In county jail cell doors to get improved locks
By By Mary-Allison Lancaster Managing editor
Capps is a former Brewton resident and T.R. Miller High School teacher whose book, "Off Magazine Street," is the basis for the screenplay of "Love Song for Bobby Long," released this week on DVD.
Contrary to local speculation that the book and movie are about the Bobby Long who lived and died in Brewton, Capps said he did not even use the name Bobby Long when he first wrote his book. He said he was "leery" about using the name because he thought it was illegal. But, as it turns out, his publisher wanted the name changed and as it goes in the world of writing, the publisher gets what he or she wants.
In fact, the book isn't even about Brewton, Capps said.
Capps first met Long when he was about 30-years-old and began teaching at T. R. Miller High School. After awhile, the two teachers became friends. However, the tragic life events Long endured turned the friendship toward a different direction, and according to Capps, "I sort of parted ways with him after awhile because I could see he was going down."
After the turn of events, Capps moved away and shortly began his fictional novel, which he said he finished in roughly three or four years in between teaching.
With the incorporation of the name of the main character into a title song, written by Grayson Capps, Ronald Capps' son, a screenplay was written.
Capps said it was actually his son's doings that helped this book evolve into a movie featuring big-name stars including John Travolta, Scarlett Johannson and Gabriel Macht.
"My son Grayson went to school in New Orleans (Tulane University)," Capps said. "After he finished college, these two women were coming through town after they finished a documentary they had written. They ran into my son while he was playing music in a club. They were low on funds, as I understand, and he and his girlfriend invited them to stay. During that time she (one of the women) made a statement saying she wanted to do a project related to New Orleans."
Grayson mentioned his father's manuscript to the two women. After reading the manuscript, one of the women contacted Capps and asked for his permission to write a screenplay.
Since the title of the main character was Bobby Long, and Capps' son wrote a song titled "A Love Song for Bobby Long," the screenwriter insisted the title of the movie use the name of the main character.