Major Motion Picture To Shoot In Liberty

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Going by the name of James Hamlett and the Family Tradition, the musicians who perform at the Saturday night Liberty Dance are, from left, Max Hight, Johnny Gentry, James Hamlett and Steve Hill. (Photo by Ken Beck)
If things turned out as scripted, James Hamlett is going to be in a Hollywood movie that plans to shoot one day in late January at the Liberty Dance with many of the dance hall regulars appearing as extras.

The film, “Love Don’t Let Me Down,” stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Garrett Hedlund, while Tobey Maguire is producing, but don’t break your neck hoping for a peek at Paltrow or McGraw as neither are expected for the dance hall scene.

“It will be more or less like a regular Saturday night dance,” says Hamlett, who has already signed on for the film and will be in his regular spot on stage leading a band and probably singing a country standard. “It’ll be a lot of fun.”

Hamlett has been told the shot will be one of the beginning scenes. “I don’t think Tim McGraw will be here,” he says.

However, the stars are expected to sing in the country music drama about a has-been country singer (Paltrow) who tries to make a comeback with the help of her husband-manager (McGraw) and an up-and-coming songwriter (Hedlund). The latter portrayed McGraw’s son in the 2004 film “Friday Night Lights.”

  • Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission Executive Director Perry Gibson announced that production begins this week in Nashville on the Screen Gems feature film "Love Don’t Let Me Down." The $15 million project stars Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow, country music superstar Tim McGraw, Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Garrett Hedlund (Friday Night Lights).
    The production company is aiming to hire local residents for almost 75 percent of the film’s crew and 90 percent of the film’s cast. More than 50 Tennessee crew members have already been put to work in a variety of jobs such as camera operators, assistant directors, grips, electricians, sound mixers, casting directors, location managers, stuntmen, set decorators, prop masters, hair and make-up artists, costumers and transportation coordinators.
    “I am thrilled the director and producers of "Love Don’t Let Me Down" have chosen Nashville and its residents to help bring their story to life,” said Gibson. “Having a production of this magnitude in our state will provide a significant number of jobs for our production community and the project’s spending will provide a real boost to the local economy.”
    Pre-production began in November of 2009 and principal photography is expected to last through the first week of March. Post-production will continue through April 1.
    A significant number of Tennessee companies stand to benefit during "Love Don’t Let Me Down’s" five month stay in Middle Tennessee. Office space has been rented since November, along with rehearsal and recording studio space. Other businesses to be utilized include office supply companies, rental car agencies, grocery stores, caterers, dry cleaners, florists, printers, security firms, waste management and more.
    The project is expected to qualify for a 32 percent refund of qualified expenses incurred in the state through a combination of incentives offered by the Film Commission and the Tennessee Department of Revenue. To qualify, at least $1 million must be spent by the production on Tennessee residents and Tennessee vendors. The production company hopes to spend $7-8 million during its stay and budgets must be audited before incentive payments can be released. 
    Writer and director Shana Feste describes the film’s story as one revolving around “a rising young singer-songwriter (Hedlund) who becomes involved with a fallen country singer (Paltrow). As they embark on a career resurrection tour with her husband and manager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Meester), romantic entanglements and old demons threaten to derail them all.” 
    The movie’s producers include actor Tobey McGuire of the Spiderman movie series and Jenno Topping, whose producing credits include Charlie’s Angels, 28 Days and I-Spy. A release date has not yet been announced.
    "Love Don’t Let Me Down" joins a long list of recent movie and television projects filmed in the Volunteer State including Bailey, Tough Trade, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Grace Card, Can You Duet, Savage County, Billy: The Early Years and Hannah Montana: The Movie.
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