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Film Crew Comes to Van Alstyne

Leader Photo Courtesy of Joe Scott
Leader Photo Courtesy of Joe Scott
Leader Photo Courtesy of Joe Scott
Leader Photo Courtesy of Joe Scott

Van Alstyne is no stranger to film crews coming to town, whether it be for actual theatrical productions or music videos. The allure of Americana that the city projects lends itself to being a good fit for celluloid.

Joe Scott, of Night & Day Films, obviously liked what he saw as he shot the opening credits for his second feature film at Dorothy Fielder Park. Scott, a professional screenwriter who garnered critical acclaim with Ocean Front Property (2004), has written and is directing his newest project, Serendipity Moon.

Scott’s crew used a late November day (and evening) to put together the opening credit sequence for Serendipity Moon at Dorothy Fielder Park. The video shot at the park can be found at http://youtu.be/0SLD0OoPpY8. And trust me, that is Fielder Park; Scott’s crew put together an incredibly artistic sequence for the opening credits and the downtown park has never looked so good.

Scott’s project is an independent production and he is looking for investors both large and small. The footage he and his crew put together in Van Alstyne and loaded up on YouTube is designed to attract investors interested in helping get Serendipity Moon from the production phase into theaters. Those interested in the movie — or in investing in the movie — can visit the crowd funding site Indiegogo.com and the movie’s page at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/serendipity-moon-a-feature-film-comedy. Scott is seeking funding on the site through Jan. 8 and has offered several interesting packages to those interested in making movies, to wit, the Stay in Touch package starting at $1 all the way to the Executive Producer package at $5,000. The latter package offers up an executive producer credit in the opening credits, access to the set during production, VIP passes to the wrap party and premiere and a private cast and crew-only screening in Dallas.

It is an interesting way to fund a movie and very appropriate in this day and age of social media.

Serendipity Moon is, according to Scott, “about a heartbroken hopeless romantic, his womanizing roommate, and the twists of fate that turn their lives upside down over one weekend.” The film will be mainly shot around Dallas but Scott said he and his crew will be back to Van Alstyne to get pick-up shots at the park, including a short scene that occurs later in the film. The movie stars Tim Yager, Kyle Austin, JuliAnna Briscoe, Julie Reinagal, Ashley D. Merritt and Giovannie Cruz.

Scott said he hopes to have the movie wrapped later this year.

“As far as when we plan to start shooting, the plan was always early in 2014, but it depends on how much money we can raise in the Indiegogo campaign,” Scott told the Leader. “If we don’t get enough, we’ll have to continue fundraising in other ways, which will delay shooting. But I’ve got a cast that’s ready to go, so I hope to have it finished shooting by late Spring and have the film edited and presentable by mid-Fall.”

This was the first project undertaken in the city since the Van Alstyne City Council approved the Texas Film Commission-based filming guidelines. The belief behind having a filming ordinance on the books is that it makes it easier for cities and television and film crews to work together and protects the city’s property and liability in the unlikely event something goes wrong. This made it possible for Austin to send a scout here, take photos of the area and put the city in the database the commission uses to help drive projects to Texas.

Several projects, including the feature film Red Wing, have been shot in this area over the past couple of years. The cast and crew of Serendipity Moon were helped out by locals who provided help scouting the location and allowed the use of downtown buildings as a base of operations.