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RADIO

About The Production
Because Radio is a story about life in a small Southern town, one of the biggest casting searches was for the ideal location – one that dovetailed with both the artistic and practical considerations of filmmaking.

The town of Anderson, South Carolina, where the movie takes place, was eliminated from the competition because it has undergone a great deal of modernization in the past 30 years. A number of other Southern hamlets were considered. Each had one or two proper locations. But there were always compromises that had to be made. For instance, a town in the vicinity of Atlanta had a good high school. But because it was a working school, the production would only be able to use it on weekends. Nonetheless, Tollin, producer Herbert W. Gains and production designer Clay A. Griffith were pretty much settled on the town -- despite the inconveniences it presented -- when a representative for the South Carolina Film Commission said she had one more place that might work.

As they pulled into Walterboro, which is situated about an hour from Charleston, Tollin, Griffith and Gains were excited to see that it offered almost every location they needed. There was an old high school that is now part of the University of South Carolina, which just happened to be next to an empty gym. There was also an empty jail and an empty bank. When they arrived at the football stadium, a block away, Gains recalls, "We walked around and met on the 50-yard line and, in unison, we said 'This is it!' When writer Mike Rich arrived he was amazed at how much the town matched his set descriptions, even down to the diagonal parking across the street from the barbershop. It was ideal that we wound up in South Carolina since it was a South Carolina story."

The sleepy town of Walterboro was as compact as the back lot of a studio. No location was more than a five-minute drive from the other. And a newly constructed apartment complex provided comfortable housing for the crew.

Griffith had recently worked down south on Sweet Home Alabama and had also explored and photographed other southern towns as research for Radio. The fact that Walterboro seems somewhat entrenched in the past perfectly suited his design concept for the film. "I was looking for a town that was a blank slate, because we had a limited art department budget," he says. "I had always had this kind of small rural town in mind, though I never thought I'd actually find it."

Griffith chose the small town of Walterboro, South Carolina, for the filming for its simplicity in architecture that has been unchanged since the 50s. It allowed him to redefine Walterboro and make it appear as if it were a current 70s intimate town. The effect was achieved by redressing the entire main street with signage and shop fronts reminiscent of the period. Griffith also was given free range to architecturally alter existing buildings and change the color palate of the buildings to illustrate the flair and style of the ‘70s.

Griffith's grandfather had been a pharmacist in a small town in Tennessee, and the film afforded him the opportunity to recreate his pharmacy as one of the storefronts. Along with the pharmacy, Griffith created a barbershop, ice cream parlor and Laundromat, among others. "What's amazing," says Griffith, "is that back in the 70s there were individually owned businesses as opposed to today's commercialization. That allowed me to give the shops a lot more character. This picture was a very pe

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