With the Hallmark movie THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS based on my novel of the same name about to air (November 8th!) I figure I can now safely talk about the movie and my visit to the set last spring. I've got to say, this goes down as one of those extra fun, memorable life moments - a fabulous memory to treasure.
Gerhardt and I journeyed north to our Canadian neighbors to get a first hand behind the scenes glimpse of what it's like to make a movie. Let me tell you, it's a lot of work. These people put in 12 hour days. I was pooped after 10. Oh, who am I kidding, I was pooped after 4! But, after all my unfun adventures with chemo and radiation, this made a lovely reward. Jim and Ted the producers, were so kind and welcoming. And Gerhardt and I both got to make a cameo appearance. (All part of my plan to someday get on DANCING WITH THE STARS!)
Speaking of stars, everyone in the cast was down to earth and friendly. No big egos present, just hard-working actors, wanting to do their part to give viewers some fun holiday viewing. It wasn't only the actors who worked hard. Everyone on the set was there to make something special - the director, the producers, the make-up people, the extras, the people who created the set and the ones ran all that complicated equipment. So many people are involved in making a movie!
We were shocked when we arrived to see so many trailers in the parking lot of the exclusive golf course where the "restaurant scenes" were filmed. It's called "the circus" and I can see why. This really was a traveling show, complete with on site caterer to feed all of us. Gerhardt and I even had our own trailer. How cool is that?! If I'd had any brains I'd have gone in there and taken a nap. But I didn't want to miss a minute of the fun.
I came away amazed at how long it can take to film one scene. So many things are taken into account. Does there need to be more movement on the part of the background? (translation: extras) Let's get this from another angle. Let's try it this way. Now we need a closeup. So much thought goes into every scene. I don't think I'll ever watch a movie in the same way again. In fact, Gerhardt and I now point out different things we learned every time we watch one. "That guy had a walk through!"
Speaking of walk-throughs, keep your eyes peeled for us. We're in there!
Ah, the joys of foraging for food. It does my heart good whenever I can get something to eat for only the cost of a little bit of labor. Twice I've found apples on neglected apple trees - enough to juice, making into apple crisp and freeze for pies in the winter. With my limited freezer space now that we've downsized this is a challenge, but I'm rising to it, squishing things ever which way into the bottom of my new fridge, which I hate. I think we're going to actually buy a tiny freezer chest meant for boats from our neighbor and stick it in our closet. (Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.) But, back to the foraging. Yesterday my friend Kathy and I went into the deep dark woods in search of Chanterelle mushrooms. These things are costly (currently $12.99 a pound), so finding them is like finding gold.
They are costly in other ways, too. I always forget in between seasons how filthy I get wading through ferns and climbing over fallen branches. Appropriate 'shrooming attire is old jeans, flannel shirts and ran coats and sturdy shoes. I wore my workout pants, which, sadly don't cover the bottom of my legs. And I paid dearly for my lapse. As we were forging a path out of the woods we traipsed through a patch of ferns. And let me tell you, I traipsed fearlessly. It was only when we were three-quarters of the way through that I realized I was also going through stinging nettles. I'm sure you can guess how I figured this out. Yow!
One remedy for stinging nettles is to rub the underside of a fern on the affected area. I enlisted the aid of several ferns and thought I had the problem licked ... until I was in the car on the way home and then my legs began stinging like crazy.
And I almost went crazy trying to fix the problem. Calamine lotion didn't really do it so I tried Noxema (my go-to recipe for sunburn). That didn't help. Then I read on line about using duct tape or masking tape to get the little stickies off. That, I think would have worked much better if I hadn't previously coated my legs with lotion.
Ah, well. The stinging finally subsided by bedtime and today I'm enjoying my mushroom harvest. Can hardly wait to go again. But next time I'm wearing the proper uniform.