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"Water for Elephants" Director: It's been a lot of fun

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Filming for the movie Water For Elephants is wrapping up in Chattanooga. 

The last action scenes at the Railroad Museum are almost complete.

The crew took a lunch break late Tuesday afternoon and we had an exclusive interview with director Francis Lawrence, who had nothing bad to say about Chattanooga. He didn't even complain about the heat.

"Chattanooga's been an A.  A Plus.  It's been fun. We've had beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, great people, great crews, great hotel, fantastic food… So it's been a lot of fun."

Francis Lawrence has decades of experience on film crews and as a director.  His last major movie was I Am Legend with Will Smith. 

This is his first shoot in Chattanooga and the area, and he sensed the enthusiasm of the people here.

"I think we all felt that.  It's nice to come to a place that's very welcoming and excited about it, in LA and New York, where a lot of films are made, people are jaded to it," says Lawrence. "We're even gouged a lot for locations and some people don't want you shooting next to their houses and they get upset. So it's nice to see the enthusiasm."

And the good news for Chattanooga, movie fans and the tourism folks is Lawrence says he'd love to work here again.

"I love the landscapes," he says. "If I had more time I'd try to go up the River Gorge. Didn't get a chance to see Rock City or Ruby Falls, which I'd love to see…and just kind of tool around the countryside a little bit."

Francis Lawrence also directed I Am Legend in 2007.

Most of his work has been on music videos, including Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Green Day.

MORE DETAILS: Water for Elephants Fan Blog

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