Season of Thanks: New River Valley Rent-All

There’s a moment in scene four that goes like this:

[Suzanne] finds the catch and raises the hood. Smoke boils outfrom the engine and she waves her hands in front of herface, coughing.

The sedan pulls up behind her. Tom gets out and walks towards her through the smoke.


Having a little trouble?


I don’t know if it’s obvious to you, but well, I’d written myself into a corner again.  I needed a smoking engine, preferably without blowing up somebody’s truck.  I had worked on a shoot last summer where they did a similar gag, and they used smoke grenades planted under the hood.  The only problem was, that started a small fire that burned some wiring on the truck, and while none of it was major damage I wasn’t really in the mood for it.  Especially considering it wasn’t my truck, or even a crew member’s truck.  It was loaned to the production by my best friend’s brother, Brian.  So we definitely wanted to take care of it.

Lucky for me, James Dunson had been helping out since pre-production and had been mulling over a few ideas.  We had thought that a fog machine would work best for us, but the fog machine we thought we had turned out to be missing (filmmaking is problem solving, just keep saying that).  So James spent most of Sunday calling around and trying to procure one.  As was expected, he wasn’t having a lot of luck.

At least until he tried calling New River Valley Rent-All, where Dan Leary just happened to be in on his day off while the store was closed, and he just happened to answer the phone.  Apparently he must just be one of the nicest people ever, he agreed to rent us a fog machine on a Sunday.  Let me just point out one more time: the store was closed, and he still hung around until James could pick up the fog machine.

And let me just tell you: it was so worth it.  I absolutely cannot wait to show you the shot we got out of it.  It never would have happened without Dan Leary picking up the phone when we needed it most.

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Lerch

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