By Charly SHELTON
Our little town has that quaint, hometown feel of Anytown, U.S.A. And because we are conveniently located only 15 minutes from the film and TV capital of the world, it is a lot easier to bring a production up to Montrose than to fly them out to the Midwest or Washington or, in this case, Louisiana.
HBO’s terrifyingly popular, “True Blood” did just that last week – the production was brought up to Images Day Spa in the 2200 block of Honolulu Avenue in Montrose to double for a Louisiana beauty parlor for scenes of the show in which vampires attack and come crashing through the front window.
Destiny Tedersen, who works at Images, was on set to help facilitate anything that may come up with the cast and crew.
“Here in the salon it was great because we got to be on the scene as they were filming it,” said Tedersen. “It was a great experience.”
The two day job at Images consisted of a prep day to decorate the set, change out the front door (to be used for an effect) and treat the windows to allow the proper amount of light in.
In addition to the filming in the salon, the production also shot in the nearby alleyway and across the street at Bella Boutique (between Black Cow and Billy’s Boardshop).
“It was a really enlightening experience,” said Tedersen. “The people were really friendly.”
So friendly, in fact, that after the production wrapped, Images got to keep the brand new door that the crew had brought in for the shoot.
With this experience being so pleasant, Tedersen said that Images would be open for filming in the future, to be sure.
Though “True Blood” has come and gone, the future guarantees more productions will be arriving in town to take advantage of all that the location offers.
“It’s what Montrose is all about, and hopefully we will be known as a very film- friendly community and the merchants will be favorably impacted,” said Steve Pierce, film liaison for the Montrose Shopping Park Association. “[‘True Blood’] was my first experience with filming, and I learned a lot. It went well. There were some parking issues that the merchants were concerned about, but as you’re well aware, the filming brings energy to the community and that’s the advantage.”
Next week, another production will be in Montrose, taking over some of the businesses and most of Honolulu Avenue filming scenes for an NBC show. There will be special effects as well, so don’t be surprised if you see a geyser in the middle of Honolulu. Pierce will, once again, be on hand at the set to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“My role is to work with the film companies and with the merchants and to make it work,” said Pierce. “I think more than anything else right now at this stage is just to be open about what they are wanting to do and make sure the merchants are taken care of at the same time.”
A lot of the filming comes from people in the industry who come up here for lunch or shop in the Shopping Park and fall in love with the community. That’s how “True Blood” wound up shooting here.
“It happened to be that one of the directors was in town having lunch and that’s how they came about us,” said Tedersen.
In fact, while working on a Brad Pitt movie in the early 1990s, my father came up to this town to film a few scenes. He did more than just shoot here – a few months later he, my mother and little 2-year-old Charly moved from the heart of Hollywood to a sweet little three-bedroom house at the top of Dunsmore Avenue where I spent my childhood.
This town draws people in with its small town charm, and some end up staying here for good.