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A Producer’s Dream

As appeared in Kentucky Film Office Article:

Producers looking for help with logistics in Kentucky often call on Scott Goodlett. His expertise - especially in the horse industry - has helped many clients make their productions more efficient and successful.

Here is his story:

As is often the case, my start in this business happened almost by accident, when in 1998, I started Scott Goodlett Events. In the beginning, my business focused primarily on attracting corporate events to Kentucky and I was enjoying success.

A funny thing happened in 2004. That’s when I met with Todd Cassidy of the Kentucky Film Office and started working in a project that would – in time – change the dynamics of my business.   That’s when I first heard about the movie Dreamer, starring Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning, which was – at the time-- a Warner Brothers production.  They were thinking of Kentucky as one of many possible locations for the shoot, and Todd and I could easily see huge potential for the state by having them film here.  So, the meetings about locations and tireless recruitment began and it all seemed very positive.

Then, however, Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks bought the rights to the movie and they had some major changes in mind. Thankfully, executive producer Bill Johnson brought in the writer/director and various producers to spend the day with Todd and me.  We now had the chance to “Show off” Kentucky and promote the fact that when it came to thoroughbreds, Kentucky was King. They ultimately picked our state for a large amount of the filming, and 6 months later the production began. The hard work had paid off. 

Later, I would work directly or consult on many other projects from Racing Stripes, a private Bo Derek/Charles Finke excursion, Maxim Magazine, Discovery Channel, and various Toyota and Ford commercials. The most fulfilling of them all came in the opportunity to be the location consultant on the Walt Disney movie, Secretariat, directed by Randall Wallace (Pearl Harbor, Brave Heart, We Were Soldiers).  This was close to the heart because it was my mother’s favorite horse on which she’d won money in the Kentucky Derby in 1973. 

Soon, a location meeting was arranged with director, Wallace, Academy Award winning cinematographer, Dean Semler, and many other producers at the historic Darby Dan Farm.  At this point they really started to conceptualize how you cannot replicate Kentucky horse country anywhere else.  They had to be here to make the movie authentic to viewers and that was exactly what we were promoting. 

It was a wonderful and unforgettable experience because I developed a friendship with Randall Wallace, who gave my father and I a cherished memory. Wallace gave my father, who was struggling with cancer, a personalized Secretariat script. Inside the script, Randall had placed a lengthy, hand written, personal message telling my father to face the disease with courage, faith and a “Brave Heart.”  My dad has since passed, but he cherished that gift to the end and my family and I will forever be fans of the thoughtful gentleman, Randall Wallace.

I continue to work with Mike Cooper, Pat Stipes and Dian Knight at the Kentucky Film Office. It is, without doubt, one of the most enjoyable parts of my business because we all share one common goal, to promote the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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