It’s not often a successful model (“Everything from medical scrubs to gardening outfits”) gets into the movie business behind the camera.
For Taylor Vickers the journey from the runway to the production site began in earnest when she joined her husband Dodd Vickers as he worked as a location manager for “Sharp Objects,” the popular 2018 mini-series starring Amy Adams filmed in Barnesville.
Dodd started on that show and then moved to another, but told the director that his wife was trained to help out as a scout.
“So they hired me for three days, which grew into weeks and weeks on the job,” Taylor says.
She actually started learning the business several years before by doing on-site production maps to support her husband’s work, providing crew members vital information about the logistics of the day –– where to park, where equipment will stored, which streets will be blocked, where to find lunch, and scores of other details.
It’s a demanding job, Taylor says, because everything can change overnight. “Parking locations change, or it’s raining and everything changes,” she says. “I had to carry my computer everywhere –– even at a concert or family dinner –– to keep up with the shifting details.”
But mastering the demands was worth it, for her next step was scouting for filming locations. For “Sharp Objects,” the challenge was to find a perfect small town for a story of a small-town murder. “I drove all over Georgia taking pictures of small towns before the director decided on Barnesville, with its classic old-time look and feel.”
The next and hardest challenge on “Sharp Objects” was to find a small pond. “It couldn’t be too near a house. It had to be in the woods. You have no idea how many ponds there are in Georgia,” Taylor says. She found a duck pond near Barnesville, but it needed to be filled with water, which meant also bringing in water-treatment experts and snake wranglers.
Taylor says the production lifestyle suits her and her husband, who’s currently location manager on “Queen America,” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. “I like the flexibility because I’m mother of a special-needs child, so I can often take him along on scouting expeditions,” she says.
“Sharp Objects” was an economic boost to Barnesville, confirming Taylor’s belief that Georgians are blessed by having the film industry here. “We need to be good stewards of this industry,” Taylor says. “Sometimes filming creates an inconveniences like closed roads, but we all have to understand what a huge contribution it makes to our economy.
“What’s more, you never who you are inspiring. I see children coming to the set and you wonder if they’re dreaming of a career in film. It’s wonderful to know that those dreams could come true.”
This story is presented in cooperation with the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance.