'Selma' movie filming continues
SELMA, AL (WSFA) - It's almost a wrap for filming of the movie "Selma" in Dallas County this week. Most of the scenes have taken place on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The bridge is closed until Thursday.
In downtown Selma this week, life pretty much come to a standstill. Traffic lights were out, some businesses closed for lunch, extras moved around to get in position for the next scene and vintage cars nearby from a different era.
The movie is more than just a story about the Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery. It also touches on the three-way relationship between Martin Luther King, George Wallace and Lyndon Johnson.
Oprah Winfrey is not only producing the film but playing a supporting role as well. Winfrey emerged from the St. James Hotel in downtown Selma after filming a scene Wednesday. A group of fans greeted Winfrey just before she left to film more of the movie on the bridge.
Winfrey is playing the role of Anne Lee Cooper who reportedly confronted then sheriff James Clark for not being able to vote.
Filming started Wednesday on one of the pivotal moments of the Civil Rights march -- Bloody Sunday.
Winfrey told WSFA 12 News the story of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge turned the tide in the movement 49 years ago. Even though it's a story that's been re-told countless times through the years, it bears repeating, Winfrey said.
"This was a crucial moment that caused Lyndon Johnson to take another look at what's going on in Selma," Winfrey said.
Winfrey told WSFA 12 News the Selma part of the film is going well and considers it a priviledge to be part of the movie.
"There is a spiritual energy on that bridge and millions have come to walk that bridge," Winfrey said.
Paul Garnes is directing the Bloody Sunday part of the film. Garnes says working with those who were actually on the bridge when state troopers beat back the marchers makes his job somewhat easier.
"They have a real understanding of what it was like and they bring that energy to the set for us," said Garnes.
Filming for this part of the movie in Selma is expected to wrap up on Thursday. Filming will also take place in Montgomery at the end of the week.
The film crew consists of more than 700 people.
The movie is set to be released nationwide in January of next year.
Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.