The Purchase of Idle Wild Manor

It’s taken months. Lots of seller and lender drama. And finally, as of Tuesday morning, John and I will be the proud owners of Idle Wild Manor. Right now, it’s a dandy little anachronism in the heart of Dallas. Well, I guess, geographically, it’s the appendix of Dallas. In any case, it’s a quaint little rural plot with a sweet two story house. The house was built in the late 30’s and retains the original fixtures: glass doorknobs, art deco lamps, squeaky wood doors and stunning hardwood floors. And it’s all on a bed of deadwood. Behind this innocent mid-century home is almost an acre that begs a masked killer with a chainsaw to scamper through the foliage with boyish glee. And then, when our psychopath looks both ways and crosses the street, we have another almost-acre for him to play in. Yippee!

The goal is to make these 2 Texan acres our own little Skywalker Ranch. For those who aren’t geek enough to know, Skywalker Ranch is the Disneyland of filmmaking -George Lucas’ huge plot of land in San Rafael that boasts hundreds of employees, a prop house containing the best of Star Wars memorabilia, and even its own soundstage. Actually, “even” should be used with this: “even their own fire station.” Yeah, it’s about 4,698 acres larger. Now, we don’t have the acreage or finance that Lucas had when he made his movie ranch, but our modest plans are still quite ambitious. Here’s a little sketch of the future Idle Wild Manor:

Year one, we will upgrade the electrical inside and around the house to make it perfect for a film shoot. Separate breaker box for each room. Generators for outdoor shoots. Of course, it’s an older house, so we’re going to also do the generic homeowner upgrades like plumbing, some remodeling, and expand the bottom floor.

Year two, is greening the place. Solar and wind power will save money on shoots as well as, well, make us cool, green filmmakers. We’ll also finish making the house a little bigger.

Year three will bring a whole new building on the second acre. It will have dressing rooms, a crafts services area, editing bay and screening room.

Sounds ambitious, right? But look, we’re not adding a fitness room or baseball diamond. So modest, right? Yeah. Unless year four goes better than planned. 😉

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