FREMONT -- A made for television movie will be filmed exclusively in Fremont pending City Council approval.
Fremont native and film-industry veteran Kevin McMahon said that “12 Days of Giving" is being shot in Fremont Feb. 1-17. The film is being produced by California-based Expression Entertainment which has direct interaction with Hallmark.
While McMahon wasn’t able to disclose much information about the film, he said that there will be at least two familiar actors in the Christmas-themed feel-good family film.
McMahon said that bringing film to Fremont has been a long time in the making, and that none of this would be possible without the work of Stacy Heatherly, commissioner of the Eastern Nebraska Film Office and president of the nonprofit organization The Digg Site Productions, which produces documentary films and hosts an accredited documentary film camp for high school and college students.
“This is really a result of her (Heatherly’s) efforts and the film office’s (Eastern Nebraska Film Office) attracting outside productions to come here,” said McMahon, who is serving as the film’s location manager and co-production manager. “It’s very difficult (to attract people) because of the incentives that exist everywhere else.”
The film will get some support through LB840, an economic development bill passed by the Legislature.
An LB840 committee must review applications before anything is approved, Heatherly said.
McMahon said that “12 Days of Giving” has a tentative release date of Christmas 2017.
“I think their aim is to get this onto the Hallmark Channel,” he said. “Because it really is that type of film, a total feel-good Christmas story.”
Fremont will be getting a Christmas facelift for the movie. The Fremont Mall will be re-decorated, lights will be seen around town and a snow machine will be dumping the white stuff if Mother Nature doesn’t take care of that on her own.
People may see some things that look a little strange while filming takes place, McMahon said. Certain roads will be closed at times, cars will be parked along streets and an 80-foot boom lift will illuminate the night sky with light.
“When this goes up you can see it from all over the place, it’s like big stadium lights,” McMahon said.
Some of the areas filming will take place include: a few private residences, the Christensen Family YMCA Camp, the Sidner Ice Arena, downtown Fremont, a church and the Fremont Mall.
“We will also bring a drone in for a day or two to capture footage, so that will be kind of interesting,” he said.
In upcoming weeks, the Eastern Nebraska Film Office will be hosting a casting call where people can audition for various roles in the film. There is also a demand for extras.
The public is also being asked to get involved in providing a few RVs that can be used by the cast when they come into town.
“Because we don’t have Star Wagons -- that’s what we call these trailers where the movie stars hang out in -- we are putting the word out to people in the community who might own a nice, big RV,” McMahon said.
Heatherly said she is excited for the opportunities for students she works with through The Digg Site Production’s Film Camp.
“They are going to have a chance to immerse themselves in the film industry right here in Fremont, and that is huge for them and Fremont," she said.