Monday, April 27, 2020

Drew's story about the movie Wolfen

Drew's story about the movie Wolfen. My dad made handrails. Technically the field was "architectural metals". But mostly that meant handrails. It was '79 or so that he got a strange call to bid on a movie. They needed a big, curved rail for an apartment set for the movie Wolfen. My dad thought "Well Andrew likes movies" and he came in with a low bid on the handrail. I was a freshman in high school at the time. I THINK he may have taken me out of school one day to go up to the set, in any case I certainly went with him. They were shooting at Kaufman Astoria. It may have had another name at the time. But let me tell you. That. Soundstage. Is. Enormous. I have seen some serious construction sites in my time, but that place was and is Huge. Sure. I'm 12 or 13 and trying to play it cool. But it was really amazing. Now my memory here gets fuzzy. We met the director (Michael Wadleigh) or maybe it was the Cinematographer (Gerry Fisher.) But we really did meet one of the big-wigs (production hadn't started yet.) And I remember he did the whole thing with the scarf and the pipe and looked the part. (I could have sworn we met the director, but looking at pictures of the guy now I'm not too sure. I'm gonna say we met Wadleigh and he had a scarf and a hat and a pipe.) He talked all about this new wolf POV look they were doing. To us. Some guy making the rail and his son. This was all during pre-production, obviously, and they had what was and is to me and infinite budget. If I hadn't mentioned it, those studios in Astoria are enormous. Now I didn't work on that at all. I mean, I was in high school. But there were funny stories about iron workers getting lost at Astoria and finding themselves in these rooms filled with body parts and gore. We saw the movie in a drive-in. If you didn't comprehend just how old I am and just how long ago this all was, we saw it in a drive-in. A drive-in. In New Jersey. The question that is on your mind is "Can we see Drew's dad's handrails in the movie Wolfen?" And the answer is yes, you can.
My dad's handrails.
TL;DR: my dad under-bid on a railing project once so I could go visit a movie set and it was pretty cool.


Aric Blue said...

Nice! We liked that movie when we were kids even though it couldn't hold a candle to The Howling or American Werewolf(cuz those had BOOBS and actual werewolves).

Andrew Bellware said...

I want to say they spent at least $85,000 on those handrails. Which is probably more than I've spent on all my movies put together.