Global Builders project manager Jason Craft holds a working drawing for baseball dugouts now under construction at Jasper’s City Park as part of the movie set for motion picture scenes to film there in mid-April. The structures will be permanent.
By the time you read this, Global Builders, a restoration and construction company based near Nelson, should be at work building two new baseball dugouts at Jasper’s City Park. The structures will be more than just a fresh space to stable a ball team. They are among field improvements to ready the diamond as a movie set for the Clint Eastwood film slated to shoot scenes in Jasper this April.
Global won the contract earlier in March to build the dugouts on the larger diamond at Jasper's City Park, where filming is to take place. Not mock-ups but real dugouts, the two movie structures will remain for park use after filmmakers pack up and roll away. All of this is according to Jason Craft, project manager and leader in business development for Global.
"We have to have the project completed by the sixth of April," Craft said. "And they're gonna shoot the 12th and 13th of April."
The diamond for the film, the lower ball field nearer the Duckpond, is to be reworked with new drainage in addition to the new dugouts, Craft said. The City of Jasper demolished existing dugouts prior to the start of new construction.
“The two new ones will be in their place,” Craft said. “We're doing all the new construction.”
Concrete-floored, the new ball team bunkers will be three stair steps below grade. Their sub-ground aspect adds some traditional dugout authenticity. For the movie, the structures are supposed to be part of a baseball diamond at a lower middle class high school, Craft said. Eastwood plays an aging baseball scout come to survey some talent.
Global expects to have a crew working every day, rain or shine, from now until the 6th of April. "We have just over a week to complete the project," Craft said.
In that time, concrete floors and steps will be poured. Concrete block walls will rise, capped at each dugout by a 2 x 6-supported shed roof, shingle covered. Open all across the front, both dugouts will have three poured concrete steps descending along the whole front opening, Craft detailed. But a padded, two-rail safety barrier along the front of each dugout will block access except near the railing ends.
Craft said this padded safety railing will lend something for ball players to lean on, as if that could figure into a scene somewhere. The key is to have everything camera ready by show time.
"We could have up to 10 people working on the site every day for a week," Craft said. Global employs its own in-house carpenters, he said. "We'll sub out the grading and all the concrete. We'll do the roof and all the carpentry."
Global president, Jonathan Schooler served as contact, Craft said, to S & K Pictures of Norcross, a company working with the movie director to have sets in place and ready when cameras roll. Global vice president for operations, Brian Bloom priced the job and with Craft prepared the proposal that won the bid and gained the project for Global. Global bested three competing companies in winning the job, Craft said.
"We're pretty proud of this one," he said. "We're working closely with the city [of Jasper]. They're holding our hand through all of this."
The movie, to film here mid-April, is titled Trouble with the Curve. Eastwood plays an ailing baseball scout in his twilight years with his daughter along for one last recruiting trip. Amy Adams plays the daughter. Justin Timberlake plays a rival scout who falls for her. John Goodman plays Pete Klein, another scout not ready to accept that Eastwood's character is ready for retirement.
Concerning the now seasoned star of the film, Craft sounded of the same mind as the Klein character. "Clint Eastwood, he's not an actor. He's a legend," the construction boss said. "They're shooting for two days, so I'm sure the man will spend the night here somewhere."
Craft said one of the film's art directors advised him Eastwood may alight on the baseball diamond by helicopter the day shooting begins.
"Clint Eastwood doesn't ride in a car," Craft smiled, suggesting any standard conveyance would be out of the question for the larger than life film star.
"He reminds you of watching movies with your dad or granddad,” Craft said. “He's just a legend, man. He's the best.”
Easter events plentiful – There is no shortage of egg hunts, special church services and other Easter related activities going on this week. Check out the print or e-edition for ads and articles that will point your bunny ears in the right direction.
Find out who made the grade – A complete list of all honors and principal’s list recipients is printed in on Page 5B of this week’s edition.
Sniper rifle in Nelson? – The City of Nelson recently purchased a sniper rifle to use during hostage situations. Full story page 1A.
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Jacobs honored by city – Pickens High Basketball Coach Kevin Jacobs was honored at Monday night’s city council meeting for achieving his 300th career-win. Jacobs was recognized for taking his PHS team to the state tournaments for the past two years. He began coaching 19 years ago at West Rome High School and has lead teams to state tournaments 10 times. While at Jefferson High School his team won the state class A championship. During his coaching career Jacobs has been named Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip Off Club.
Jacobs holds 71 of his 300 wins with PHS.
In a 4-1 vote with Councilman John Foust casting the sole dissenting vote, Jasper’s city council gave the go-ahead to allow residents to vote in the July referendum on whether they will allow Sunday alcohol package sales.
After being approached by private citizens regarding the matter, Mayor John Weaver last month put the question to the council. The referendum will be placed on the July 31st ballot and could allow package sales on Sundays by retailers for malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits.
Saturday marked the first day of baseball/softball/t-ball season for the Pickens County Recreation Department. Hundreds of spectators watched the opening day ceremony, which included a first pitch by longtime Rec. Dept. supporter and cancer survivor Jamie Fleming and the annual parade of 37 teams from 11 divisions. The event was held at Roper Park. Approximately 390 children signed up this year. Games began Monday night and will continue through late May. Several games are scheduled for Thursday night, so put on your ball cap and head to the park in support of Pickens County youth sports. See page 18B for photos of last Saturday’s event. For more Opening Day photos check out the print edition or follow this link to sign up for the e-edition.
The Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) will come through Pickens County on June 4-5 with 1,200 riders, many with families, spending the Monday night here.
This is the 33rd Annual BRAG. This year riders will start in Fort Oglethorpe and travel to Dalton on Sunday. On Monday, June 4, they will ride 50 miles from Dalton to Jasper. On Tuesday they will continue from here another 50 miles to Roswell. BRAG ends this year on June 9 in Tiger, Ga.