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Asheville as a double for San Francisco


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Asheville Will Double as San Francisco in New Movie

Web Producer: Lee Baber

Modified: 3/24/2004 11:36:33 AM Send this story to a friend

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The city of Asheville will be the movie double for San Francisco next year when Blue Ridge Motion Pictures begins shooting a movie about a legendary rock band from the psychedelic '60s.

Blue Ridge expects to spend $6 million in money from private investors to tell the story of the guitarist for the group Moby Grape, which had a brief moment of fame. The film would be the studio's largest project so far.

Another film, "Mountain Time," is also to be filmed at Blue Ridge. The film is based on the book by Asheville pediatrician Dr. Olson Huff.

"Asheville, N.C., is a cultural content heaven," said Leo Bevilacqua, a photographer who brought the Moby Grape project to Blue Ridge.

The most recent project was Robert Redford's "The Clearing," but Asheville has been the background for big budget Hollywood productions such as "Last of the Mohicans," "The Fugitive," "Hannibal," and "My Fellow Americans."

"More people you have coming through here are discovering the creativity in the area," Bevilacqua said.

Blue Ridge executive producer Merwin Gross said he remembers Moby Grape from his own days as a musician and wanted to do a movie about band member Peter Lewis and his battle with mental problems.

Blue Ridge is located at a former ball bearing factory in east Asheville and features 176,000 square feet of soundstages and studio space surrounded by 40 acres of wooded property. The studio has built 25 divisions and a database of 1,500 technicians and other industry pros they can call into a project.

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