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W.A. Coolidge Company is a full service construction company serving the Seacoast of New Hampshire, Maine, and Northern Massachusetts. The owners, Wayne A. Coolidge and Wendy A. Wentworth Coolidge have been partners for over 30 years. We specialize in high quality residential and commercial building, renovations, and restorations.
The Coolidge Company is about flexibility, innovation, and results. Our company will focus on your precise wishes in order to deliver cost-effective solutions to any project. We strive to offer superior quality by using and overseeing the best and reliable subcontractors and suppliers in the area. We believe that every project that we undertake will be completed within a timely fashion as if it was our personal home. We offer first class craftsmanship and attention to detail from start to finish. We want to make your dream project a reality along with providing a fun and memorable experience.
A kitchen renovation can completely change the feel of your home. This one features a custom-built wine rack by Wayne Coolidge. (Stratham, NH)
By: Wayne Coolidge
Ever imagine where your career would have gone had you chosen a different path? I do, and I think I know the answer: a movie director/producer.
Throughout my childhood, I was the organizer and director of many family plays, shows, presentations, etc. Then, in the summer of ’81 I produced my first short film. I wrote a script of two men vying over the love of a beautiful young woman. The two men agreed that the victor of the ‘Death Race’ would win the hand of the maiden. They tuned up their cars and headed to the road course to settle the dispute.
You need to keep in mind the time frame of this production; computers were still many years in the future, there was no digital filming with fancy editing software- just my 8mm video camera.
At the time, I drove a white sedan and my best friend, Dan, had a black sports car. I was able to find kit models of both of our vehicles. The production crew (me) built and painted them to look like replicas.
The video starts out with the introduction of the characters. The fair maiden (Wendy) wearing a voluminous dress, looking into the camera, wondering what her future holds. Cut to the hero (me) in white standing next to my real-life car, then to the villain in black (Dan) standing next to his real car. I used handwritten posters between cuts to explain the story line. Next, it was time to film the ‘Death Race’.
Wendy and I (who were newlyweds) packed up the camera, the car models, a tractor trailer model borrowed from her brother, a shovel, and a can of gas, then headed to the beach. We found a spot with a small, sandy beach on the edge of the water and proceeded to the spot with our equipment and can of gas.
We spent about an hour shoveling and creating a landscape that featured a mountain in the middle with a twisting, winding road around it. There was a starting line and a finish line, just after an intersecting road. With the Death Race course complete, it was time for filming.
Because this was a motion picture, we had to set the models in place, shoot 1 frame at a time, move the vehicles slightly, shoot 1 frame, move the vehicles, etc. etc.
It took another hour to film the race around the mountain as each car would take the lead while being on the verge of disaster of going off the side of the treacherous mountain road.
With the finish line in sight, just past the intersection, both cars were side by side as they approached the finish line. (Que the tractor trailer model). Suddenly (not really when you are filming a frame at a time), a tractor trailer approaches the intersection from the right and it is apparent he is not stopping. Both drivers take evasive action. Our hero makes a sharp left, accelerating up the side of the mountain, and narrowly gets by the tractor trailer as he crosses the finish line. Our villain went to the right but could not stay on the road and he plummeted down the side of the mountain (que the gas can!). Wendy poured a bunch of gas on the upside-down black car and lit it while I filmed. You know how gas absorbs into the sand and even spreads some? Well, it was a hell of a fire- and I caught it all on tape as the model car melted (this was a 1-take shot). Imagine what this looked like from the road as people drove by? Lol - only in the 80’s!
Cut to the victory line celebration as I kiss the fair maiden. The end.
… and they lived Happily Ever After (true story) 😊
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Recent Job: Renovation Project
You never know what you will discover hidden under a ceiling, floor, or in a wall during construction. Like this home, imagine how delighted the owners were to find beautiful beams hidden in the ceiling, which we incorporated into the new ceiling!
Tip of the Month: August
Make a measuring cup drawer organizer. For easier access to your measuring cups and spoons, attach a thin strip of wood inside a drawer of your choice. Place washers behind the wood strip to allow for the handles to slide in.