Betty White starred in this classic Hallmark movie

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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.

Author Serena B. Miller with producer Borga Doter on the set of the Hallmark movie Moriah's Lighthouse

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!”

Racehelle Lefevre and Luke Macfarlane star in the Hallmark Channel movie Moriah's Lighthouse.
Rachelle Lefevre and Luke Macfarlane in the Hallmark movie Moriah's Lighthouse (Image: Crown Media)

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.”

Busy schedule

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.

Crown Media Family Networks announced that actor Brennan Elliott has signed a deal to make multiple pictures with the company. The parent corporation of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries shared the news on social media.

“Brennan brings tremendous talent and charisma to every role,” said Lisa Hamilton Daly, executive vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Networks. “He’s a joy to work with and we look forward to collaborating with him on new movies we know our viewers will fall in love with.”

Elliott has starred in movies for both Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, including the All Of My Heart series and the Crossword Mysteries series. He joins fellow Hallmark stars Lacey Chabert and Heather Hemmens in signing an exclusive contract with the network.

Hallmark has been making announcements about multi-picture deals as its new rival, GAC Media, gains steam. Started by former Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott, GAC Media began programming on two cable networks in September 2021. It aired 12 original movies during the holiday season, and has premiered two films, The Winter Palace and Harmony From the Heart, in 2022.

Several actors who have also worked for Hallmark have signed agreements to work for GAC Media.

Brennan Elliott in Hallmark's The Perfect Pairing
Brennan Elliott looking serious and handsome in The Perfect Pairing. (Image: Crown Media)

Celebrity deals

In October, Danica McKellar announced she had signed a contract to produce and star in four movies for GAC Media. She was joined in January by Hallmark favorite Jen Lilley.

GAC has also made plans to take over Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl, which the network stopped producing this year. The Great American Rescue Bowl will air on GAC Family on Super Bowl Sunday — February 5 — 2023.

Elliott and Hallmark

Brennan Elliott had bit roles on Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, and Criminal Minds before being cast as Warren Saget on the Hallmark series Cedar Cove. He went on to make the movie All Of My Heart with the network, and co-starred with Chabert on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries series Crossword Mysteries.

In a statement made through Crown Media, Elliott said he was excited to officially become part of the Hallmark team.

“It’s been a dream to have worked with the wonderfully creative and supportive team at Hallmark over the years,” Elliott enthused. “I’m thrilled to continue this relationship that’s meant so much to me and have the opportunity to bring to life new characters and tell stories that will make people smile.”


Hallmark star Kimberly Williams-Paisley and country music star Brad Paisley provide 1.3 million meals to families in need

In the past year and a half, celebrity couple Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Brad Paisley have fed thousands of hungry families with their free grocery store in Nashville. The Store, as it is called, gives people the opportunity to shop for food with dignity, according to Paisley-Williams.

The couple came up with the idea during a visit to Unity Shoppe, a similar operation in Santa Barbara. They took their sons, Huck and Jasper, to visit because the boys were “acting spoiled,” according to Paisley.

They returned to their hometown and began planning. The Store opened in March 2020, working in partnership with Belmont University. In an interview with the Tennessean, Williams-Paisley said it couldn’t have come together at a better time.

“So many of us feel helpless right now,” said Williams-Paisley. “There’s so many people, who aren’t on the front lines, who want to know what they can do to help. This feels like one of those things for us. We’re pouring a lot into this.”

Located on 12th Avenue South, The Store allows people to shop for groceries at no charge.

Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Helen Hunt at The Store in Nashville.
(Image: instagram/Kimberly Williams-Paisley)

Assistance with Dignity

Executive Director Courtney Vrablik told People magazine that the experience for shoppers is as important as the food.
“Our priority is our customer,” Vrablik said. “And they are customers, not clients. No one is forcing them into a situation where they have to show gratitude.”


To donate or volunteer, visit The Store’s website here.

The Store operates as a year-round free grocery store allowing people to shop for their basic needs. There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them. They may shop for food to supplement their income during times of crisis and as they work toward self-sufficiency. A philosophy of community empowerment means we aim to solve hunger issues in our community by developing programs to meet the needs of the community, including partnering with other organizations on issues of food security. We believe in cooperation and collaboration between organizations to better serve the community. Over time, we will work with our partner organizations to help provide cooking and nutrition classes.

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