Press Releases


Page 14 - the BUZZ                                              November 23, 2006

Behind the Scenes

Victoria Von


Have you ever wondered how movies are made? The seamless films we view in the theaters require thousands of hours and hundreds of people to create.

Two of the dedicated workers that make it happen live here in Monroe County. Gail and David Witt of G & W Enterprises LLC perform countless support services to help make movie magic. Consulting on films is a new career for Mr. and Mrs. Witt.

Gails former operation of a craft store in downtown Tellico Plains is how it all began. A couple of years ago the opportunity literally came knocking. A casting director for the fictional depiction of the history of the Mormons and Joseph Smith titled "The Work and the Glory" came looking for extras for the filming that was taking place in Vonore.

David was "discovered" and Gail discovered her talents bent toward the details and began the film consulting firm. This pair has exactly what it takes to fulfill the demanding job of developing the foundation for this art form that is essential to its success. Pre-production is where most of the work is performed. Doing the legwork for these big companies saves them time and time is money.

Davids 34 years of experience with the railroad is very beneficial when locomotives are involved in the storyline, as well as his skills in fabrication and metalwork. Building sets, scouting locations and scenery, costumes, and re-creation are just a few of the background necessities that go into the illusions in a major motion picture.

Specialized support services such as traffic and noise level studies that will effect filming are part of the "packages" the Witts put together. Even lodging and restaurants for the visiting crewmembers and the availability of a local hardware store for the supplies needed for the production are all  considerations none of us ever think about while watching our favorite stars on the big screen.

"Information is not free anymore, you cant afford to give it away," David shared.

Along with the excitement of their industry and the joy, they experience traveling the country to perform it; Gail and David recognize a few roadblocks in entertainment. Listed with the East Tennessee Film Commission in Knoxville, an affiliate of the Tennessee Film Commission does not guarantee work for the couple in this area. Unfortunately, our state offers few incentives to the film industry in order to attract more business, such as tax breaks. Consequently, many interested companies take their business and all the potential revenues generated from it to surrounding states and even to other countries like Canada that make it worth their while.

Nevertheless, there are films made here in our own back yard. Most recently part of the trilogy titled "The Work and the Glory III: A House Divided," opening this Thanksgiving Day. Every deal begins with the script. It helps the Witts envision and fulfill the underlying needs in order to bring the story to life. Photographs are taken of the locations scouted and are presented for scrutiny. If Gail and David hit the mark, the proposed films director, art director, and special effects people visit their suggested spots for final approval. Then G & W Enterprises kicks into high gear, offering other connections to keep the process going.

Along with their respective talents, David and Gail offer the services of some top-notch people in diverse areas of the industry. They have networked in the business and have acquired an impressive resource in Captain Dale Dye of Warriors Inc.

You may not recognize his name but I guarantee you know his work. He is the Senior Military Advisor for films such as "Saving Private Ryan,"  "Band of Brothers," the Oscar-winning Oliver Stone film "Platoon" and my personal favorite "Forrest Gump."

Recently the Witts have broadened their role in the industry to include associate producers of a future film dealing with the Civil War. A common arrangement in the entertainment business is the signing of a "Confidentiality Agreement." One such paper is what prevented them from giving more information about this project, but they did share that the writer is from North Carolina.

Fortunately, there is no secret in the fact that Gail and David Witt perform an important and unique job and their enthusiasm for it is undeniable.

"We wear more than one hat," David explained. He also wrote a book titled "The Sun Sets in the West" that is in the hands of a publisher right now. The theme highlights his interest in history, namely, 1900s New Mexico, and of course trains.

The fact that it takes approximately 180 individuals to develop a single story into a simple movie requires us all to stop munching our popcorn long enough to recognize the hard work behind the scenes and to remember these two fellow citizens dedicated to the process that brings us all a good time.

For more information call (423) 253-2878 or go to www.gandwenterprises.com



Published by The Monroe County Buzz



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