Film transportation duties take BHS grad far
Published 8:00 pm Sunday, October 7, 2012
Beau Reed is going places with Transportation.
The 1982 Brookhaven High School graduate took a break from his duties as transportation coordinator for television shows and movies to return to BHS for this weekend’s homecoming activities.
Following his graduation from BHS, Reed joined the United States Marine Corps and served for 12 years, including time in Operations Desert Shield and Storm in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as an intelligence specialist.
After leaving the military in 1998, Reed began working in a business familiar to his family: movie transportation. His father, uncle and brothers have all worked in the business.
His first job was as a studio transportation driver, bringing trailers and supplies to the set for TV shows and movies. He then moved up the ranks and is now a transportation coordinator, who is over all transportation with a production.
Reed is currently working in his fifth year with “90210,” a CW television series based on the original “Beverly Hills 90210” that aired on Fox in the 1990s. He observed that the show has achieved popularity in Europe due to Europeans’ interest in life on the California coast.
As transportation coordinator, Reed’s responsibilities often have him working long hours. Most days are over 12 hours, which means working 90 to 100 hours on some busy weeks.
Reed and his men are the first in and the last out during a production.
“I meet with the producer on what type of equipment and trailer they need,” he said. “On a set, everything is done out of trailers, including wardrobes, makeup, etc. I’ll talk to the producer and writers about what type of cars they want to use.”
Reed said sometimes finding the exact type of car wanted for a production can be difficult, so he enlists help.
“Sometimes I’ll reach out to others in the business and they’ll help me find what I need,” he said. “We work together.”
When it comes to vehicles, Reed said movies and TV shows rent most cars they use, except for ones that get destroyed, which are bought.
His work keeps him away from home often. Despite the long hours and time away from his wife, Mia, and four children, Reed said he likes his work.
“I enjoy working with the movie industry,” he said. “There are different needs, locations and personnel every day, so it stays interesting even though it’s stressful.”
Reed is originally from Hawaii, but ended up in 1980 and stayed until he graduated from BHS in 1982. He played linebacker during his senior year.
Some might think for someone originally from Hawaii that living in south Mississippi would be difficult. Reed, though, said he enjoyed it.
“It reminded me of Hawaii,” he said. “My family likes to say we had the best of both worlds with living in Hawaii and the South, with the food and friendliness of both regions.”
Reflecting on his time in the South, Reed said there were many things he liked.
“I miss the small-town atmosphere,” he said. “Everyone was friendly and the food was great. I learned my ‘yes sir, no ma’am’ attitude here.”