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"Dukes of Hazzard" (2005) Movie & "Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" (2007) Movie
When the decision was made that a big screen version of "The Dukes of Hazzard" would be be made, Warner Brothers already had three cars left over from the last production that was filmed in 1999, "Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood" (2000). The three cars were sent over to JEM FX to be prepped for the movie. A transportation coordinator was hired to start purchasing the other cars that would be needed to make the movie. Many of the cars were about 50-85% completed by the time everything was packed up and sent down to Baton Rouge, LA... where the production lot would be.
In mid-October 2004 the truck loads of cars began to show up in Baton Rouge, and so did the crew members. Work picked up right where they left off on California. The first time I visited the production lot was on Oct. 30, 2004. The Chargers that they already had were already painted in the familiar orange that was to be expected. At this point, no cars were painted in the faded Pre-cooter style. Some had full decals, some had no decals. The wheels on the cars varied from 10-spoke Vectors, to 15-spoke turbines, and even factory Magnum wheels. The interiors were not complete either.
HOW I GOT MY FOOT IN THE DOOR:
As soon as the crew showed up in Baton Rouge, they began scouting for cars and parts. It wasn't long before they heard about Travis Foster, who lived in the nearby city of Gonzales, LA. Travis had many Charger project cars, parts cars, and quite the stash of Charger parts. They quickly got in touch with him because it was only a matter of time before they would need some hard to find parts. On Thursday Oct 28, Travis called me and said that he was contacted about possibly helping work on the cars. He told him that he would not be able to but knew someone who may be interested. That is when he called me. I had to work on the following day but after work, I went straight down to Travis' house so that we could show up, first thing Saturday morning (Oct. 30, 2004). With a fresh resume in hand, Travis and I showed up at the production lot at 7am and I sat down with John Feinblatt who was the Picture Car Coordinator for the movie. I was willing to take some time off from my normal job in order to help build cars for the movie. Mr. Feinblatt was concerned that I lived 2hrs away but I told him that I would live with Travis if I had to, or stay at a motel, or whatever. He really appreciated me coming in to interview but told me that they decided on the day before to sub out a lot of the work to local body shops, and that they no longer needed to hire extra help. He asked if I would be interested in being an extra for the movie but I declined and told him that I was mostly interested in the cars and stunts. He then gave me an open invitation to come back any time and watch them "jump and crash cars" whenever I wanted. That was all I needed! So from then on, Travis and I would frequently stop in. Travis had the joy of visiting that production lot more than I did because he was local and was always delivering parts for the Chargers.
I also wanted to mention; while I was sitting at John Feinblatt's desk in the Transportation office (which was only a three room mobile trailer), I noticed a very familiar site. Sitting on the window sill behind his desk was one of the red/white/blue CNH 320 license plates from the 2000 Reunion in Hazzard movie. I asked about it and he didn't really know much about it. He just said "Yeah, that was on one of the WB TV cars." This is when I first realized that former Reunion cars were being used on the movie.