The Filming of Hallmark’s Moriah’s Lighthouse! An Author’s Journey (Part 9)
April 7 Thursday
Derek strikes up a conversation with Serge (Nicholas) outside his trailer and calls me over because Serge has agreed to do a quick interview with me. Again, I mention how uncanny it is to see him because he looks exactly like the character I envisioned while writing the book. Serge is a lovely man who jokes about how nice it is to get to meet his “creator.”
Afterward, we head off to the lunch tent. I’ve briefly met Leif Bristow, the executive producer, but we’ve had little chance for a long conversation. Today, he sits with us at lunch and what he is telling us becomes so interesting, I forget to even finish the delicious roast duck we’ve been served!
He tells me how he and his wife, Agnes, drove 3200 miles along the coast of France looking for the perfect lighthouse for this movie. They inspected each and every one. Ploumanac’h was the clear choice.
He also tells me about a recent movie he’s made. It is based on a book written by his wife about their daughter’s ballet teacher. Tia is an acclaimed Chinese ballerina who survived the brutal reign of Mao Zedong and the Red Guard. Torn from her husband and infant son during the Cultural Revolution, she was sent to a labor camp. There, she daily endured leeches, snakes, and backbreaking labor in the rice paddies. Desperate to hold onto her ballet training, she often secretly danced outside in the night, barefoot, sometimes in the mud.
Leif shows me a photo of Tia at the ballet studio. He says that at 82, she can still dance better than most of her students.
That night, I order Dancing Through the Shadow from Kindle and begin to read. It feels like I’ve barely drawn a breath before it’s two o’clock in the morning. Not only is the story fascinating and inspiring, Agnes’s research and clear writing style is impressive. I’d heard that Agnes would be coming to the set soon. After staying up half the night reading her book, I can’t wait to meet her! (If you want to check out “Dancing Through the Shadow”, here’s a link to purchase it from Amazon https://amzn.to/3Hia3dU)