Hollywood has come to Canton.
Blue Heron Films, a television production
company based in downtown Canton since
1996, has traveled to locales all around
the globe to produce a number of how-to
and documentary-type series for broadcast
and cable networks.
President/Executive Producer Sue Ann
Taylor of Canton began producing programs
in 1984 for national broadcast syndication
and networks including CBS, The Travel
Channel, CNBC and The Learning Channel.
"I got into this when I owned an ad
agency," she said, noting she lived in
Pennsylvania at the time but did most of
her work in New York. "I developed a
solution to one of my clients' problems
and never looked back."
The "solution" resulted in a medical show
called "Doctor's Second Opinion," which
encouraged people to always get a second
opinion on diagnoses and to seek out other
The company, which has 15 associates,
currently is producing seven women-themed
series that will be launched as a two-hour
block on PAX TV in late August.
"Friends in the Bee with Jodie Davis" is a
quilting show that takes Ms. Davis all
across the country in search of new ideas
Ms. Davis said she originally approached
Mrs. Taylor about a project the producer
wasn't particularly interested in -- a
"duckumentary" about her large rubber-duck
"I explained the thing about the ducks,
and there was total silence," the Canton
resident said. "Then I told her, 'Wait,
I'm not a nobody. I've done 26 books on
quilting,' and she said, 'Oh, quilting.'"
"When she told me she'd done 26 books on
quilting, I was much more interested in
the quilting," said Mrs. Taylor, 49.
"It's exciting because we had the same
idea for the show," Ms. Davis added. "It
was meant to be."
The crew has literally traveled all over
the country with the series -- Michigan in
the "dead of winter," Ohio, Rhode Island,
Massachusetts, Oregon, Louisiana, Maine --
and will be going international with a
trip to Scotland in June.
On each show, Ms. Davis gets inspiration
from the area she's in and designs a quilt
"For example, if we go lobstering, then I
design a lobster quilt," she said.
"Quilters always ask me where I get my
inspiration, and it comes from real life.
It's not something magical. It just
Other shows in the package are "Simply
Scrumptious with Chef Marc," "Chef Daddy
with Chef Marc," "Get Car Smart with
Lauren Fix," "The Debbie Mumm Show" (arts
and crafts), "Healthy Living" and "Right
at Home with Susan Crenshaw."
Blue Heron also is producing shows for
Wealth TV, a new lifestyles and
entertainment cable network set to be
launched this summer.
One of the signature shows will be "The
Best of Everything with Marc Cummings," a
primetime travel program that will take
viewers to some of the world's most exotic
and exclusive spots.
Another show is "Doing Well," which
features high-profile people changing the
world by donating their money to
"This is probably the show with the most
celebrities," Mrs. Taylor said. "It'll
have Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford,
people like that."
Other shows that have been proposed or are
in production include "The Success of
Dress," which Mrs. Taylor's son, Michael,
is producing; "The Ann Hampton Callaway
Show," which will be like "The Tonight
Show"; and "Choosing Green," a show
inspired by her architect husband, Roy,
that will look at environmental issues
people can address when building.
The company had been producing weekly
syndicated wildlife series like "Keeping
It Wild with Jason Raize" and "Jim
Fowler's Life in the Wild," both of which
were nominated for an Emmy and won
multiple Telly Awards.
But after the terror attacks on Sept. 11,
2001, "everything shut down," Mrs. Taylor
"We lost all our funding, and that made us
rethink our one-note operation," she said.
"I love wildlife programs, but we wanted
to do something more diverse that would be
less subjected to events like 9/11."
That's when they branched out into areas
such as car care, quilting, crafts,
gardening and cooking.
She added the company is producing a piece
about Raize, best known as the original
Simba in the Broadway production of "The
Lion King," who died last month. Disney is
planning to show it at a memorial for him
at the New Amsterdam Theater on April 8.
Mrs. Taylor said she and the crew travel
extensively all over the world to film the
shows, with her specialty being Africa.
Editor Todd Harris of Marietta said once
all the footage is shot in the field, he
goes through a "whittling down process"
and pieces the scenes together on the
computer into a flawless show, adding
music, graphics, the opening and the
closing where needed.
Blue Heron was housed at 210 Archer St.
until the building was torn down. Since
then, Mrs. Taylor and company have worked
in temporary quarters across from the
downtown post office but hope to move in
May into their new space, an old flower
shop at 170 North St. that is being
"We'll have a full studio there, and the
front part will be a quilt shop where
people can buy the quilts they see on (Ms.
Davis') show," said Mrs. Taylor, who
bought the building last summer. "Based on
our research, 1,000 women a month would
visit the shop, which will be great for
Feature films are in the future for Mrs.
Taylor, who owns the rights to two movies
written by Jasper resident Alan Gibson --
"A Residue of Honor," about college
seniors who are involved in a cheating
scandal, and "Appalachian Summer," a
comedy about the first woman president who
isn't re-elected because her husband goes
"I've always wanted to make movies," she
said. "When I was growing up, that's what
I wanted to do."
She said she hopes to have both movies, to
be accomplished in 29-day shoots done in
Georgia, done by 2005.
Mrs. Taylor and her family, which also
includes daughters Katie and Jessie,
relocated from Pennsylvania to Georgia in
1995 and moved to Canton in 1999.
"I was offered a job at Reinhardt
(College), but when I got here, I found
out the guy who offered me the job didn't
have the authority to do that," she said.
"But it was a great move for my husband."