Here in the South, we love a good true story. And we love college football. So we really love true stories about college football.
Enter “Woodlawn”, a feature film opening this weekend. It’s based on the true story of the Woodlawn vs. Banks high school football rivalry—and it was shot entirely within the Birmingham Metro Area. (How’s that for authenticity?)
In order to bring the inspirational true story to life, the Erwin Brothers—Birmingham natives and directors of “Mom’s Night Out” and “October Baby”—brought their team here to the Magic City. That included 170 crew members, shooting for 42 days total, with a reported budget of $25 million dollars.
And our very own Dan Atchison was one of them.
“It’s like the circus coming to town,” said Atchison, who served primarily as the Unit Production Manager but also doubled as a Co-Executive Producer. “We had six 18-wheelers plus another 10 trailers and a big tent for catering. It’s literally like a circus that moves around the city.”
As the UPM, Atchison worked with Producer Daryl Lefever to oversee “anything and everything” involved in production, as he put it.
Many of the crew members were local, but due to the size of the crew, lots of roles were filled by workers from Los Angeles, Orlando, New Orleans, Atlanta, and elsewhere.
“It’s tough because our crew base here’s not that big,” Atchison said. “We have good technicians, we just don’t have a lot of them in general. You’re bringing in quite a few outsiders, but definitely putting to work a lot of in-town people.”