Those traveling on CC Camp Road between the Elkin Municipal Airport and the N.C. 268 intersection may have noticed more traffic than normal at times Saturday through Tuesday. Cameras were rolling near Elkin throughout the weekend as cast and crew for MGM’s “Max” movie were in the area doing scenes at the railroad trestle over the Mitchell River.
Originally, the production company officials doing work for the MGM film reported the filming would use the trestle in downtown Elkin near Harry’s Place, and that it would be just a one-day shoot, but it became apparent Saturday when film crews weren’t downtown that plans had changed.
The airport was used as a home base for the filming production for the cast and crew trailers, meals and other equipment, while the filming actually took place at the Mitchell River trestle.
Local restaurant Heaven Scent provided the meals for the mass of people working in and on the film. It was the first such opportunity for the restaurant, operated and co-owned by Jeff Taylor.
“We went on set and got our pictures taken with Josh (Wiggins, star of the movie),” Taylor said Monday afternoon.
“It’s been great,” he said of being able to cater the production. “The head of the North Carolina Film Association told her crew to come to Elkin to spot places to do shoots here, and she told them to come here to eat. They brought 25 people here two or three months ago, and she told us what they were planning on doing.
“She called us back not even a week after that,” said Taylor.
Taylor said the state film official had been following Facebook on Heaven Scent and knew the restaurant did a lot of catering.
“We are just waiting on them to let us know when something like this will come along,” he said of future opportunities in the film industry.
Filming for “Max” began in May. It stars Josh Wiggins as the younger brother of a fallen soldier who was a military war dog handler. His dog, Max, returns from active service in Afghanistan traumatized by his handler’s death, and the handler’s family adopts Max.
It’s with the Wiggins family that Max is cared for by young Justin (Josh Wiggins), the late Marine’s troubled 14-year-old brother. In an adventure, Max helps Justin unravel the secret behind his brother’s death and brings the family closer together again.
The film stars Thomas Haden Church (“Heaven Is for Real,” “We Bought a Zoo”) as Justin’s tough father Ray Wincott; Josh Wiggins (“Hellion”) as Ray’s young son Justin; Luke Kleintank (“1000 to 1,” “Dark House”) as Tyler Harne; Lauren Graham (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Parenthood”) as Pamela Wincott, Justin’s mother; Robbie Amell (“Struck by Lightning,” “The Tomorrow People”) as Kyle Wincott, Justin’s older brother; and Jay Hernandez (“Takers,” “Nashville”) as Marine Sgt. Nieto; with Boaz Yakin (“Now You See Me,” “Safe”) directing.
And the stars are enjoying their time with the film.
“It’s been going good,” said Kleintank as he took a lunch break from filming Monday. “We are staying at the Best Western in Jonesville.
“We’ve been here since Friday.”
He said he opted to take part in the film “because of the script and what it talks about, military dogs and what they mean to the military. And it’s a family film.”
Filming will end in about 10 or 11 days, Kleintank said, after two and a half months of filming.
“We’re staying in Charlotte, and we’ve traveled to Asheville, Brevard” and other locales around the state, he said.
Living in Los Angeles, Kleintank said it’s hard to find sweet tea, and “I like my sweet tea.” He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been featured in “Bones,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Gossip Girls.”
For Owen Harn, who is playing the role of Stack, a cop. “They called me about it and asked about playing a supporting role as a cop. I didn’t know it was a bad guy,” said Harn of when he auditioned for the part.
He said Elkin reminded him of their time filming in Asheville “with a lot of creeks.”
“It is a pretty town,” said the Florida resident.
His next role will be in “Banshee,” a Cinemax TV series.
Collaborating on “Max” with Yakin is a creative team led by director of photography Stefan Czapsky (“Safe,” “Blades of Glory”), editor Bill Pankow (“Letters to Julliet,” “Redacted”), production designer Kalina Ivanov (“The Vow,” “Gods Behaving Badly”), art director Elliott Glick (“We’re the Millers,” “Mud”), costume designer Ellen Lutter (“Grown Ups 2,” “Grown Ups”), animal coordinator Mark Forbes (“We Bought A Zoo,” “Hot Tub Time Machine”), property master Gillian Albinski (“Homeland,” “The Novice”) special effects coordinator (“Love & Other Drugs,” “Out of the Furnace”), stunt coordinator Doug Coleman (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Gangster Squad”) and visual effects supervisor Neil Eskuri (“Elysium,” “The Thing”).
Scenes will take place in and around Gaston County and North Carolina locales that include Charlotte, Elkin, Kings Mountain, Lincolnton, Lowell, DuPont State Park and Crowders Mountain.
Max is scheduled to be released in the United States and Canada by Warner Bros. on Jan. 30, 2015.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.