Seems like there’s an interest in the Amish like I’ve never seen before. There are books, novels, movies, plays, musicals, and reality tv-shows about the Amish. Some of these are well done and do a reasonable job of conveying the reality of the Amish culture and others are just plain ridiculous. The people who live in the Amish communities know which is which. A couple of days ago my mom was telling me that they’re gonna be makin a movie taken from a novel written by Serena B. Miller. No big deal I thought; until she told me that the movie will be filmed in Sugarcreek, Ohio. That’s pretty close to home; less than a dozen miles from my hometown of Berlin, Ohio. So I thought I’d find out more about it. I contacted Rachel Rothacher, the marketing director for the Village of Sugarcreek, who gave me the press release which I have listed below. I was amazed that I hadn’t heard about this sooner. Casting for extras starts this Saturday and shooting begins next week and will go into October.
I read a number of quite positive reviews on Amazon, including this one:
“I spent a lot of time in Sugarcreek years ago. This novel put me right back there! I enjoyed the reminders of things I’d forgotten about such as attending the annual Swiss Festival (I thought the fire house had Apple Fritters!). The Amish center of the story warmed my heart. A plot and interesting characters were all great. Recommend to all.”
Since the reviews I read sounded pretty promising, I ordered the book. You can check out the book and reviews at: Love Finds You in Sugarcreek Ohio by Serena Miller.
Although it’s not a made in Hollywood movie it sounds like the number of viewers could number in the millions. I’m planning to go down to New Philadelphia on Saturday to apply as an Extra. I think it would be fun.
Here is the press release from Miss Rachel:
Sugarcreek meets Hollywood
Kelly McGillis (Top Gun, Witness) and Sarah Lancaster (Chuck, Everwood, Scrubs) have signed on for Mission Pictures International’s film adaptation of Serena Miller’s “Love Finds You in Sugarcreek.” The movie is scheduled to be filmed on location in Sugarcreek from September 16 to October 5 and will premiere on UP TV (Time Warner Channel 257) sometime in the summer of 2014. The company will announce casting audition dates and opportunities to be extras through local media and the Village’s Facebook.
Members of Mission Pictures International contacted the Village in April to determine if Sugarcreek residents were open to a movie being filmed in and around the Village. They stressed the importance of authenticity and wanted to explore the option of shooting on location.
The producer, line producer, director, and other crew members have all had the chance to come to Sugarcreek, eat in the restaurants, stay in the hotels and see the sights, and they comment on how refreshing it is compared to LA. Director Terry Cunningham was pleased when he got to see the Village for the first time. “One of the lines that really jumped out from the book now that I have visited was something about Sugarcreek being ‘a magical place.’ I can understand why.”
Serena Miller discovered the charm of the Village when she first came to do research. “When I showed up in Sugarcreek, I couldn’t believe the way people treated me. I didn’t really know any people or locations there, and I didn’t know much about the Amish, but one door after another opened up for me…the Amish people I met with were so kind and honest. They said there were so many untruths printed about them, and they were grateful someone was coming forward to ask them. If my book or this movie can help set the record straight, I will be happy.”
Aside from its charm, the Village has other features that make it a perfect place to shoot. “As director, normally you have to go around searching to find what works, but because the book was so accurate, we just go straight to the location and everything we need is right there. It makes my job so much easier,” Cunningham shared. And because nothing is too far away, everything is “just a Steintossen away from our location!”
Movies shot on location take a lot of collaboration. Stephen Campanella, President and Executive Producer of Belltower Productions out of Cleveland, is thrilled to be involved with the project. He worked in Tuscarawas County during the filming of “Old Fashioned,” so he already knew possible locations and contacts. Collaboration also existed in the form of an Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit from the Ohio Development Services Agency. “By providing these tax credits, we are bringing exciting work to Ohio,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
Sugarcreek Village Council, the Village’s fire and police departments, several businesses and residents are also on board for the project and helping in any way they can. “I am just really excited that this is happening, and we are willing to do whatever we can to make this work,” said Mayor Clayton Weller. “This is going to be a great way to spread the word about the Village and all the wonderful things happening here.”
You are reading an article in the series: Love Finds You in Sugarcreek Ohio