Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Huntington native Frederick H. (Fred) Kitchen reflects on his involvement with "We Are Marshall" Movie

Pictured above is Meg Everest (Set Decorator) and Fred Kitchen on the set of
"WE ARE MARSHALL" in Atlanta, Georgia.

Marshall University Movie News - June 8, 2006
Hollywood came to Huntington, West Virginia to tell the story of the aftermath of the 1970 Marshall plane crash. Check here for the inside scoop and to share your thoughts about the film.

Frederick H. (Fred) Kitchen sent us this report on his involvement in the movie:
Fred Kitchen has been actively involved in the behind the scenes planning from the on set of filming by coordinating the logistical aspect of supplying caskets for the critical and highly emotionally charged funeral and cemetery scenes in the “We Are Marshall” movie.

Beyond coordinating specific caskets for the scenes in Atlanta, he offered consultative advice to the Set Decorator, Meg Everest – (Sweet Tea Pictures., LLC) for realism of the funeral home scenes in the movie as well as provide additional funeral home equipment needed for the scenes. He was also used as an extra cast member in the funeral home scenes of the movie as well as the team memorial services held at the Thundering Herd Stadium.

The realism of the stadium is incredibly close to the old Fairfield Stadium down to the details of the scoreboard. It was like stepping back in time. The Cast and crew that I was in contact with seems to be taking this movie and the realism very serious.

“Prior to the filming in Huntington, we worked closely with a Huntington funeral home director, Tim Carpenter researching newspaper clippings as well as other forms of archive media and provided Warner Bros. & Sweet Tea Pictures, LLC with specifically selected caskets for the funeral and cemetery scenes filmed in Huntington’s Springhill Cemetery. “Our goal was to provide caskets that replicated the 1970 time as well as to make certain that dignity and honor would be portrayed for those who lost their lives in this tragic event as well as for their families.

Warner Bros. & Sweat Tea Pictures, LLC, extended a personal invitation to me to be on set in Atlanta, Ga. during the filming of the emotional funeral home scenes as well as being cast as an extra in several scenes. Those on set were Mathew Fox (Red Dawson), January Jones, (Carol Dawson), Anthony Mackie (Nate Ruffin), Huntley Ritter – (Randy Lindon), Ian McShane – (Paul Griffin) as well as many others.

During the filming of the highly emotional funeral home and the Thundering Herd Team Memorial Service scenes, you could feel the realness of the entire experience as they told what was actually going on during the service with regard to grieving family members. The Funeral Home scenes were filmed on Campus at Morris Brown College – Gaines Hall and the Team Memorial Service was filmed at the Herndon Stadium at the college in Atlanta on Tuesday, June 6, 2006. Additional Church Funeral Scenes are scheduled to be filmed in Atlanta at a later date and time.

Before coming back to West Virginia on Wednesday, I watched the football practices and scenes being filmed. The realism of the stadium, actors and characters dressed in 1970’s period clothing, the band playing, the old Marco mascot running up and down the field made it feel real and nostalgic.

In watching the energy of Mathew McConaughey – (Coach Jack Lengval), on the field, I believe he is really is going to portray the epitome of the Marshall spirit and will show the energy and foundation of how our Marshall University football program was re-built to what it is today.

Several crewmembers discussed of how receptive Huntington, people were to them and how cooperative everyone was during the filming in Huntington. I told them this was not just any movie filming in Huntington; this was personal and a highly emotional part of many people’s lives – a real event that hurt many people.

“For me, the experience has been most memorable, emotionally charged and will positively impact my life forever. The raw emotions surrounding this tragedy have been re-visited by many in the Huntington area as well as the entire Marshall University family. From what I have seen, I believe this tragedy will be portrayed as a true triumph for Huntington and Marshall University while portraying the perseverance and strength of West Virginians. I also believe the movie will offer a true form of emotional healing to all affected by this tragedy that will never be forgotten!

Fred is a graduate Huntington East High School, Marshall University, and Mid-America College of Funeral Service.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be involved in this major motion picture that tells a true and noble story about a tragic event that affected my hometown and many families, and friends on November 14, 1970.” Fred now resides in Milton, WV with his wife, Amber and daughter, Annalise.

Compliments of The Herald Dispatch Newspaper, Huntington, West Virginia - June 8, 2006


unsecured loans said...

Can you add some more photos?

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Fred H. Kitchen, CFSP said...

I will be adding additional on-set photos soon. Thanks - Fred

Betsy said...

Great work.