I love writing this blog and those of you who follow it know I’m used to being pretty busy and still finding time to write. But, I just finished a movie we shot in November and went straight into another movie and will be filming a TV movie (my first!) at the same time. I’ve missed Saints games at the Dome and dancing with the Pussyfooters in the Krewe of Jingle parade but I’ve been working with 3 home-grown Louisiana productions and loving it.
The film we shot last month is called Heartland, but the name will change soon. John Schneider and I play the parents of a murdered son. Amy Redford (Robert Redford’s daughter) and Kevin Bernhardt are the parents of the killer and the film takes place the day of his execution. But there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
I first met John Schneider when I rode in the Orpheus Monarch float with Quentin Tarantino last Mardi Gras. Schneider didn’t ride in our float but the Krewe’s festivities began long before we got on the floats and ended long after we exited them at the Ball. I knew going into the day that it would be a bonding experience for all of us on Quentin’s float, but I didn’t realize I’d get to bond with John as well. It was great preparation for playing his wife in such a dark movie – we had at least one great memory behind us.
After Heartland ended, I had about a 2 day break before beginning my next local production. I love working on all of the films out of L.A. that use Louisiana as a location, but there’s something satisfying about working on films born and raised here. They don’t tend to have big budgets and their skeleton crews have to wear many hats but I’ve yet to see an art form this place can’t make richer so I’m excited to see so many local productions popping up.
Between those and the bigger films and TV shows, the streets here are scattered with production trucks and no-parking-for-film-dates signs and those yellow direction signs with nothing but a word and an arrow. We really have become Hollywood South (for now).
The movie I’m doing now is being a bit secretive for awhile. I can say that I’m working with Candy Clark who I’ve loved since first seeing her in American Graffiti in 1973. I had just turned 9 and I thought she was SO cool, from the little blue bow in her bleached bouffant hairdo to her buttoned, black ballet-flats. She had me at, “That’s bitchin’ tuck and roll.” The movie is adapted from a best-selling novel and has a dark, spooky feel set in as small southern town.
I start the TV movie next week and finish both movies by Christmas.
Meantime, I managed to publish Lemonade Farm, a humorous and endearing story of loss and renewal told from the point of view of a 12 year-old girl living in a “collective” in 1976. What starts as the coming-of-age odyssey of a hyper-aware preteen, evolves into the story of an era and the evolution of the American family. I hope you’ll consider checking it out, especially during this gift-giving season!
Thanks to the Heartland crew, Candy Clark and Rachele Brooke Smith for the photos I swiped.