Now in the third week of filming “What the Night Can Do,” the cast, crew, director and producer are hitting their stride, arriving on time at the sets in Gap Mills, Lewisburg, White Sulphur Springs and Alderson. Everyone is connecting, like family.
In case you haven’t heard, a movie is being filmed in our neighborhoods, written by and starring renowned two-time Emmy Award winner Stuart Margolin, with Max Martini, JoBeth Williams, Paul Sorvino, Mercedes Mason and Peyton Kennedy.
It is a story about family values, reconciliation, and coming of age, all through the eyes and heart of a 12-year-old girl. Directed by Christopher Martini and produced by Michael Hagerty, with Margolin and Tanya Hill serving as executive producers, the story is also a love letter to West Virginia.
Touchingly, the film production also includes Margolin’s sons Chris and Max. This is a real family coming together to tell what will certainly be an engrossing story about a fictional one.
The story centers on three generations of family upheaval, with Margolin playing an ailing grandfather, who tries to explain to his granddaughter (played by Peyton Kennedy) that there are no guarantees with love. She wants her grandparents to reunite after their divorce. But, he tells her, in the real world, things don’t always work out. He helps guide the young girl through the trials of love, loss and reconnection.
Max Martini and Mason play her parents. Also in the film’s cast are Williams and Sorvino.
“We are steaming ahead with filming our three-generation family drama with participation from numerous residents in Greenbrier and Monroe counties,” said Margolin. “We are equally proud to be using West Virginia’s workforce on the crew. The cooperation and assistance from the state film office, city leaders and businesses has made the experience quite special.”
The West Virginia Film Office has been working with Margolin since the summer of 2014 to bring this film to fruition. The film is slated for release in late 2017, and the film office will release more information when it becomes available.
Margolin, a Lewisburg resident, has been in a couple of Greenbrier Valley Theatre productions since his adoption of West Virginia as his home; starring in Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” and, more recently in “On Golden Pond,” reuniting with former co-star from “The Rockford Files,” Gretchen Corbett.
“It’s strange,” Margolin begins, and pauses, trying to describe his writing process during an interview. “What pleases me is the happy ending. They don’t make those kinds of movies any more,” he said.
Realistic human relationships and the chanciness of love may not be fodder for a jumbo money-making movie, but it fits handily in the small place timelessness of West Virginia.