Concertgoers add '50s flair for film crew

Westminster: Poodle skirts and pedal pushers are back in style, briefly, as music fans get gussied up for movie scene.

August 07, 2005|By Jill Stone | Jill Stone,SUN STAFF

A pair of Baltimore filmmakers will likely have a guaranteed audience from Westminster when Last Ride of the Raven, their romantic comedy, makes its debut.

To add a 1950s flavor to their movie, George R. Rivers III and Gene Vincentt filmed scenes last weekend during the final installment of the summer concert series at Westminster City Park -- with the audience cued to dress in period costume, right down to poodle skirts, saddle shoes and greased hair.

Rivers and Vincentt wanted to revisit the days of the old hot rod movies by creating one of their own. The filmmakers chose to shoot parts of their story in Westminster because it's home to the Street Cars of Desire club, with its hot rods and classic cars -- and because Vincentt's band would be playing the final concert in the summer series.

Last weekend, the Westminster City Park looked like a flashback from the 1950s, with an estimated 2,500 people dancing and twisting to the sounds of Gene Vincentt and the Cadillac Cruisers with Gene's Road House Horns.

"We asked the crowd to help us relive the '50s atmosphere," said Linda Silfee, program coordinator for the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks.

Carol Baublitz, a parks employee, answered the call by slipping on her pedal pushers, tying a scarf around her neck and putting on her rhinestone cat's-eye sunglasses. Her husband, Ben, completed his outfit with white socks and black loafers.

With everyone there sporting '50s attire, the Baublitzes said they felt they were slipping back to a part of their past. "We are a mentally young 60," Carol said of their ages. "We had a great time." Members of the car club, they also hoped that their burgundy 1941 Ford convertible would be included in the movie.

For their moviemaking debut, Vincentt, the film's producer, said that he and Rivers, the writer and director, drew inspiration from a 1958 film, Hot Rod Gang. In the new film, the action flashes from the '50s to the present day, as the gang teams up with family members to prevent a dangerous group from bootlegging CDs.

"There are bad guys; there are good guys," said Vincentt.

The pair hope to show their movie in the spring of 2006 at film festivals. "This is quite an undertaking," Rivers said.

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