The Filming of Hallmark’s Moriah’s Lighthouse! An Author’s Journey (Part 11)
April 9 Saturday
The first director after Stefan, is Jim Corr. He is an exuberant Irishman who is involved in the setting up of today’s wedding scene. He’s made four movies in a row with Hallmark, and loves working for Hallmark, but he’s going back to Ireland after this wraps up to direct a horror movie. He jokes that it will be a palette cleanser.
The weather is iffy, but they are going to have the wedding scene outside of a nearby little church. The wedding is not Moriah’s and Ben’s. It is Moriah’s Aunt Katherine’s and Nicholas’s. Katherine is played by the beautiful Valeria Cavalli, a well-known European actress I do not get a chance to meet. The weather is sunny for the moment, but windy and cold. Valeria is shivering in her white, lace wedding dress. Coats on. Coats off. It spits rain. Valeria and Serge practice dancing beneath a black umbrella that he gallantly holds over them.
Rachelle, the maid of honor, wears warm ankle boots until she absolutely has to put on her open-toed high-heels. When she does, the heels sink straight into the ground. The crew scratch their heads trying to figure out a way to fix the problem. The solution they come up with is elegantly simple. They glue white plastic lids from empty water bottles on the bottom of her heels.
Then someone notices that the white, satin-like top Rachelle is wearing is causing lighting issues because of the glare from the suddenly bright sunlight. I watch the crew go into overdrive assembling something over on a nearby hillside. Within minutes, they have a high canopy of some sort of material that they hold above the entire wedding scene. I’m assuming it’s to diffuse the bright sunlight as well as protect from the sudden, unexpected, sprinkling of rain we keep getting.
Lighting, rain, and bottle capped heels crises resolved, a live accordion player provides the perfect music to which the actors and extras dance.
This is also the scene where, during their dance, Ben informs Moriah that he will be going back to the states. Instead of begging him to stay, she pulls strength from within and tells him to go. Such a classy lady. Bravely facing the knowledge that the love of her life is leaving her. It’s a real tearjerker of a scene.
And then at the end of one of the final takes of this scene—just because she enjoys making people laugh—Rachelle surprises us by falling to her knees dramatically and screaming “WHY!!” It breaks the tension that everyone has been feeling because of the random weather, and we all laugh.
After the wedding scene, cameras and crew move to the lighthouse, where one of the last scenes of the movie will be shot. It’s very important to get this right because we will not be coming back to Ploumanac’h after today. The people in charge of scenery add artificial flowers to the area to brighten things up.
Until we officially block the path to the lighthouse, dozens of non-movie people walk through. One young mother is carrying a precious little girl, about three-years-old. The little girl has a prize. She is proudly clutching a perfect, yellow, daffodil in her hand. As they walk by, I realize the flower is one of the artificial ones the crew have been adorning the area with. We all see it, but not one crew member moves to take the daffodil away from the adorable child and I’m grateful.