The Filming of Hallmark’s Moriah’s Lighthouse! An Author’s Journey (Part 10)
April 8 Friday
We awaken to miserable-acting weather. One minute it wants to rain, the next minute it clears up. We go to Castel Beau where much of the crew are staying and have breakfast in its huge dining room. We are limited in time because the production crew will be filming in that very dining room this morning. Patrons are warned that they have only until a certain time to enjoy the wonderful buffet the hotel is serving. As we finish up and the dining room clears out, we see the crew beginning to place what looks like a small railroad track down the middle of the room. This is where the non-motorized, movable camera will be positioned.
Near our table, Borga and Stefan discussing how to prioritize the various scenes so they can best work with the unpredictable weather today. For now, everything is fine. Even though it is raining hard outside, it is possible to make the large windows and lighting look like it is a sunny day outside. The problem is what to do with the outdoor scenes.
Remember, they only have about three weeks to get everything on film. The weather has been a challenge from the beginning, but today it is especially so.
People we’ve not seen before, extras who have been hired to fill in the background, start filtering in and taking over tables. We find a place in the hotel foyer where we can see the action, hopefully without being in the way.
It is the scene where Ben is trying to pretend that he didn’t accidentally blow out all the electricity on his hotel floor because he couldn’t read a sign written in French about not overloading the circuit. Moriah knows he’s the culprit and is having some fun at his expense. While I’m watching, I can faintly hear their voices. Then Leif walks by and hands me his set of earphones. I put them on and wow! I can suddenly hear every word the actors are saying to each other!
Now, with the earphones I can clearly hear Moriah’s teasing Ben and I choke back a laugh because it is a great line.
Rachelle is from Canada and speaks French as fluently as English. One of the reasons she’s perfect for the French Moriah, is because her accent is quite consistent. Luke plays an adorably bewildered but good-natured American—which he pulls off perfectly.
Moriah’s hair, with all the humidity from the rain is requiring lots of attention. Two makeup/hair stylists work with her between shots. I wonder how she can concentrate with people constantly touching up makeup, spraying hairspray, and combing her hair. Luke has someone paying attention to his hair and makeup all the time as well.
While all this is happening, Leif has set up his laptop in the empty hotel bar to the right of the foyer. He is doing a quick rewrite of a portion of the script.
“There’s a part that isn’t working,” he says.
He explains that sometimes he has to make a change to the script because once real people and real locations are involved, there are script changes that have to be done on the fly.
Outside, the men in the van are busily examining yesterday’s shots. Everyone has a job except me. I’m simply standing still, observing, making notes and trying to stay out of the way. Then I notice there are two people who also are not rushing around. A young man and woman stand patiently in the middle of the dining room while others buzz around them. Then they take a few steps and stand some more. Stand, move. Stand, move. It takes me a moment to realize they are standing in for the two main actors. Not only does movie making take experience and talent, it requires an amazing amount of sheer endurance. These people who are standing in, are there to save wear and tear on the actors.