It was 15 years ago this August that the film crew for Shawshank Redemption
first came to the Mansfield Reformatory to begin shooting. The filming was a rare prime-time moment for the sleepy Ohio town. So a few years ago, Bill Mullen, who owns the Sandusky lumberyard where many of the movie’s woodworking scenes were shot, decided it was time for a reunion.
Mullen contacted Castle Rock about the idea last year. Executives were excited, he says, and sent him contact information for many of the extras who appeared in the film. And on the weekend of August 29th, about 1000 former workers, grips, actors, and fans will arrive in Ohio to tour the facilities where the movie was shot, and exchange memorabilia and stories from the time – of which there are many. ...
Mullen, who’s seen the movie “like 20 times,” has already collected prison uniforms and guard badges from the film, as well as the red truck that Morgan Freeman drove to the big oak tree. He also has a huge piece of oak signed by all the actors in the movie, as well as the grips and hairdressers.
Mullen, himself, did not appear in the movie – though he almost got a film credit.
“We had a ‘49 Olds convertible,” he says. “And they put in an article in the local paper that they were looking for period cars to put in the movie.” Mullen sent in a photo, but for months he didn’t hear back from the studio. Assuming they simply weren’t interested, Mullen sold the car to a man in Kentucky.
“Of course, a letter arrived right afterwards saying they wanted the car,” Mullen groans. He contacted the buyer in Kentucky and asked if he could “borrow” the car back, but the man didn’t agree.
“That was the closest to stardom I got,” Mullen says.
Though that detail could change in August: There are rumors Morgan Freeman might stop by.
To register for the event or find out more details go to www.shawshankreunion.com
. – Rebecca Meiser