The Fairview Observer
Fairview's Dan and Elizabeth Binkley have always enjoyed watching movies at home, but never dreamed they would see a movie come to life in their own backyard - or should I say their own junkyard. But that is exactly what happened over the last three weeks when a full cast and crew set up shop to shoot the psychological thriller movie titled “Junkyard Dog.”
The movie's name alone had location scouts searching Middle Tennessee for the perfect junkyard, but the director got even more than he bargained for in Fairview, Tennessee.
The Binkleys, who have operated Dan Binkley Auto Salvage on Horn Tavern Road since 1988, were first approached with the movie idea by Kenny Bernstein, a Nashville area production manager.
A tip from a friend in Bellevue led Bernstein to Fairview’s junkyard. He contacted the Binkleys and scheduled a time to stop by for a quick tour of the grounds.
When the location was presented to director Kim Bass back in Los Angeles, a second trip to Binkleys was planned for Bass to see what the Fairview property had to offer including a Friday night visit to Binkleys Country Music dance hall, also located on the property.
“I thought he (Danny) was the nicest person in Fairview - until he introduced me to his wife,” said Bass with a little humor.
“The truth is I could not have made this movie without the Binkleys - and that is the absolute truth. They made it possible,” Bass said sincerely.
“Well, if you're writing about junkyard dogs, you're in the right place,” Danny chimed in with a smile.
Bass continued, “After coming here and meeting them, I was able to go back to L.A. and rewrite the script and make this an even better movie.”
The rewrites were rather easy considering all the 60-acre movie set had to offer the film's director.
“When I walked in to the dance hall and the sign said 'Junkyard Band' - can you imagine I am doing a movie called “Junkyard Dog” - I was in shock and I told everybody back in L.A. 'You've got to understand, the man has his own junkyard, he's got his own dance hall, he's got his own pond, he's got this and that - then I see the milk barn and the silo - so I had to do a rewrite to make the movie even better,” Bass explained enthusiastically.
The Friday night visit to Binkleys Country Music show was equally impressive to Bass.
“We came on a Friday night and saw the dancing and country-and-western music, and I just couldn't believe it. Originally, there was a bar scene with about five people in it and some country-and-western music playing on the jukebox. I'm walking in thinking 'Hey, wait a minute - I can have 200 people, a live band and people line dancing and doing everything' - quick rewrite!”
Over the three weeks of filming, the set has been closed for the most part with occasional opportunities for family and friends to observe the filming process.
The exception was last Friday night when Binkleys dance hall regulars were invited to participate in the film.
“This experience has been the coolest thing ever,” said Elizabeth with excitement.
“I even have a part in the movie. I play the serial killer's dead mother!”
That's right, Elizabeth plays dead in the movie which means she has no lines, but she admits the chance to be in the movie was fantastic.
“They spent two hours on my make-up and it was a whole lot of fun. I'm just on cloud nine,” Elizabeth exclaimed before adding, “And the script is just unbelievable - it's really good.”
In addition to helping with small parts in the production, Danny also stepped in front of the camera with his Junkyard Band performing during last Friday night's filming which also included lots of dancing takes for those who attend the weekly country music gathering.
“It’s really good to have a major movie being made in Fairview,” stated Danny. “Everything really just fell in place.”
As for how he chose Middle Tennessee and ultimately Fairview, Bass explained, “It's more accessible and we could find the areas that we needed. I liked the flavor and I had never been to Tennessee - but I thought it might be interesting to set it in the south - and people are just accommodating.”
According to Bass, “Hollywood Heard (a producer) had worked in Nashville before and he said you can do things here much more cheaply than you can do in L.A. and the people, if you're outside of Nashville, they're more open to letting you do certain things.”
In the end, the decision to shoot in Fairview was easy.
“We fell in love with everything and it's just been amazing - and we're half way done” Bass said with great satisfaction, adding that at least 80% of the movie was filmed right here in Fairview which is not only “unbelievable,” but according to Bass “unheard of” in the film industry.
The crew was able to shoot junkyard scenes, a pond fishing scene with the sheriff, and the dance hall scene all on site. They also incorporated the silo and made only minor changes to the milk barn - to recreate the serial killers office, bedroom, dining room and torture room - to design a real house of horror.
Elizabeth noted that was not the first time the building has been used to scare people, “We've had several Halloween parties where we used it for a haunted house.”
Bass also complimented the crew, many from the Nashville area, “I've never worked with a crew that had so many young people who were so talented and so enthusiastic.”
“It has just been a wonderful experience. Everything we're shooting is fantastic,” said Bass.
