FLORENCE, Wis. — Last winter, Salty Earth Productions of Fort Atkinson, Wis., shot portions of a Christmas movie in Florence.
Residents can now view the final product as the production company presents the premiere of the film. “Stand in the gap” on Saturday at Encore at Central in Florence.
Tickets are $40 per person or $75 per couple, which includes a reception from 5:30-6:30 pm, a screening of the film at 6:30 pm, and Afterglow with Talk Back after the film. Tickets can be purchased through the website, www.saltyearthpictures.org.
The film is a sequel to a previous production, “The author, the star and the guardian”, a Hallmark-type movie starring Simon Provan as August Star.
For “Stand in the Gap,” the Florence community becomes Owl’s Point and several notable historic businesses are featured.
According to writer/director Steve Zambo, he and his wife, Beth, knew Florence residents Don and Rachel Egelseer through a mutual friend. Rachel invited them to come to the area and he was very excited by what he saw when they visited him last year in September. They decided that they would shoot city scenes for the film in Florence.
The Egelseers have retired to Florence and have been responsible for restoring several historic houses and buildings in the city, including several that appear in the film.
Maxsells Suites & Celebrations, where many scenes were filmed, became the Harbor View Bed and Breakfast. Other local locations where they filmed include the Encore at the Central Ballroom, the Webb-Judge House, the Tiderman House Antique Shoppe, and an area near the cemetery.
They will have a soft release of the film for the holiday season, when it will be available on the company’s website. The film will be available the following Christmas in stores and online.
Zambo said that making Christmas movies is unique because there is often a long delay between the shooting and the time the movie is available.
They finished filming near Fort Atkinson, where they have a 30,000-square-foot studio. This is the seventh feature film from the non-profit company that was formed in 2003.