If you’ve ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes in a Hallmark movie, now’s your chance. Author Serena B. Miller kept a blog of her experience on the set of the Hallmark movie based on her novel Moriah’s Lighthouse.
The movie, which was filmed on location in France will premiere as part of the network’s Summer Nights lineup. The film stars Rachelle Lefevre and Luke Macfarlane.
In a 10-part series on her website, Miller wrote about everything from being approached by a director who wanted to turn her work into a film, to staying in France and watching filming on set.
The bestselling author said she was “cautiously excited” when director Terry Cunningham reached out to her about Moriah’s Lighthouse.
“I knew the chances for an author getting a book turned into a finished movie was roughly around the same as getting struck by lightning,” she wrote.
But after a few meetings, it looked like the movie was going to come together. And then, she wrote, COVID hit.
“The deadline to renew the option agreement came and went,” she wrote. “I assumed the project had been cancelled. Fast forward in time. Covid eases up. Terry calls. The project is back on! He and Paul have been asked to write a script for Moriah’s Lighthouse. Big news–the movie will be filmed at a lighthouse in France!”
On the set of the Hallmark movie Moriah’s Lighthouse
In Moriah’s Lighthouse, an artisan woodworker sets her sights on rebuilding an old lighthouse in France. She gets some help when an American architect arrives in town and the two begin working together.
The location is a central part of the story, so Miller was thrilled when she arrived on set.
“Huge red granite boulders are scattered everywhere, as though tossed there by a giant hand,” she wrote. “The original lighthouse was built in 1860 but was destroyed by the Germans during WWII. This newer lighthouse was rebuilt in 1946.”
Miller talked about meeting the stars of the movie, and how gracious they were.
“I thank Rachelle for agreeing to be in this movie,” she wrote. “She thanks me for ‘writing the book that brought us here!’”
When she met Macfarlane, she found out he knew quite a bit about woodworking himself.
“He tells me that his grandfather was a cabinet maker and taught him,” she wrote. “When he moved to Los Angeles, he took classes in carpentry so that he could remodel his L.A. house.”
One of the things that struck Miller about the movie-making process was just how much needed to get done in only three weeks. She was also surprised at how physically demanding the process was. One day, she was standing on the set when she noticed two people who weren’t moving:
“I’m simply standing still, observing, making notes and trying to stay out of the way. Then I notice there are two people who also are not rushing around. A young man and woman stand patiently in the middle of the dining room while others buzz around them. Then they take a few steps and stand some more. Stand, move. Stand, move. It takes me a moment to realize they are standing in for the two main actors. Not only does movie making take experience and talent, it requires an amazing amount of sheer endurance.”
To find out more about Miller’s experience, check out her blog here.
Moriah’s Lighthouse will premiere on Saturday, June 18 on Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.