The movie, “Neighborhood Watch,” starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, may be released as early as July.
After the news arrived about the opportunity to be in a movie, pictures of the residents who wanted to be included were mailed to the casting director. Then came the call the Cameron Hall folks were waiting to get. Ann Thomas and others had been selected.
Filming on day one was in a church in the Macland Road area in Cobb County. It was a perfect site for the Cameron Hall folks.
In one scene some were seated around a table and Ben Stiller was supposedly teaching them Spanish. Seated next to him was Cameron Hall resident Stella Lathem. Other Spanish students were Canton’s own Bob Sibley, Bonnie Silver, Clifford Fleming and Grace Fronebarger. Jim Henderson was farther back.
The people in charge kept telling them to move closer to Stiller. Good sources say that Stella Lathem started flirting with him. I am told she is really good using Mae West’s line, “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”
The future stars were directed not to say anything. That was too hard for some of them. They talked anyway. The director liked what they said so he had them sign a contract for speaking parts.
The group was amazed by all of the things that were happening at the same time. While the cameras were rolling Joanne Savage, the owner of Cameron Hall, was pushing Ruthelle Holcomb in a wheelchair, Jeanette Wall was on the sidewalk and Navada Chandler was walking back and forth with an assistant.
On another set children were being filmed on a playground.
While they had a lot of interaction with Stiller, they only caught a glimpse of actor Jonah Hill. In a scene being filmed on the grounds, he was hiding behind a tree with a switchblade in his hand. They did not see Vince Vaughn.
In one scene Ann Hughes and Pamela Hayes were two of those who were supposed to be playing a card game. They did not know how to play it. The director told them to just pretend they were playing. They did not like that. Someone got Scrabble and that worked.
In another scene a trainer is leading some of the newly discovered talent in Tai Chi. Joyce Poole and Jerry Payne were among them. They were being filmed from all camera angles. It was impressive when some, like Lois Owens, demonstrated their newly learned martial arts skills.
Let me warn you, since they are now trained to defend themselves, it is not advisable for anyone to mess with them.
On the first day, everything was perfect. On the second day things did not go as well. Ann Hughes, Nell Auger, Myrtle Smith and Lois had to do a lot of walking and some of it was on hilly ground.
The place for changing their clothes, if needed, was in a tent.
Most did not need to change, but someone on the set wanted Ann Hughes to wear another color. Although there was a big trailer filled with costumes, one of the wardrobe workers went to K-Mart and Wal-Mart to buy something in the color they wanted her to wear.
Matt Osear, Ruth Payne, Joanne Savage and Kimberly Denmark were all cast as orderlies.
Another problem on the second day was the location of the portable restrooms. To get to them, they had to climb some steps. That was especially hard for Lois.
She is 95 years old. With her beautiful hair and skin, she does not look her age and she certainly does not act like an older lady. A few weeks ago she renewed her driver’s license. Now she can legally drive until she is 100.
But going up those steps was something Lois could not do. Since Joanne and Ruth are well experienced assisting people in similar situations, they knew what to do. Joanne got behind her and Ruth got in front of her. Joanne “butt-pushed” while Ruth pulled. Regrettably, that will not be in the movie.
It was after the fact when they learned the movie probably will be R-rated.
They find that embarrassing even though the ladies and gentlemen from Cameron Hall say they kept their clothes on. It is only when we see “Neighborhood Watch” that we will know for sure.
Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.