Tomorrow, Saturday October 5th, is the last day of filming. Everyone looks forward to this day, but there’s some bitter sweetness to it as well. For weeks everyone has worked together, eaten together, and shared our lives with one another. A movie set becomes a mini-family. Now, with things drawing to a close, we know there are those on this particular set we’ll probably never see again.
The director is hopeful that he’ll have some rough footage put together by tomorrow evening to show us. I’m dying to see it–but have decided to go home a day early. Some things are simply more important than movies……
Today is our baby granddaughter’s “due” date, which is a worry to me. When I came up here for the movie, I planned on simply jumping in the car the minute I got the call to come home, no matter what was going on in Sugarcreek. The crew knew I might disappear at any moment and they understood why. Unfortunately, there was one major flaw with this plan. It is nearly impossible to get AT&T phone service in Ohio Amish country. This has made things difficult for the crew and it made getting a phone call from home very dicey. I’m getting nervous that I won’t even get word that our Meaghan is in labor.
I stop by the filming to let them know I’m leaving, and to greet little ten-year-old Madison Blake who is on the set for the first time. Today they are filming police-station scenes. The one I watch is where, after young Rachel’s father is killed, her Amish aunts come to take her home with them. This is the last scene in which the three aunts will appear. I’ve discovered that it is tradition for the crew to applaud an actor when their very last scene is finished. We all give the three aunts a round of applause–then there is a round of picture-taking in which I am asked to take part. I had not planned on this–and am dressed for a day of driving. Seems I spend my life being a day late, a dollar short, and only about half-ready….but oh well.
My editor for this book, Connie Troyer, actually lives in Sugarcreek about five minutes away and has kindly offered to store “my” Sugar Haus Inn sign for me until I can make other arrangements. I give Connie’s address to Teresa, the girl who helps create all the props, who tells me she’ll have the crew drop it off at Connie’s home. They also explain that they need to have all props accessible in Sugarcreek for about a month, just in case a scene needs to be shot again. I’m coming back up for a book signing in Berlin in November, and will make arrangements to take it back then. (Hey–THANKS SO MUCH for everyone who offered to help me with this!!)
My leaving creates a flurry of last-minute book signings for the crew–some of whom are doing their Christmas shopping for relatives early. Also, I sign a book for the chief of police, Kevin, who–like so many Sugarcreek residents–have gone out of his way to facilitate this movie–and I am able to thank him for all he and his officers have done. (They even unearthed OLD uniforms, no longer in use, to make the “young Rachel” scene accurate.)
I have learned a lot and made memories I will always cherish–but it is time to get back home. Not only do I have a newborn to look forward to cuddling soon, I have another book to finish before January 15th. No more lolly-gagging around a movie set for me!
I do have some general observations I want to make before this blog ends. But this is getting long, and I’ll save the wrap-up for tomorrow.