Christ­mas comes early to Payson

Hall­mark movie filmed on Main Street

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed & Jan­ice Helmick for Serve Daily

PAYSON — In early Oc­to­ber down­town Payson was turned into a win­tery Christ­mas scene for a Hall­mark movie pro­duc­tion. That is re­ally neat to have our lo­cal town of Payson in the movies. But what was re­ally im­por­tant is the won­der­ful com­ments that the pro­duc­tion peo­ple had to say about three days film­ing in Payson. Steve Lee, the unit pro­duc­tion man­ager, said, “It had the per­fect small­town Amer­ica look we needed for the scene and the lo­cal com­mu­nity was very wel­com­ing.” Mr. Lee went on to ex­plain, “We’ve shot two pre­vi­ous movies in Utah and al­ways had a great ex­pe­ri­ence with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment, the lo­cal crews and the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.” The lead ac­tor, Mark Dek­lin, said from the time he got off the air­plane the peo­ple were so friendly and they didn’t know who he was or where he was from, but ev­ery­one smiles and they say hi.

The movie is ti­tled “Switched For Christ­mas” and will air on Thanks­giv­ing week­end. It is a ro­man­tic com­edy like “Par­ent Trap” but with adults in­stead of pre-teens. It stars Can­dace Cameron Bure, who starred in “Full House”, and Mark Dek­lin who has worked on Broad­way, Off-Broad­way, and at re­gional the­atres around the coun­try. It also fea­tures Ian Bai­ley. “Switched For Christ­mas” is pro­duced by Stan Spry and An­thony Frankhauser, and di­rected by Lee Fried­lan­der. The sto­ry­line is about iden­ti­cal twin sis­ters, one of whom lives in the city and the other lives in their home­town and is mar­ried with chil­dren. Steve Lee said, “Just be­cause they are iden­ti­cal does not mean th­ese twins even like each other. Es­tranged twin sis­ters get to­gether for an oblig­a­tory pre-Christ­mas lunch, a year af­ter their mother died. Both women are un­happy and frus­trated with their own lives. Though not close, each is en­vi­ous of the other’s life. What’s a twin to do but take ad­van­tage of this? And who would be the wiser? They do what any iden­ti­cal twins in need of new out­looks would do — they swap lives un­til Christ­mas Day. And by do­ing so, each woman dis­cov­ers the true mean­ing of her life and gains a deeper per­spec­tive and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what she al­ready had.”

The pro­duc­tion com­pany, which is from Los An­ge­les, is us­ing the Salt Lake Fair­grounds, down­town Salt Lake, and lo­ca­tions in Draper, as well as the lo­ca­tion in Payson. There is a crew of 75 peo­ple, in­clud­ing at least ten lo­cal ac­tors from Salt Lake and Utah County, work­ing in the movie, which is be­ing shot dig­i­tally. A to­tal of 17 days of shoot­ing has been sched­uled in Utah for the

90-minute movie. Steve Lee said the Utah Film Com­mis­sion has been very help­ful in bring­ing this pro­duc­tion to Utah and he is look­ing for­ward to more movies be­ing filmed in our area.

Switched For Christ­mas premieres na­tion­ally on the Hall­mark Chan­nel Novem­ber 26.

Photo: Cour­tesy Steve Lee Pro­duc­tions

Early in Oc­to­ber, Main Street in Payson was turned into a Christ­mas movie set.

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