When Hollywood comes to your town, it can be exciting. It can also mean a lot of work.
The crew for the upcoming film "Best of Enemies" was in Macon recently. Filmmakers used the County Commission Chambers downtown as a stand in for City Hall in 1960s-era Durham, NC. For that to happen, there was a lot of 21st century stuff that had to move. That was Justin Crum’s job.
“There's a broadcast engineer inside of me who's screaming every time I unplug something. Like 'Oh God..we don't know what that's going to turn back on,'” Crum said
Crum is the web developer, graphic designer, videographer, photographer and just general tech guru for Macon-Bibb County government. As he worked to unplug the commission chambers, you got the sense this high tech system is his baby. There’s 13 screens, one for each county commissioner, twice as many microphones, three HD video cameras, computer servers...lot’s of little pieces. After installing it he never imagined he’d have to take it all down.
“But in reality the system we have in here is very hardy,” he said.
What all of this does is enable live streaming online of county commission meetings. As Crum crawled under seats on the dais, one potential weakness of the system became clear. It’s not wireless.
“Now we just have to do that like 30 more times,” Crum said after tossing disconnecting three cables from commissioner’s one seat.
Crum says the first time he broke this down was no picnic. It took about two days. He didn’t stick around to watch the movie magic.
“I went on a wonderful vacation after that,” he said. “I thought ‘Today is a day for some refreshing lemonade.’”
Taking things apart? He’s got that dialed. Putting back together? Maybe not so much.
“It’s kind of like Humpty Dumpty sometimes,” he said.
Still, Justin says he is more than happy to do his part to help Macon become a home to film and television production.
“If it’s something we need to take and remove and fix up for them, we are happy to do so,” Crum said.