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Home & Garden HGTV's Ben and Erin Napier Renovate the Iconic Home Seen in Tim Burton's“Big Fish”

04:20  01 may  2021
04:20  01 may  2021 Source:   housebeautiful.com

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Home Town' s Erin and Ben Napier just announced that they will be shooting a new renovation show in the ALABAMA, USA - JANUARY 09: One of the main commercial streets is seen in the small town of Laurel, Mississippi — the famously small-town setting for HGTV ' s hit series Home Town Ben and Erin Napier renovate a vintage downtown Craftsman for a couple returning home to Mississippi.

Erin and Ben Napier have become known to their millions of fans for showing that small town living doesn't have to mean shuttered businesses on Main Street and blocks and blocks of broken down houses. The couple has been renovating homes in their small town of Laurel, Mississippi on their HGTV series, Home While the small community of Wetumpka, Alabama has a lot of natural beauty which has led to it being used as the filming location for several major productions, including the Tim Burton movie Big Fish , Ben Napier is correct about the area also facing several challenges recently.

On Sunday, Ben and Erin Napier's new show Home Town Takeover premieres, where they tackle their biggest renovation yet: an entire town! The six-episode series follows the couple as they breathe new life into Wetumpka, Alabama, through 12 major renovation projects. In the first episode, Ben and Erin will team up with Fixer to Fabulous stars Dave and Jenny Marrs to renovate the home of Kasey and Ray Moody, who are foster parents in need of a home upgrade, as well as work on a colorful mural in town with some local students. On their own, the Napiers will also makeover a local boutique on the verge of closing, as well as meet with the Whitfield family who live in a home that you might recognize: the white Victorian house seen in Tim Burton's 2003 film Big Fish.

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HGTV stars Ben and Erin Napier came to Alabama for a new series, " Home Town Takeover." It debuts on May 2, 2021, and features 12 major renovations in Wetumpka.(Anders Krusberg/Courtesy of HGTV ). The Napiers -- famed for renovation and revitalization projects in Laurel, Mississippi -- brought a production team to Wetumpka for about four months, aiming to “make something good today” in the city in Elmore County. Russell Construction of Alabama was involved in the series, as well, supervising makeovers that focus on people and places epitomizing the community spirit of Wetumpka.

Watching Tim Burton movies, like Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, and Alice in Wonderland, the first thing you notice is that every square inch of the frame is bursting with his personality and his sensibilities. The term “world-building” gets thrown around a lot but in Tim Burton ’ s case, it’ s quite literal. In fact, Burton often builds two worlds in each film — what we’ll call hyperreal suburbia and the macabre otherworld. In movies like Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and Big Fish , the real world collides with the fantasy world in juxtapositions that enhance the power of each.

a boy standing in front of a house: Ben and Erin Napier renovate the house seen in Tim Burton's © HGTV Ben and Erin Napier renovate the house seen in Tim Burton's"Big Fish," which is located in Wetumpka, Alabama, for their series"Home Town Takeover."

Erin tells House Beautiful that getting to work on the classic movie home was a"once-in-a-lifetime project." As she explains:"Big Fish is my all-time favorite movie. I'm seen it a million times and I can recite the script." However, this makeover was special for her and Ben for a number of reasons.

The 1874 house, which sits perched upon a hill, overlooks the entire downtown of Wetumpka. It can be seen from almost everywhere in the town and continues to attract tourists and movie fans. When Shellie and Wade Whitfield and their two sons moved there three years ago, they didn't know it was a movie house. However, once they learned of its significance in both pop culture and their local community, they knew they had to save it—but were overwhelmed by how big of a project it turned out to be. That's when Ben and Erin stepped in to not only restore the family's home but to preserve this iconic movie landmark that brought joy to so many people.

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a man standing in front of a building: Ben and Erin Napier makeover the entire town of Wetumpka, Alabama in new series Home Town Takeover. © HGTV Ben and Erin Napier makeover the entire town of Wetumpka, Alabama in new series Home Town Takeover.

Love knowing what your favorite HGTV stars are up to? Same. Let’s keep up with them together.

Having watched Big Fish so many times and then getting to actually step foot into the house where a huge part of it was filmed was an eye-opening experience for Erin."I learned so much about how this house that we renovated was really just the shell that they turned into a film set," she tells us. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to its movie screen appearance, though:"It was not up to code," she explains, adding that before the Whitfields moved in, the property was not even livable. Despite the extra amount of work it posed, though, there were"so many strange things we uncovered that you would only find because it was a movie set and that was so fun," she recalls.

a little girl standing in front of a house: erin ben napier big fish reno © HGTV erin ben napier big fish reno

You can catch Erin and Ben's initial walkthrough of the home in the first episode of Home Town Takeover (later episodes in the series will showcase the actual renovation). Home Town Takeover premieres on HGTV on Sunday, May 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. It will also be released on discovery+ that day.

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