thread counters" as far as RR related movies are concerned. I happen to be one of those.

As far as loading a locomotive onto a flat car, there are two ways this is done: one is pushing the locomotive onto the flatcar via a ramp built specifically for the purpose OR to have it lifted by locomotive/construction crane. Neither method is cheap.

If anyone needs any assistance with this movie endeavor, I hereby put my name in the hat.

Will,

Good to see another RR enthusiast here. As I look up from my PC I have a framed print of the General from when she was in Chattanooga on the wall above me. I have also built a few scale models of her over the years and am trying to find a G-scale set of locos that could be kit bashed into the General and Texas but I digress. We may need to be somewhat understanding if the locomotives used in the film aren't quite exactly right due to the reasons you mentioned; that is, a lack of availability. With enough fabrication, David could possibly produce a passable facsimile that would be difficult to tell from the real thing on film. Like you my concern is that the story is done well and justice served to all involved. Unfortunately I haven't seen the steamers at Stone Mtn since I was a youth and don't remember much beyond they were designed to look like the Texas and General as they appear today. I understand also that Six Flags recently retired their scale versions or converted one to diesel or some such. The only other operational 4-4-0 I know of in the SE is a narrow guage running at Disney right now and it is a far cry from a CW era engine.

Army30th
02-06-2007, 06:17 PM
Yes, I forgot about trucks. In fact, one of my favorite engines ET&WNC was hauled up the side of a mountain on the back of a truck.

Thanks for the memory

Army30th
02-06-2007, 06:32 PM
Yeah, the Narrow Gauge loco's at Disney run on diesel fuel. They were originally built here in the US, then shipped to South America for I think sugar plantations. The only items on them from the original locomotives are the running gear. Everything else was fabricated in their shops. The Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC does Disney's running gear repair work at their shop in the mountains of NC.

At one point, the locos at Stone Mountain would have a 55 gallon barrel inside the smoke box with if I remember my source correctly, a tire on fire inside, so it would make black smoke. A diesel engine right behind the locomotive actually powered the train. However, they were completely operational when originally put there.

There is a Central of Georgia 4-4-0 at Tennessee Valley RR Museum. If it were running, it could be made to be really close. Last time I saw it, the firebox was incomplete.

I actually have 8mm film transfer to video footage of the actual General in operation under steam. The General has burned everything: Wood, Coal, Oil, and finally diesel fuel.

Army30th
02-06-2007, 06:38 PM
Not to keep beating the proverbial horse, but Southern Railway used to have a matching pair of FP7 diesels, during their excursion train program. These were I think donated to the Central of Georgia, (a subsidary of Southern) and then, when the excursion program was on the downslide, they were either sold or given to Stone Mountain, where they reside today.

toptimlrd
02-06-2007, 11:41 PM
Yeah, the Narrow Gauge loco's at Disney run on diesel fuel. They were originally built here in the US, then shipped to South America for I think sugar plantations. The only items on them from the original locomotives are the running gear. Everything else was fabricated in their shops. The Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC does Disney's running gear repair work at their shop in the mountains of NC.

At one point, the locos at Stone Mountain would have a 55 gallon barrel inside the smoke box with if I remember my source correctly, a tire on fire inside, so it would make black smoke. A diesel engine right behind the locomotive actually powered the train. However, they were completely operational when originally put there.

There is a Central of Georgia 4-4-0 at Tennessee Valley RR Museum. If it were running, it could be made to be really close. Last time I saw it, the firebox was incomplete.

I actually have 8mm film transfer to video footage of the actual General in operation under steam. The General has burned everything: Wood, Coal, Oil, and finally diesel fuel.

I vaugely remember the diesel pushing and wondered what was up with that. I do recall that as a youngster the engines were definitely steam driven. I wonder what became of them and if they could be restored if they still exist. I also seem to recall Stone Mtn. having a Yonah on a siding somewhere that I never saw run.

BTW, where is the Tennessee Valley RR museum at? Haven't been there ....... yet.

One thing that may be of interest is that the General was apparently still in near operational condition when rolled into the museum and still has some diesel in her tender to this day. I was talking to one of the curators there and he actually opened up a valve and let a few drops of diesel out. What I wouldn't give to see her under her own power once again. She was quite the workhorse in her day. Point of interest also is that after the chase and her reaching the extremely high speeds (of the day) of near 60 (from what I understand) the only thing wrong with her when recaptured was a slightly burned bearing on one wheel from lack of lubrication.

I can also confirm your supposition about the Disney locos working at sugar plantations. If memory serves me right, the ones in California were built for the park though.

Any way I could get a copy of that film?

Army30th
02-07-2007, 08:40 PM
Tennessee Valley RR Museum is in Chatanooga on Cromwell Road. Right next door to the National Model Railway Association. They have a tunnel thru missionary ridge I think was built in 1854. The trains run point to point with a wye on one end and a turntable on the other. Three miles one way. The Southern 4501 lives there as well as the Southern 630. Their director, Robert Soule, recently passed away.

If I can get the video copied or transferred to DVD, I'd be happy to share it with you. It's not very long, maybe just a couple of minutes.

david48
02-07-2007, 09:51 PM
Robert Soule will be missed for years to come, I worked with Bob for many years at Sothern, I also did a lot of work for the Museum in it's early days, and with Bob's leadership it became what is is today. I stay in touch with the folks their, and they have always been a big help.

HighPrvt
02-07-2007, 09:58 PM
Are you going to be filming in North Georgia?

david48
02-07-2007, 10:00 PM
N. GA. is one of the possible locations, it will depend on where the bulk of the funding comes from.

GaWildcat
02-08-2007, 07:25 PM
I've noticed that you mentioned the General at the Southern Museum in Kennesaw, and wanted to add that the Texas is at the Cyclorama in Grant Park, Atlanta.

(Of course as a sidebar, the farby trains that run around Six Flags Georgia are the Texas and The General!)

vamick
02-09-2007, 12:01 PM
[QUOTE=Wounded_Zouave]There is one low-budget film I've seen that proves you don't need a cast of thousands or huge battle scenes to make a high-quality movie set in an historical period. Anyone who's seen 1977's "The Duelists" knows what I'm talking about: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075968/

AMEN!!!! just watched that again the other night, great pic ( Ive always been a sword fan) inspired me to take up fencing for a brief time great excercise that! yer right it was 'small budget' but it didnt look 'cheap'! thats always the aim in my opinion anyway sabres, in honor of the cavalry!:evil: