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Hollywood film producer recalls his Smithsburg roots

May 08, 2001

Hollywood film producer recalls his Smithsburg roots



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Producer Scott GardenhourPhoto: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Scott Gardenhour, a Smithsburg native who is one of the producers of the movie "Pearl Harbor," spoke to more than 100 employees of Washington County businesses Monday night.

Los Angeles-based Gardenhour, 40, was the keynote speaker for the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission's annual Celebration of Business event at Fountain Head Country Club.

The event is a way for the commission to thank businesses in the county. Gardenhour said he was honored to have a chance to encourage and commend the businesses.

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"Pearl Harbor," which is slated for a Memorial Day weekend release, is projected to be one of the summer's blockbuster movies. It stars Ben Affleck, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Voight and others.

Before Gardenhour spoke, his parents, Pat and Richard Gardenhour were introduced and a trailer for the movie was shown.

EDC Chairman Thomas Newcomer, a friend since childhood, introduced Gardenhour to the audience.

Gardenhour, who was executive producer of the movie "Coyote Ugly," grew up in Smithsburg and was a 1979 graduate of Smithsburg High School.

Many wonder what an executive producer does, Gardenhour said. The job has been compared to chief executive officers, military generals and ambassadors, he said.

In a way, he does work that is comparable to those positions, he said. For example, when scenes are shot in a foreign country, he explains the plans and intent to members of foreign governments.

Gardenhour said he has pleasant memories of exploring Smithsburg with Newcomer.

Gardenhour, 40, moved to California to join his sister, Melanie Davies, in the early 1980s after working in his father's roofing business. He got work as a production assistant working for actor-producer Michael Douglas. His career evolved from production work in commercials and music videos to feature films.

He recalled standing at an airport with his parents as he was about to move from a town with a population of 800 to a city of 1 million, and questioning why he too was going to Los Angeles to seek work in the film industry.

But it all worked out, he said.

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