The Filming of Hallmark’s Moriah’s Lighthouse! An Author’s Journey (Part 6)
April 4 Monday (cont.)
Derek and I leave the lightkeeper’s house and find a place to stand where we hope to be out of the way. The outside of the lightkeeper’s house looks very decrepit, broken shutters, vines growing up the outside walls. I wonder why it is in such bad shape until I’m told that this is all artifice for the movie. Someone normally lives there.
The scene they are getting ready to film is the moment when Moriah takes Ben to see the lightkeeper’s house where her family lived for many years, and which she has dreamed of owning and restoring someday. This is where Nicholas surprises them by already being there, and Moriah realizes that Ben has not been entirely truthful with her.
The wind is whipping her hair around like crazy, it is freezing cold, and overcast and I am miserable even though I’m wearing layers and a coat. In between takes, the crew put heavy coats on the three actors, trying to keep them as warm as possible. When the cameras and cast are all in position again, the coats come off, and dressed as though for a warm, spring day, they all go into acting mode again.
I’m a mom. I worry about Rachelle’s health while Derek and I blow on our cold hands and stamp our feet to stay warm. And yet, instead of complaining or walking off the set, she, Luke and Serge simply patiently suffer the cold, and pretend to the camera that it’s a warm day.
I’m even more impressed when the director says “cut” and Rachelle, pleased with their performances, throws her hands in the air and shouts, “I LOVE MY JOB!” before the crew hustles her back into the lightkeeper’s house where it is warm.
For lunch, Borga guides us to the lunch tent. “This isn’t your normal cast lunch,” he tells us. “In France, we are expected to have an hour long, three-course meal.”
As we’re going in, Luke MacFarlane runs into us and says, “I don’t know if you’ve ever been around filming before, but this sort of lunch is NOT normal! You’re really going to enjoy it!”
We find seats, and start in on our salad, which is a lettuce, tuna, dish with a delicious sauce. The entire meal is exquisite. We talk to the chef’s wife—who is helping serve—and tell her how wonderful everything is.
Derek, very impressed with the food, jokingly proposes marriage. She laughs and brings her husband out to meet us. He is a young, handsome, hard-working fellow with fresh burn scars on his arms from cooking. He tells Derek that he can have her, he’s ready to get rid of her anyway. She thinks this is funny and playacts at being scorned. You can see the love between these hard-working two.
The chef, his job finished for now, sits down and talks with us. He and his wife were running two restaurants in Thailand, but when Covid hit, they were required to move back to France. Instead of opening another restaurant, he began serving food for the various production companies making movies around the country. This involves everything from cooking to putting up and taking down an enormous tent plus tables and chairs. Their staff is small, but they are young and hard-working and seem to be enjoying their work.
The chef talks to us about the French cultural habit of taking a full hour to relax and have a complete lunch every day. He says he’s been to Manhattan and was horrified to see people eating a sandwich at their desk while continuing to work. I think about how often I do exactly that when on a deadline. I will seriously rethink my dining habits when I get back home.