hen you think of Christmas, you think of Guy Speckman and Ivan Foley sitting around talking about feel-good Hallmark-style holiday movies. Am I right?
Yes, I am. At least this year.
On Thursday night in a live telecast on our Facebook page at Platte County Landmark, Speckman and I will tell you all you need to know about the Lifetime channel Christmas movie that was filmed in Weston last year. That movie, now entitled “Rebuilding a Dream Christmas,” will air on Lifetime next Thursday night, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.
But don’t wait till then to get in the mood. This Thursday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. on Landmark Live we’ll talk about it while visiting with a Weston business owner who has a role as an extra in the film. And a fun treat: we’ll show you the video trailer to the movie.
I mean, it’s not Christmas in Times Square, but it’s up there.
Our special guest will be Hannah Magee, owner of Weston Wine Company. Hannah is one of the area locals who took advantage of the opportunity to be an extra in the movie. She’s in the official trailer for the movie and can be spotted at the 44 second mark. She can be seen basically front and center in a group of carolers. Good stuff.
We’ll also talk wines with Hannah, since that’s her real gig when she’s not making movies. Hear what’s going on at Weston Wine Company and get some wine recommendations for your holiday season and Christmas movie watch party. Also, she doesn’t know it yet but we’ll talk about her experience as queen of the Platte County Fair in 2011.
Another Platte County resident chosen for a role as an extra in the Weston Christmas movie was Valerie Verkamp, whose byline you read in the pages of this fine newspaper. Valerie, a reporter for The Landmark for the past decade, signed up to be an extra on Aug. 3, 2020 and later that same day heard back from the production manager that she had been selected as an extra for a flashback scene to the 1990s. “He suggested I select something from my wardrobe that matched that time period while avoiding loud colors. After spending way too much time in my closet, I settled on a black leather jacket, vintage skirt, and navy blue nylon blouse. It definitely wasn’t a Christmas outfit but I didn’t think it needed to be for the flashback scene, especially since I was instructed to bring a change of winter clothes if I planned to stay for the evening’s big Christmas fair scene to be filmed at 10 p.m. that night,” Valerie recalls.
For filming on that hot day in August of 2020, the shops on Weston’s historic Main Street featured twinkling lights, plenty of Christmas decorations and there was, of course, considerable fake snow.
“I introduced myself to Isaac Alongi, the cinematographer, who instructed Brad (her husband) and I to leisurely stroll down Main Street while several children rushed past us. I remember being nervous for the first run of the camera, especially because a local television news crew was also filming. Isaac asked the extras to do about eight takes before he moved on to the next scene,” Valerie remembers.
Valerie apparently only prefers to do ‘extra’ roles. I say that because we asked her to come on Landmark Live–in a starring role–to tell her story but she declined, apparently too camera shy, or perhaps afraid of what the unpredictable Landmark Live hosts might ask her.
Anyway, it’s cool that a Landmarker got some camera time in the filming of the big Weston flick. Hopefully Valerie’s scene is in the final cut. Guess we’ll find out Dec. 23.
“It was a unique experience that made me realize just how much preparation, thought, and expertise goes into making a movie,” Valerie says.
Kinda like Landmark Live. Well, except for the preparation, thought and expertise. Other than that, exactly like Landmark Live.
Speaking of show prep, I told Speckman that our Landmark Live guest owns Weston Wine Company, so Speck has broken up with Bud Light and has been in a loving relationship with wine all week.
I may need help getting him in and out of those fancy chairs we use on the show.
Landmark Live producer Tech Man Schneider has put together a holiday video that features Christmas greetings from each of your Landmark staffers and Landmark Live hosts. Be sure to check it out, either on the show this week or later when we post it on our Facebook page.
The video includes a message from our resident Miss Christmas, Landmark office manager Cindy Rinehart. Cindy is in Christmas mode from like mid-September, when she starts telling me she needs to cut back on hours so she can “get her stuff done.” Then when October hits, look out, it’s full speed ahead for Miss Christmas and that’s when I start hearing things like “Foley, I need to take some time off to get ready for the holidays. Aaron (her son) is coming into town Dec. 20.” Keep in mind at the time she is telling me this, Dec. 20 is still more than two months away.
It’s gotta be the longest Christmas celebration in America, folks, I feel confident in that. I don’t think it wraps up until about Valentine’s Day, you know, because there’s apparently got to be plenty of time to “put my stuff away.”
I’m not sure how it’s possible to fully enjoy the holiday with that much self-imposed stress but Miss Christmas pulls it off.
Four keys to a happy life:
1. Make a list of things that make you happy.
2. Make a list of things you do every day.
3. Compare the lists.
4. Adjust accordingly.
(Adjust accordingly with Foley via email to email@example.com )