‘42’ producer: Macon’s hospitality was ‘wonderful’

pramati@macon.comApril 11, 2013 

One of the great benefits of Darryl Pryor working in Hollywood is the opportunity to visit places he always wanted to go.

So for Pryor, the co-producer of “42,” shooting scenes from the film in Macon gave him the chance to visit the hometown of soul legends Otis Redding and Little Richard.

“I’ve always wanted to come to Macon,” said Pryor, who works with Legendary Pictures. “To be able to come to Macon on this film was a wonderful experience. I have an interest in R&B music. You have Little Richard and Otis Redding from the area, and James Brown worked in the area as well.”

Perhaps most appropriately in Pryor’s case, Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, just two hours from Macon.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be working on movies and getting to travel to these places,” he said, adding that he visited H&H restaurant, the Tubman African American Museum and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame while shooting here.

The movie’s producers didn’t pick Macon for its music heritage, however. They needed a place that had a historic baseball stadium as well as architecture appropriate to the 1940s. Macon ended up doubling for the Florida cities of Daytona and Sanford during the time when Robinson was taking part in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ spring training.

Macon’s Luther Williams Field and the fields at Central City Park appear in multiple scenes, while Terminal Station, much of Third Street and several Macon homes are featured prominently.

“Luther Williams was one of the principal reasons we came,” he said. “But the architecture in downtown Macon is such that it can replicate other cities, so we were able to work with our production design team.”

It also didn’t hurt that Georgia has some of the nation’s best tax-incentive packages for filmmakers, which proved to be another big draw for the producers.

As a baseball fan, Pryor said he had a lot of fun with the shoot, and not just because of “42’s” subject matter.

“We shot at three of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country,” Pryor said. “We shot in Macon, and we also shot in Birmingham and Chattanooga. For baseball fans, that’s a wonderful experience.”

Pryor said the Southern hospitality Middle Georgia residents offered the cast and crew helped make things run smoothly.

“We had a good experience there,” he said.

“The people working with us, their hospitality was wonderful.”

Pryor said he would enjoy returning to Macon to shoot another movie if the opportunity arises.

“It’s a wonderful location that could serve for lots of different movies,” he said.

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