Monte Emery enjoys working behind the scenes

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monte Emery of Lake City has an interesting career working behind the scenes of Hollywood's movie making industry. Monte works in the transportation department and has been involved in over 25 films.

Monte Emery of Lake City stores boats and motorcycles used in the making of the movie Mud. Emery worked in the transportation department during movie. Most of the movie was filmed in Arkansas. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

He recently finished work with the movie Mud by Jeff Nichols starring Matthew McConaughey. Most of the movie was filmed in Arkansas and Emery felt right at home. The production office was in Stuttgart.

Monte was raised in Caraway working in the family business with his father, Melton Emery. He got acquainted with the movie making business through the filming of John Grisham's Painted House, a movie made for television and filmed in Lepanto. The Emery family provided some of the old vehicles and period items for the movie which aired in 2003.

Before starting on Mud, Monte was part of the transportation crew during the filming of 21 Jump Street filmed in New Orleans. Some of the other productions he has been involved with as picture car coordinator and driver include Walk The Line, the Johnny Cash story; The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 and Part 2; The Last Song, and Secretariat.

Being behind the scenes he has a new respect for movies and how everything has to be organized and coordinated for different scenes.

He enjoys working on time period movies and helping locate just the right vehicles or in the case of Mud, boats and motorcycles.

"The directors and producers tell us what they need and give us a budget and we try to find just the right vehicle," he said. "The 20 foot boats used in Mud came from California. We had to have one up and running, another was used in a scene when the boat was in a tree. We found the right motorcycles and the art department painted them identically. If something happens to one you have to be ready with another."

Monte started to work with the production of Mud in September and finished in November just before Thanksgiving. He brought the boats and motorcycles back to Caraway for storage and to be ready in case there is a need for retakes.

He and his father lost a lot of memorabilia including old tools, antique equipment and even a limousine in a fire several years ago. They have long been collectors.

Monte enjoys his work but also enjoys being home with the family. He and his wife, Kim, have four children ranging from college age to a one year old. Their children are 19, 14, four, and one. They keep them busy.

When he was working in New Orleans last summer, they enjoyed a family vacation.

Monte enjoys his work and one of his favorite jobs was working as car coordinator in the Secretariat.

"It was my first view of Churchill Downs and it was beautiful," he said. "It was the period from 1968 to 1973."

He also enjoyed his work as driver on Mud. Scenes were filmed on the White River and the banks of the Mississippi River in Eudora.

"My mother wanted an autographed pictured of Matthew McConaughey," Monte said. "I knew his driver, so fortunately I did get the opportunity to ask for the autographed picture. During our conversation he wanted to know who owned the four-wheeler parked nearby. I told him it was mine and he was welcome to ride it and he did."

Monte is not sure when Mud is scheduled to be released.

It is not a nine to five job but Monte does enjoy his work and has made good friends and visited some interesting places. He is not sure where the next film will take him, but he is content spending time at home with his family in between jobs.

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