Community learns of possible movie opportunities


When about 30 community members attended a meeting hosted by My Town Pictures, they thought Maple Lake was being considered as a location for one movie. As it turned out, Maple Lake was in the running for two movies: “One Song” and “Bel of Christmas.”
“I’ve been impressed with your enthusiasm,” said Scott Thompson, a writer, director and producer with My Town Pictures. “If you’re interested in doing one or the other of these films, we would make that happen.”
Filming for “One Song” is set to begin in October and, due to the short time frame, it has become evident that film will not be set in Maple Lake.
“I called Scott and said, ‘Thanks, but the timing isn’t right,’” Mayor Lynn Kissock said. “As much as I would like this show to be filmed here, the timing just didn’t work out for us.
“I said, ‘I know the community would come together and get things done, but with this short timeline, I did not want to promise people’s time or money,’” Kissock continued. “Scott does love Maple Lake and does want to do a film here, so perhaps his next project will work out better.”
His next project, “Bel of Christmas,” is scheduled to be filmed in February. The movie follows a woman in her 30s named Belinda, Bel for short, who decides to share the spirit of Christmas in her new town by making handcrafted greeting cards for her neighbors. One elderly neighbor isn’t interested, but that doesn’t keep Bel from trying to force the elderly man to share the joy of Christmas, with frustrating results. Bel’s efforts lead her to many unexpected revelations.
While a full cast is not finalized, Thompson indicated Rachel Hendrix, of “October Baby” will be the leading acress. Michael Learned and Ralph Waite, of “The Waltons;” John Schneider, of “Dukes of Hazzard;” and Ben Easter, of “Pearl Harbor,” will also likely be involved. 
“The budget is less than ‘One Song’ because it has a smaller cast,” Thompson said of the projected $175,000 budget.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.