Hollywood Honeywagon Makes Any Location Feel Like Home

Michael Marr, the charismatic founder of Hollywood Honeywagon, was showing me around one of his 30 fully customized trailers when he suddenly stopped me from pulling down the vehicle’s steps. 

“Let me show you what I once did to myself there,” he said, and held up his left hand to show me: He lost the tip of his pinky finger, 30 years ago, pulling down some steps in exactly the same incorrect way that I nearly had. 

He’s changed the steps so that such an accident can’t happen again. But the pinky incident was pivotal for Marr’s business.

“I knew I had something here when I did exactly what you just did,” he told me. “I stood there with the tip of my pinky cut off and thought, ‘It’s never going to be worse than this.’”

Things have gotten dramatically better since. 

Hollywood Honeywagon, based in North Hollywood, has worked for hundreds of productions, big and small, since Marr started the business in 1988. He’s worked with everyone from DIY icon Roger Corman to a just-beginning Michael Bay. His work has taken him all over North America, and he’s particularly proud of working on projects with British director Ken Russell, as well as Molly Ringwald in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Fred Dryer in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. 

A hair and makeup trailer offered by Hollywood Honeywagon. Copyright 2022 by Scott Humbert  –  All Rights Reserved.

Visit the Hollywood Honeywagon website and you’ll see the word VERSATILE capped and italicized, because versatility is key to Marr’s success. The Honeywagons are portable trailers where moviemakers eat, rest, freshen up, go over lines, and do everything else involved in a production on location. They range in size from two to ten rooms. 

Different Honeywagons include offices, day beds, couches, and room for makeup and wardrobe — as well as anything else an actor, director or producer might need in a home away from home. Hollywood Honeywagon also offers portable luxury restrooms, which are good not only for film shoots but also for big outdoor premiere parties when the film is ready for the world.

Michael Marr, owner of Hollywood Honeywagon

Michael Marr has been versatile from the start. 

After attending the University of Puget Sound and then graduating from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied film, Marr moved to Los Angeles with the intention of working in the film industry. He first worked as a researcher for the television show That’s Incredible!, but quickly saw a niche that would make him essential to independent filmmakers.

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He noticed that low-budget film productions often used recreational vehicles for makeup, wardrobe and dressing-room facilities. So he bought a large fifth-wheel trailer and rented a motorhome from his father. He renovated the motorhome himself and completely reworked the trailer — and Hollywood Honeywagon was born. 

He quickly established himself as the most reliable option for indies. “I want the people who make small movies first,” he says. 

Years of growth followed. Marr established relationships with Corman’s Concorde-New Horizons (now known as New Horizons Picture Corporation), as well as Propaganda films, producer of Twin Peaks. He moved between music videos, commercials and feature films. 

Along the way, he established a set of rules about how to survive in the movie business. Rule No. 1, of course, is to be versatile.

“In this business, don’t feel like, I won’t do that,” he advises. “Don’t be afraid to change course — and don’t ever be afraid to ask for what you want. Because what have you got to lose?”

That philosophy has taken him all over North America, and introduced him to some of the biggest names in film, often when they were just starting out. He met Michael Bay when he was directing Donny Osmond’s 1989 music video for “Sacred Emotion,” and drove Frankie Valli to a horse ranch in Temecula during the production of Jon Voight’s 1990 thriller Eternity.

“He was great — every third word began with the letter F,” Marr laughs.

On the set of George Sluizer’s film Dark Blood in 1993, Marr met River Phoenix and his brother Joaquin Phoenix, a quiet young man of 18 who was still going by Leaf at the time. Later during that same shoot, after a night out in Durango, Colorado, Marr and Two Popes star Jonathan Pryce watched the grip department fight off a few local drunks as they tried to storm the crew bus.

Hollywood HoneywagonA Hollywood Honeywagon with plenty of room to relax, rehearse, or meet. Copyright 2022 by Scott Humbert  –  All Rights Reserved.

When Dark Blood moved to sound stages in Los Angeles, Marr was released from the production. He was on the way back to L.A. when he received a phone call: River Phoenix had died, at just 23, of a drug overdose. The project was halted, not to be released until a version finally emerged in 2012. Marr, like everyone else, was devastated by the news.

“He was just about the dearest man in the world,” he says.

Marr has a special place in his heart for indie filmmakers. He loves helping productions of all kinds fulfill their needs and solve their problems. And he’s proud of his part in all kinds of productions, from the by-the-book to the legendarily complicated. 

“When you drink the water,” he says, “remember the man who dug the well.” 

Hollywood Honeywagon is located at 11160 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood, California. Indie filmmakers are always welcome. 

Main image: Hollywood Honeywagon owner Michael Marr sitting in front of one of his Honeywagons. Copyright 2022 by Scott Humbert  –  All Rights Reserved.

Source : https://www.moviemaker.com/hollywood-honeywagons-make-any-location-feel-like-home/

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