MURPHYSBORO — The first part of the film is amazing for what it doesn't show: The filming equipment lying over chairs, tables and a bed and the crew just outside the scope of the camera; the cameraman perched atop a sink for an up-close shot, trying to get just the right lighting; the numerous times the main character's younger sister skipped around the kitchen table.
After six hours of set-up and filming, the first part of the Depression-era movie "Mildred" was filmed Saturday at a historic home in Murphysboro. The movie was shot in three rooms of the Historic Hull House Inn, a bed-and-breakfast restored by Theresa Blankenship.
The small film crew shoots the second and final day of "Mildred," which depicts a factory scene, this coming Saturday.
The film is based on a script that Colleen McVeigh, a friend of film director Michael Ricci, wrote about an experience her grandmother had around 1918. The production staff took creative license and set the story in Depression-era America.
Dan Balchen, producer for the film, noted that behind-the-scenes work gives him new appreciation for movie-making.
He noted that every three pages of a script can convert into a minute of filming.
The 90-second snippet edited from Saturday's production came from the work that started with set-up at 9 a.m. Filming and other work went through to 3 p.m Saturday.
"We didn't dicker around too much," director Michael Ricci said. "(This) just takes a lot of time to get it (as close as we can) to right."
The minute and a half of filming features the main character, played by Cassandra Ross — the stage name for a 13-year-old middle school student — and her real-life sister and infant cousin.
Once completed, the final four-minute production can be seen at the second annual Shawnee Shorts Film Festival, set for April 14, 2018, at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro.