Haywood seeing stars

By DeeAnna Haney | Jun 10, 2014
Photo by: Jessi Stone Director David Temple and actor Michael Joiner discuss a scene before filming begins at The Classic Wineseller.

The cast and crew of "Chasing Grace," by Catalyst Pictures, are being spotted all over Waynesville as they work on filming the movie, giving locals a chance to get in on the action.

The film crew spent Thursday morning at Panacea Coffeehouse before moving all the equipment to The Classic Wineseller on Church Street in downtown Waynesville.

The scene at The Wineseller, which appears about two-thirds of the way through the movie, took about an hour-and-a-half to film. However, it will likely only translate to about 90 seconds in the movie, said director David Temple.

That film to movie time ratio isn't the same for every scene, but it shows how much work goes into every aspect of a movie. Haywood County residents were on hand to sit at tables in the foreground to create the look of an actual dinner scene.

Before the actors and extras even came onto the set, the crew took about an hour setting up recording, sound and camera equipment, covering up harsh lighting and adding soft lighting in darker places.

Jackie Cure, who has helped facilitate much of the crew's ability to film in various places across the county, suggested the Wine Seller when Temple said he needed a cozy, romantic restaurant for a short dinner scene. As soon as he saw the back section of the restaurant, he new it fit the bill perfectly.

In the scene, leading characters Pastor Johnathon Matheson and his wife, Angela, played by Michael Joiner and Ashley Jenkins, are getting together for a long overdue romantic evening together following some family difficulties. The ambiance of the restaurant helps set the tone for the next scene when the couple rekindles their flame.

"It's not your standard restaurant," Temple said, gesturing to the walls lined with wine bottles against the exposed brick background. "The set built itself."

That sort of thing has been happening the whole time the crew has been filming in Haywood County, he said.

"It's what I call a 'God thing,'" Temple said, adding that every time he needs something for a particular scene, it has fallen perfectly into place every time in Haywood County.

On Tuesday, the crew filmed a short scene at the Waynesville Police Department, when the pastor and his wife arrive to pick up their son, who has been caught drinking and driving.

The officers in the scene, including actor Leon Pridgen who plays Officer Mahler, wore old Waynesville police uniforms.

The movie is a labor of love for Temple that's five years in the making. When he published his first book, "Discovering Grace" in 2009, he knew he wanted to one day see it on film. Creating a screen play from the book helped Temple to discover the essence of the story he had created.

"I was able to take more liberties with the film and make it a little darker than the book," he said.

As the writer of the book and screenplay, Temple is living the dream of any writer by also directing the movie and even playing a major role of Carter Matheson, the pastor's brother.

"It's the best way to live my life that I could imagine. It does not get any better than this," Temple said.

Crews have been working 10 to 12-hour days depending on the location, much of which has taken place in Haywood County so far.

Be on the lookout for the film crews as they continue working on the movie this summer. They will also be filming scenes in Hendersonville, Asheville and Canton.