Bass has also been pleased with the reception from the community, “Everyone who has come in has been so nice. Everyone has tried to help - all the fire and police connections have been great.”
“I don't even know how I'm going to shoot another movie in L.A.,” Bass joked.
The Binkleys also expressed how great the experience has been and how much they will miss the film crew and cast being around.
“I guess we'll have to go back to looking at each other,” joked Elizabeth about her and Danny getting back to life as usual.
Bass suggested he could return to Fairview, “I might come back just to get away from L.A. - whether I'm shooting (another film) or not.”
While the familiar sounds of “quiet on the set,” “rolling,” and “cut” have come to an end, the Binkleys still have something to look forward to with Junkyard Dog.
“We're bringing them out to L.A. for the premiere,” Bass stated, who predicts the movie release this fall.
“I still have to get out there (Los Angeles). I have to edit. It won't be done until the end of September.”
The filming has also been good for Fairview's economy as the cast and crew booked all the rooms at one local motel and frequented local restaurants and stores for the entire three weeks.
“Any time you can do something like this - it’s a plus - a plus for everyone,” stated Danny.
Synopsis of the movie
Junkyard Dog is a psychological thriller that centers around a serial killer named JYD, played by Innis Casey.
When a young girl named Audra, played by Galadriel Stineman, comes up missing, FBI Agent Deatherage, played by Vivica Fox, and the local sheriff, played by Brad Dourif, are brought in to investigate the disappearance.
Their investigation leads them back to the junkyard where bizarre things are uncovered.
How It Came About
Kim Bass directs the cast and crew, creating a first rate thriller.
According to Bass, the idea came from a personal experience. A friend called to say her car had broken down, but she would be okay because she had called a tow truck to come pick up her and the car.
Bass thought about his friend being picked up by the tow truck driver, a total stranger, and decided to pick up his friend to ensure her safety.
The movie sets the stage for what could have happened.
Company behind the movie
Bass Entertainment Pictures LLC was recently created as a partnership venture between Kim Bass, Larry Brennan and Karlton Butts.
According to Butts, the new company specializes in making low-budget, high-quality, feature length films.
“Some of your best films are low budget. When its low budget, you have to be more creative, more talented, more driven - because you have to try to make more with less,” explained Butts.
He referenced two more recent low budget films that have seen great success such as “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”
“There is a real market for the smaller, more interesting, character-driven films - and we want to be a part of that,” Butts stated.
Vivica on Fairview
Actress Vivica Fox had nothing but nice things to say about her time in Fairview.
“I’m really happy the weather cooperated, the first couple of days were cold - and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve got so many outdoor scenes to do’ but I said I brought a little L.A. sunshine here to Tennessee and the weather has been beautiful ever since.”
The weather is not the only thing Fox has enjoyed on her trip to Middle Tennessee.
“The hospitality has just been amazing - and the shopping is fantastic,” said Fox.
On one of her excursions, she visited the Green Hills Mall, had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and had her nails done.
As for the movie, Fox explained, “One of the main reasons I’m here is because of the director Kim (Bass). I did a cameo with him before...and he gave me a call and said ‘I want you to come kick some butt for me - I need somebody that can bring the heat.’”
She read the script and shared, “I just enjoyed it.”
“I’ve been rolling in the dirt, shooting guns and wrestling with dogs - and its been great,” Fox stated.
As for her time in Tennessee, Fox remarked, “I’ve enjoyed it. and I’m hoping that the movie does well and we can do a sequel and come back (to Tennessee).”
About the movie
Director: Kim Bass
Producers: Deanna Shapiro and Hollywood Heard
Co-Producer: Gary McClurg
Prod Mgr: Ken Bernstein
1st Asst Director: Michael Del Polito
Innis Casey - Swing, 24, CSI Miami, The Bold and the Beautiful
Galadriel Stineman - rising young actress from Kentucky
FBI Agent Deatherage
Vivica Fox - Kill Bill Vol. I & II, Soul Food, Independence Day
Brad Dourif - Lord of the Rings, Mississippi Burning, voice of Chuckie in Childs Play
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© 2008 Gannett Co., Inc. PHOTO CUTLINES Members of the Junkyard Dog production team adjust a camera during a shoot at Binkleys Country Music last Friday night. Nancy Stephens/The Fairview Observer/www.fairviewobserver.com Vivica Fox Nancy Stephens/The Fairview Observer/www.fairviewobserver.com Director Kim Bass Nancy Stephens/The Fairview Observer/www.fairviewobserver.com Lead actor Innis Casey acting out one of the Junkyard Dog scenes. Nancy Stephens/The Fairview Observer/www.fairviewobserver.com