Originally created 08/27/99

Locals get shot at movie



Some coastal Georgia residents may soon get an opportunity to take directions from Robert Redford.

Mr. Redford has selected Jekyll Island and Savannah as locations for filming portions of The Legend of Bagger Vance, a movie set in the Depression with golf as its theme. In preparation for shooting next month, Bagger Vance Productions Inc. will conduct casting calls for extras in Savannah on Saturday and at the Ritz Theater in Brunswick on Sunday.

The $70 million movie is based on Steven Pressfield's novel The Legend of Bagger Vance: Golf and the Game of Life. The movie deals with a fictitious golf match that occurred in 1931 and included Bobby Jones, a founder of Augusta National and the Masters Tournament, and Walter Hagen, a hard-living golf champion of that era.

Producers have indicated they want to use the historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel and perhaps the beach and Jekyll Island Authority stables for filming, said Bill Donohue, executive director of the authority.

"We're excited about them doing it here. It could expand filmmaking on Jekyll Island and in Georgia," he said.

Mr. Donohue said the former millionaires' club may be used as the clubhouse in the movie.

"It's got the architecture and setting of that era," he said.

Construction crews are expected on Jekyll Island early next month building sets or making some changes in existing buildings. Filming is expected to begin on Jekyll on Sept. 20.

Any changes in the island's Historic District, however superficial, will have to be removed at the end of filming.

The selection of Jekyll Island as a setting explains some Redford sightings there roughly six months ago.

"The director's been on the island, I think, once or twice," Mr. Donohue said.

Marshall Peck, who is conducting the casting calls, said the filming on Jekyll Island should include golf and interior scenes.

"There's going to be a bit of everything, but it's pretty much going to be golf," Mr. Peck said. "I really need some good ballroom dancers."

Asked why Jekyll Island will be used as a setting, Mr. Peck said, "Obviously Mr. Redford liked it."

Mr. Peck said extra hopefuls should dress casually and pictures will be taken of each person.

Mr. Peck said he knows who will star in the movie but he can't say.