The rest of the story...

Here's where I tell you all the stuff that wouldn't fit in a 2-minute TV story.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lake Effects -- The Improbable Back Story

Lake Effects -- The Improbable Back Story

It’s amazing to people that through the course of the summer, stars from Hollywood were walking the aisles of the Kroger at Smith Mountain Lake. (One of my neighbors ran into Richard Moll, whom you may remember as the goofy, bald bailiff on the TV show, Night Court.)

The celebrity sightings were everywhere. The community rallied and helped in any way you can possibly imagine. The stars themselves seemed truly struck by the beauty of the area and the friendliness of the people.

The people, in turn seemed enamored with how “down to earth” the Hollywood set came across... Pulling their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.

But the most impressive piece of the movie picture is Sara Elizabeth Timmins, who at 33 years old, put the whole thing together. Her title is Producer, but she also created and owns Life Out Loud Films, the company behind the picture. I’m sorry – but this is not easy.

As we said in the TV report, she was doing pretty well as a motivational speaker, occasional actress and producer for other people’s projects. Then came the fateful day she walked along the lake near Penhook and had the inspiration to make her own movie.

Understand she didn’t really have a concept. She didn’t have Jane Seymour waiting in the wings. She didn’t have the millions of dollars it would take to pay the up front expenses. She didn’t even have the "She Doos" on board yet. (Local women who ride jet skis)

That’s why the focus on my story is on Sara Elizabeth and not Jane Seymour, or the rest of the cast or the substantial economic impact the filming had on the region.

It was Sara Elizabeth who hired a scriptwriter to work a story around her parent's home – which is all she had to work with. She sweet-talked all the local businesses into donating or providing (at low cost) everything from food for the crew to boats and even lodging at the 4-H center. She convinced business people to invest in the venture. She won’t say how much it cost to do this – but let’s assume at least $1.5 million. She would need multiple investors. Savvy businessmen.

The conversation might have gone something like this:

Sara Elizabeth: “I’d like $50,000 to make a movie.
Potential Investor: I see. What the film about?
Sara Elizabeth: There’s a sea monster and two sisters. They find themselves after their father dies, while a crazy guy looks for the monster.
Potential Investor: Hmmm. Where are you going to shoot this movie?
Sara Elizabeth: At my parent’s house.
Potential Investor: Um, ok. And how much experience do you have making movies?
Sara Elizabeth: Well I’ve been a producer in Cincinnati and Los Angeles but I’ve never actually made my own movie.
Potential Investor: And what will you do with this movie once you make it?
Sara Elizabeth: I plan to market it to the major TV networks and motion picture studios.
Potential investor: What makes you think you can do this?
Sara Elizabeth: Well, I was walking along a dirt road in Pittsylvania County and I had a vision.

Now – what would you say if you were the “Potential Investor?”

Are you starting to get it? Do you see how unlikely this is/was?

Clearly, Sara Elizabeth Timmins, who is as nice as she seems in the story, and bent over backwards to fit the shooting of this story into her schedule, is someone to be reckoned with. It is the sheer force of her ability and personality that made everyone want to join in, become a part of this film, and ultimately make it a reality.

The next step is selling the movie to one of the networks or someone who might put it on the big screen.

Sara Elizabeth isn’t saying how far it will go.

But don’t bet against her.

1 comment:

  1. She is an amazing young woman. It was a joy watching her work and make her dream come true! Can't wait to see the film on the big screen.