I recently found some additional pictures of the Man Made Movie House. The utmost fun about working on this projecvt was my phone ringing from the producers who always had questions like “Can we make a pool table disappear into the floor?” My answers were always, “Of course”. Now when I said these things could be done, I really did not know how it was going to be accomplished. These situations made this project not only challenging, but backing up my mantra of anything can be built, it just takes money and knowledge. The money part was not usually an issue. Companies provided their products free or at a highly reduced rate to be featured on television.
The disappearing pool table was actually an easy solution and was part of the original design criteria and allowed us to design a “basement” area for the lift. It looked much more high tech on television but due to costs it was actually simple but not very functional. An industrial lift was placed in the basement with a rectangular section of flooring attached to its top. When one wanted to play pool, the floor was lowered, several large men put the table on the lift and back up it went.
Another call requested the feasibility of fire poles going from the upper deck to the bottom floor. This became much more difficult of a request than it seemed. Fire poles generally are not put in fire houses anymore so there was no design data I could find. Luckily I recalled the City of Marietta, Georgia’s main fire station still had functioning poles. Several phone calls and we were able to measure the poles and the diameter of the holes needed. The next issue was dealing with the Cherokee County code officials including the Fire Marshal’s office. Fire poles are not covered in the building codes so we had to negotiate and come to a mutual agreement to provide as much safety as reasonably. Technically being a “movie set” we were given some latitude.
It was also decided the fire pole should start at the upper deck. Keeping the weather out was an issue so I suggested something similar to a British phone booth. Unfortunately, they were not big enough to properly cover the whole. I designed a faux booth by using four 2’-6” wide French doors and a very talented woodworker handcrafted the booth.
After the decks were built, it was decided that a hot tub was needed. Not just any hot tub but a 10 person state of art hot tub. The first call was to the structural engineer so he could evaluate the loads on the deck. The deck required some additional framing but the hot tub found a home on the top deck.
The next idea was a dumbwaiter. Commercial dumbwaiters can be purchased but a different approach was used. Old fashioned technology; ropes, pulleys and weights. Access was from the kitchen, but since this was an afterthought and was built into the game room, glass windows were used so you could see the dumbwaiter and the ropes that were used to hand lower and raise the cart.
After the house was completed, the Man Made Movie crew moved to a new project. The house was renovated for a new show and turned into a more feminine home. I actually did a screen test at TBS, but they were looking for someone more feminine. Currently the home is in private hands.
This was truly a one of a kind project. The best lesson I obtained was that there is a solution to any problem, no matter how bizarre.