Great American Family ’s holiday programming franchise returns on Friday, October 21 and it’s ready to bring the best Christmas movies to its audience. On October 22, GAC is airing Destined at Christmas, starring Shae Robins and Casey Elliott. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with Director and Writer Brittany Wiscombe about her experience in the making of Destined at Christmas and what fans can expect from the movie.
Desirèe: What’s the main element in Kim’s and Theo’s characters and the movie in general that fascinates you the most and drew you to join Destined at Christmas?
Brittany: I love a wistful element in romance. It’s what makes us dream and hope. Kim and Theo recognize a spark of not just attraction but real love. That’s what I wanted to craft here and have the audience feel.
D: As we know quite well so far, GAC movies and shows always feature well-shaped and relatable characters – Where are you and the characters of this movie most similar and where most different as human beings?
B: Partially why I think these characters are so relatable is that they are good people. For all the division and conflict in the world, most of us are doing our best to be kind and to live our lives in a positive way. This movie and others that Great American Family (GAC) show help us feel comfortable as viewers because the characters could very well be our friends. I think I feel most similar to the characters in “Destined at Christmas” because of their love and appreciation for their families. Family is very important to me.
D: What’s been the biggest challenge for you in directing this movie?
B: Keeping the production moving each day to stay on schedule was always on my mind. We all did it and kept it on track because our awesome crew and cast were very prepared and hard working. But that element weighed on me because I didn’t want to go into overtime or overwork people.
D: To all the fans looking forward to watching the movie, how would you describe Destined at Christmas?
B: “Destined at Christmas” is that love story where you root for the couple to be together, amid Christmas craziness and the meddling of well-intentioned family.
D: What can you tease about Kim and Theo’s journey throughout the movie?
Their every step will leave you wanting them to just go a little further to find each other. But destiny has its own time table.Brittany Wiscombe
D: Talking about the environment on set, how would you describe your experience while filming Destined at Christmas and do you have any fun anecdotes to share?
B: The environment was very positive. That comes from casting not just talented actors but wonderful human beings. Likewise with the crew, being professional and kind and hardworking makes all the difference. It felt like a large holiday gathering—with some stress just like you’d have in getting the meal ready and setting the table—but with good feelings and satisfaction for the whole experience at the end of the day. Anecdotes: At one house we filmed at, there was a lower part of the ceiling in the stairwell to the basement. Casey Elliott (“Theo”) is tall and I could just imagine him hitting his head there and having a large bruise to contend with. So I printed out a “Casey, watch your head!” sign and taped it to the danger area.
D: If you could choose a character from Destined at Christmas that you would have loved to play, which one would it be and why?
B: I’m more comfortable behind the camera. Maybe playing Sharon, the woman interested in Theo. Playing the woman with her heart on her sleeve, so vulnerable and obvious in her affection, could be fun.
D: Did you take anything from set, any prop or piece of costume, to remember your experience?
B: No, but I keep every script with all my notes from each film I do.
D: Throwing back to the origins of your career, how did the passion for directing come about in your life?
B: I’ve written many films and produced them, so directing was a natural progression. I like having the creative control to execute what I imagined when I wrote the story, or to change it for the realities of shooting but in a way I felt comfortable with. I love being able to shape the performances in scenes too, which happened on set but also later in editing.
D: Among all the movies you’ve had the chance to join throughout your career, is there any particular one you’re most fond of?
B: Memory can be fickle, because I’ve had films that have been my favorites for awhile, and then time passes, and new ones replace them. Each film has good experiences attached, and a few have harder experiences attached—but I learn from each one, and I wouldn’t change that. For now, let’s say “Destined at Christmas” is my favorite.
D: If you had to give some advice to people who want to pursue a directing career, which kind of advice would you give them?
B: Be humble, be realistic, and don’t think you are entitled to anything but hard work. Learn to work together with the logistical and business side of filmmaking; if you don’t respect that, you might not have people who want to work with again.Brittany Wiscombe
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