We always begin with the following disclaimer: It is impossible for you to know less about filmmaking than what we knew when we began the Salted Christmas journey. This series of articles is not designed to teach anyone in the industry anything. The series is simply intended to share with our friends some of what we’ve learned about the art, the skill, and the business of filmmaking.
As significant challenge for the filmmaker is securing locations for the film that are visually pleasing while being affordable enough to meet the budget. Real movies generally need multiple locations to tell a story and #SaltedChristmas was no different. Salted Christmas shot major scenes in a retirement community, a church, a public beach, two private homes, a restaurant, and a city bus. Here’s a miracle for you: only two of these locations asked us for money.
La Posada Retirement Community, a Kisco Senior Living community, stands out by far as the most generous giver of all the locations. The community allowed us to invade for no less than 12 full days and they never asked us for a cent. They were incredibly helpful with all of our needs, generous with help in countless situations, and fun to work with. Our experience there was that the facility was almost as beautiful as the people. And as you can see by the image below. The facility is beautiful.
We established such a strong bond with so many residents of the community. When staff and residents are combined, over 100 members of the La Posada community directly worked on the film in some way. They gave us our own room to store stuff. They set up their 15 foot Christmas Tree in the lobby in the middle of July. They allowed our childred to swim in the pool when we needed a way to keep them busy. In fact, two of the main characters in the film were acted by residents of the community. Truly, we could not be more thankful for their willingness to join us in the project.
But there were other interesting locations as well. We spent several days on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, which required city permits and police protection.
We spent the better part of a day at Nick’s on the Broadwalk. Because of their business hours, it was necessary to begin our filming day at 6am in the restaurant so we could be out by 12 (when the real traffic started coming in).
Our very own church, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, agreed to let us into their offices and the playground.
We were even able to rope Broward County Transit into participating in the film.
These locations required considerable hours on the phone securing the necessary approvals, permits, schedules, and agreements; but in the end, we think they really make the movie look great and add credibility. We are so incredibly thankful for these wonderful people who agreed to help us with this project.