Filming of 'Route 65 Nashville' movie in Beaufort called off

emoody@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 26, 2013 

A movie scheduled to be filmed this fall in Beaufort -- that had excited city officials, as well as film and business boosters -- will be produced in Tennessee instead.

The filming of "Route 65 Nashville" will shift from Beaufort to Nashville, according to Ron Tucker, president of the Beaufort Film Society.

Tucker said he learned of the change from director Ric LaMonte in early September, and has been in contact with LaMonte as recently as Wednesday. Attempts Thursday to reach LaMonte for comment were unsuccessful.

"The gist of it was, things weren't moving fast enough for him as far as getting it done, getting it shot, with the commitments he had for the cast," Tucker said. "... He was committed to shooting it in Beaufort, but as the puzzle pieces started not fitting, he had to go where it was more economically feasible for him."

Tucker posted the news Wednesday night on the film society's Facebook page.

According to the post, LaMonte said he "appreciates the efforts of all involved in welcoming the cast earlier in the year to Beaufort and hopes that a future project can be shot here."

The film about aspiring female country music singers initially was to begin production in August, but producer Barbara Terry said in late August she had not yet raised enough money to start. The project was on hold until she secured $2 million in financing still needed for the $7.2 million movie, she said.

Terry, who lives in the Beaufort area, said in a text message Thursday that she was unavailable for comment for a few days because a family health emergency had called her away to Texas.

About $5 million had been committed for the movie, Terry has said, but must of it was in product-placement deals that wouldn't be payable until the movie's final cut.

It's not clear if the film will still be produced by Terry's Beaufort-based production company, Dream Coast Films. Terry has been removed from the film's IMDB page, an online database of information about films.

The IMDB page also now lists Imagination Films TX as the production company.

Terry is still listed on the film's website, route65nashville.com, but Tucker said that is because Terry owns the website.

Terry said in July that she initially planned to shoot "Route 65" in and around Nashville. However, after South Carolina's legislature passed incentives for filmmakers, she decided to move the production to Beaufort.

Her decision was formally announced July 23 at a news conference at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, with Tucker, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling and chamber officials present.

Films or TV productions shot in the state can receive incentives tied to wages paid and purchases made in the state.

Terry had said she hoped to receive $1 million in incentives, but that she did not have the cash to close contracts, hire crews and actors, apply for those incentives or arrange film locations.

Terry had also said a second film -- "My Brother, Your Outlaw: The Waylon Jennings Story" -- would begin production in Beaufort in January. It's not clear whether production of that film will remain in Beaufort.

On Sept. 2, LaMonte posted on Tucker's Facebook page that without funding in place, the producers cannot apply for the S.C. film incentives. He also had not seen any paperwork on the product placements that Terry said were in place.

Tucker said that even though the film will not be produced in Beaufort, he hoped LaMonte would keep a part for Beaufort resident Haley Davis, 28, who was cast in the movie.

"If one good thing comes out of it, it's that Haley gets a part," Tucker said of the three-time 'American Idol' contestant. "This could launch her."


File video: Barbara Terry talks about 'Route 65 Nashville' in July 2013

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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