Impress Branded content – sponsored by Hallmark Channel & Lighthouse Pictures
In her #1 bestselling New York Times novel Marry Me at Christmas, author Susan Mallery describes the setting for her story as “…a charming mountain town, tucked away at the foot of the northern California Sierras”. It’s an idyllic location, and a perfect place to fall in love.
It’s also completely fictitious so, when the Hallmark Channel decided to bring Mallery’s story to life, it fell to Rico Mielnicki, Location Manager for Lighthouse Pictures, to find a locale to match the charm, beauty, and welcoming vibe described in the book. After considering a number of different locations, Mielnicki finally found the perfect place for the main characters of the movie to meet and fall in love – Revelstoke, British Columbia.
“Where we film is just as important as the characters in the film,” explained Mielnicki. “We looked at a lot of places but Mallery describes Fools Gold as the kind of place where every tourist wants to stay forever. Revelstoke is just that kind of place.”
Production for the movie will slowly begin to arrive from Wednesday March 22nd to Sunday March 26th in order to prepare the area. Filming itself will take place between the dates of March 27th to March 31st.
Although a number of secondary locations will also be employed during the filming, the primary action will take place in the area of Grizzly Square where the film crew will work with the businesses in order to decorate their storefronts for Christmas, albeit a wee bit out of season.
Such is the magic of movies.
For those Revelstoke residents who may be concerned about a real-life disruption as movie crews restrict their movement around town, Mielnicki is quick to allay those fears. “We will not be closing down pedestrian access to Grizzly Square however we have asked for permission to reroute traffic for the duration of our filming for continuity of picture as well as for crew safety. We emphasize that all businesses in our filming area will be open” said Mielnicki. “We’ll have people stationed at the periphery of our shooting area, and at worst, from time to time local residents may have to wait just a few minutes as we complete a shot.”
Mielnicki added there will be no large trailers normally associated with filming. They will be working out of various hotels and B&B’s around town. The company is coming in with essential work trucks only, and they will be parked on a City parking lot.
It’s all very exciting, of course, as local residents get the additional opportunity to be featured in the film. Lighthouse Pictures will be hiring numerous locals to play as Background Performers to the main story line.
There’s also the added economic benefit for Revelstoke, as about 90 actors and crew come to the area, staying in local hotels, eating at restaurants, and doing their own tourist shopping while in town.
Mielnicki takes a lot of pride in being able to film in a community while creating a mutually beneficial outcome from the work he does.
“I’ve done a lot of work for Lighthouse Pictures, doing Hallmark Channel films, and it’s important to our company and to me personally to make certain our presence in town is a positive experience for everyone. We take a lot of pride in the product we’re producing and the way in which we approach our work. When we do it right, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”