Can a five-year-old boy find fame and fortune in the movies? If you’re five years old and you look exactly like the lead child actor in movie production filming in Augusta, you can get your first big break.
Brewer Beckham’s mom and dad first got involved with film production when they offered their renovated B&B to some crew members from “Savannah Sunrise,” a family comedy filmed in Augusta in late 2015.
“Some of the women doing hair, makeup and wardrobe in the production stayed with us for a few weeks,” says Christy Beckham, a Realtor and Brewer’s mom. “When they needed someone to work with a wig, I called my own hairdresser to come help.”
Production spanned the Christmas holidays that year, making it a different kind of season for the family.
The next spring, production began in Augusta on “The Reason,” starring Louis Gossett, Jr., Tatyana Ali from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and host of soap-opera regulars. It was time for Brewer’s big break.
They needed a stand-in for Charlie Ray Reid, the child actor playing the role of Alex in the film. Brewer looked exactly like Charlie, so they recruited him to stand in as they were setting up the lighting on scenes.
Because the shooting was done during Brewer’s school term, he had to get permission from the school board to be away. What’s more, he had to be home-schooled on the set while he was waiting around to stand in for Charlie.
Brewer wasn’t the only one to add to his movie resume during that production. The hairdresser who Christy called in for “Savannah Sunrise” was certified to work on another film and one of the makeup men was trained to help select sites for future productions.
Christy and husband Michael own a real estate firm in Augusta, so they know how to find properties. When the producers needed an old house to film a scene in “Savannah Sunrise,’” the Beckhams offered them the one they own next door to their home.
“It was great fun to be a part of this,” Christy says, “and what an economic boost for the community.”