Tag Archives: Super 8

Dear Super 8,

12 Jun

One Arm Paparazzi

You made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me gasp, stop eating my nachos, point at the screen and whisper to my mom who was sitting next to me in the theater. But it wasn’t all just due to the writing, performing and action. It was because of the city you named Lillian, Ohio. The city where I grew up.

I wrote about my excitement for your creation before but now that I’ve seen it all completed on the big screen – you made me remember and appreciate so many parts of my history – places I don’t get to see anymore. Where I used to play softball, where I used to take walks, where I used to sit and wait for friends, where I would drive by on any given day, where family is laid to rest, and where I lived and still call “home.”

Our house gets a few minutes of your time. It doesn’t do much – just exists in the background – but it’s there. Holding its own in your summer blockbuster. My second story bedroom window hovers above the scene. A window I would’ve been peeking out to watch it all happen. I used to sit and look out over Weirton Heights, watching the cars drive by on Pennsylvania Avenue while the smell from the metal screen filled my senses. Now, that window is a super star.

Hearing the stories from my mom/neighbors/friends, it was quite a spectacle to see your production in our town. (Pictures that my mom took are in the slideshow below.) It was a town that used to thrive around the steel mill and have an energy about it that I’m sure I romanticize now but you made me feel it again. You ignited a renewed spirit around the city – with your movie magic and interest in a place that so many don’t even know about. (Although we were a Jeopardy question once.)

Thank you for your attention and for thinking that Weirton, West Virginia had something special to offer in your Hollywood cinematic masterpiece. Also, thank you for allowing me to leave the theater and excitedly (and obnoxiously) tell a stranger, “That was my hometown! Our house was in the movie!” I think you would agree, it’s a worthy brag.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hollywood on Booker Hill

25 Sep

I’ve seen quite a few interesting things while growing up in my childhood neighborhood in Weirton, West Virginia. There was the time someone stole a roll of our old carpet off our back porch. Two other times, some high school boys thought it would be hilarious to build anatomically correct snowmen on our front steps. Another time, my friend and I thought it would fun to tie blankets together to climb out of my second story bedroom window – you know, like they do in the movies.

Well, now the movies are in my backyard but I’m sadly not there to see it. I’m living through Facebook pictures, news stories and the detailed descriptions from my mom.

I can see my bedroom window in this picture! It's above the crane. (Photo courtesy: http://www.super8news.com)

She and the neighbors we’ve lived next to since before I was born are now outsiders in the middle of movie making. It’s a J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg movie called Super 8 and it’s unreal. Although the neighbors are excited about the opportunity, they’re having to adjust to the change in their day-to-day lives – having to park blocks away and walk, people and movie props (tanks!) all over the place, movie people using my mom’s planters as a garbage can (they cleaned it up) and the security guard who shined his light in her face as she walked to her house. (He said, “I’m the security guard.” She replied, “I’m the neighbor.”) Our one neighbor was also getting a little uneasy about how they kept wanting to use more rooms of her house. They had already gutted the living and dining rooms of all their current possessions to transform it with 70’s style decor – then they added the kitchen, a bedroom and the garage to the movie set. My mom also keeps saying, “I can’t believe how many people they need to make a movie!” Still, it’s hard to complain about something so incredible and they are all anxious to see what it will look like on the big screen.

It’s not just my neighborhood that’s hosting Hollywood either. Many areas throughout the city are feeling the effects of movie magic and – from what it seems – many people are loving it. Here are just a few of the news articles and scoop stories talking about the experience:

I just hope it all turns out to be a great thing for Wild, Wonderful, (Weirton) West Virginia. The city has had its hardships (terrible flooding and a huge hit to the steel mill) and some of the scenery has changed (a “Cafe and More” with video gambling in it on almost every corner) and this movie seems to be a boost for the city. I love my hometown, always have. I would probably still live there if another love (hubs) didn’t have to listen to the Army and move to another state. Funny how we chose a town that reminds us of Weirton, only with a southern spin on it.

Good luck, Weirton! I hope Hollywood is kind to you.

%d bloggers like this: