The Morris Curling Club was the scene of a movie shoot last week.
Club Manager Gabriel Brandt says an L.A. based production company was onsite last Friday, shooting scenes for a new Hallmark Christmas movie. Brandt says thanks to the fact they are one of the lone curling clubs in Canada to have ice year-round, the production company was able to take advantage of their space.
According to Brandt, the movie is called "Written in the Stars." It is a romantic comedy, which he says is expected to be released this upcoming Christmas. Brandt says he does not want to give out any spoilers, but what he can say is that the movie has an outer space theme and that the scenes shot in Morris are part of a game being played among couples in the movie.
Brandt thanks Lorne Hamblin for his role in making this happen. A "key contributor" at the Morris Curling Club, Brandt says Hamblin worked closely with the production team in making all the arrangements for the day. Hamblin went so far as to offer a brief 15-minute training session for the actors and actresses who had never curled before.
"Curling shoes were new to them, curling brooms were new to them," says Brandt. "To see someone as skilled as Lorne be able to teach people who are trained at taking direction, was really cool to see how quickly they picked it up."
He adds the actors and actresses were then able to execute their scenes after a quick lesson.
Brandt says it was an exciting day to be able to sit and watch the movie shoot. He says he did not recognize anyone on set.
According to Brandt, there were about 30 to 50 individuals involved in the shoot. They spent about 12 to 14 hours on site. Brandt says from what he has heard, there may be two to three minutes of footage in the actual movie, that was filmed inside their curling rink.
"Hopefully this continues to put Morris on the map," adds Hamblin. "Tiffany and her team were a treat to work with. I was very impressed by the whole team's attitude, adaptability and care they showed to both their craft as well as our facility. We really enjoyed it and would welcome any opportunity to continue to work with this team again."
Brandt says it sounds like shooting will continue across various locations in Selkirk and Winnipeg, including the Planetarium over the next three weeks.
Ethan Brandt is a resident of Morris and the summer student at the Morris Curling Club. He says being able to interact with the production crew behind the scenes made it feel like a true Hollywood experience.
"It was cool to see the equipment they brought in and be included during the day," he says. "I enjoyed having the chance to talk with people in all sorts of different roles, including the actors. It will be awesome to see the Morris Curling Club in a movie on TV."