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Our 2019 Road Trip, Part 14: Hollywood, Georgia

Black Panther mask!

ATLANTA FOREVER!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. We’ve taken two trips by airplane, but are much happier when we’re the ones behind the wheel — charting our own course, making unplanned stops anytime we want, availing ourselves of slightly better meal options, and keeping or ruining our own schedule as dictated by circumstances or whims. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’d been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we aimed for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness. Before we went to D*C, there was the road trip to get there, and the good times to be had before the great times at the big show.

As previously posted in haste from our hotel room several weeks ago, my favorite part of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum was the wholly unexpected exhibit titled “Georgia on My Screen: Jimmy Carter and the Rise of the Film Industry”. In 1972, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was instrumental in creating the State Motion Picture & Television Advisory Commission, which would eventually become the Georgia Film Commission of today. Through that increasingly generous division, laws and codes have been established to make Georgia ready, willing, and friendly to grant numerous tax breaks and other perks to Hollywood films and TV shows made there on a number of not-too-oppressive conditions. (That giant-sized peach logo you sometimes see embedded in end credits? They get an extra 10% “uplift” for using that.)

Some of your favorite studios are shooting there regularly. In 2018 that burgeoning industry earned Georgia a cool $2.7 billion. As someone who hails from a state that puts less-than-minimum effort into luring deep-pocketed filmmakers inside our borders, I have to confess to a smidgen of envy. Regardless: please enjoy another round of keen film props and memorabilia.

Star-Lord mask!

The mask of…Star-Lord! (Yeah, I know: “WHO?”)

Iron Man and Mjolnir!

A mask from the original 2008 Iron Man, and the lightly spoiler-y Mjolnir from Avengers: Endgame.

Agamotto and Fan!

The Eye of Agamotto and the Ancient One’s fans from Doctor Strange.

Marvel posters!

Black Panther shot quite a bit at Tyler Perry Studios. Thor: Ragnarok was largely made Down Under but filmed reshoots, the post-credits sequences, and Matt Damon’s cameo in Atlanta.

Gone with the Wind Oscar!

Switching gears from Marvel’s Best Picture nominee to an actual winner: the Oscar awarded to Atlanta’s own Gone with the Wind.

Driving Miss Daisy Oscar!

Fifty years later, Georgia scored another Best Picture in Driving Miss Daisy.

Miss Daisy's accessories!

Jessica Tandy’s accessories from the same film.

Channing Tatum shoes!

On the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum in every imaginable way: shoes worn by Channing Tatum in Magic Mike XXL, which had sequences filmed in Savannah and Tybee Island.

Gal Gadot helmet!

Gal Gadot’s motorcycle helmet from Fast Five.

Paul Walker Furious 7!

Worn by Paul Walker in his final film, Furious 7. That’s a Vin Diesel costume by his side.

Katherine Johnson dress!

Worn by Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures.

My Cousin Vinny dress!

Worn by Marisa Tomei for her Oscar-winning role in My Cousin Vinny.

Remember the Titans costumes!

Worn by Coach Denzel Washington and linebacker Ryan Gosling in Disney’s Remember the Titans.

Fried Green Tomatoes tombstone!

They have a tombstone from Fried Green Tomatoes, but no fried green tomatoes from Tombstone.

East Bound and Down!

Sheet music for Jerry Reed’s “East Bound and Down” from the Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack.

Geoffrey Thorne costume!

Worn by Geoffrey Thorne as a series regular on NBC’s In the Heat of the Night. In more recent times Thorne’s extensive writing credits have included later seasons of Leverage (he also popped up on a few of its DVD commentaries) and comics such as Marvel’s short-lived Mosaic, which I liked very much.

Stranger Things Eggo!

Nostalgia prompts from Stranger Things.

Sophia and zombie!

It wouldn’t be an entry about Atlanta/Hollywood synergy if we didn’t mention The Walking Dead. Blasts from the past include one of Sophia’s shirts and a Walker puppet.

zombie and Alexandria sign!

Another zombie, waiting for prey in Alexandria.

Carol and Abraham bobbleheads!

We found the only Presidential Museum gift shop in America that carries Walking Dead merchandise.

Our time at the Carter Museum ended on an unexpectedly dour note. They have Japanese gardens out back that we’re old were lovely, but by the time we’d finished with the interior exhibits, heavy rains nixed that idea, and discouraged us from dashing out for lunch. Instead we retreated to the Carter Museum’s cafeteria and tried to make the most of their “Taco Tuesday”. As with the Carter Presidency, results were decidedly mixed despite good intentions.

To be continued!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my TV live-tweeting and other signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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