December 8, 2023 - 9:40 am
Those who enjoyed Santa’s Electric Light Parade Saturday may be surprised to know that there’s a very good chance they may end up in a movie.
Cameras were rolling in the car featuring actress Vanessa Angel as well as on Santa’s sleigh, shooting toward the crowd. It was part of a yet-to-be-named movie that will include in its plot a Christmas parade.
“There’s a 100% chance that the parade scenes will be in the movie,” said Vince Palomino, the movie’s director. “In fact, this is the opening sequence to the movie and all the filming for the movie will be done here in Boulder City. So far, it’s been great. I love it here.”
Afterward, Palomino said, “The parade was awesome. Everything went well. We had to enter the parade early because of Vanessa’s plane time. It was amazing being in it.”
Palomino said the movie will be distributed and while it’s not likely, it could end up on the Hallmark Channel or something on those lines. It’s expected to be released next summer or fall.
“Boulder City has become a draw for commercially-produced content like commercials, music videos, social media influencers and movies,” said Boulder City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jill Rowland Lagan, who has a cameo appearance in the movie. “Our charming nature is the perfect backdrop for any scene. This type of realized publicity, without paying for it, can be very valuable in the promotion of our community. It is cool that our local Boulder City residents get to be extras in many of these shoots. It’s Boulder City’s way of getting its 15 minutes of fame.”
Angel has been acting in movies and on TV since 1985 after appearing in “Spies Like Us.” But she may be best known for her role in “Kingpin” with Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid and Bill Murray as well as the television version of “Weird Science,” which ran from 1994-1998.
Palomino has shot in Boulder City in the past, that being a Chinese television series called “Farewell, Las Vegas.” More recently, Boulder City can also be seen in another film that he’s directing called “Save the Date,” a comedy about a yogurt company heiress. It, too, has an undetermined release date.
“We were shooting here and everyone was so friendly and the town was so quaint that I said if I ever come back, I’d love to shoot here because it was made so easy,” he said. “I started talking to the chamber of commerce about certain things and Jill made everything so simple.”
The plot of the yet-to-be-named film is that the main characters, Hannah (Angel) and Brody (played by Gilles Marini), have been a couple for more than 20 years. When Brody comes to Boulder City (the name will not be changed for the movie) years earlier he was taken under the wing of an older gentleman who’s named Pop. Over time the couple experiences marital issues and separate but at the same time are attempting to open a new restaurant in town in which Hannah is the architect and Brody the chef. Spoiler alert: During all of this, Hannah is hit in the head and experiences amnesia.
“I wake up in the hospital and I don’t remember anything, not even my husband,” Angel said of her character. “It’s kind of a story of us rediscovering each other again. There’s also a third party who tries to come in and shake things up a bit. It’s about falling in love again.”
The way in which Angel’s character came to be in the parade last week is that since the couple is opening the new restaurant, they are an entry in the parade, but without Brody, much to the dismay of Hannah.
“This was almost like the last straw because being in the parade was for him,” she said, noting that Brody is a world-class chef.
Palomino described the movie as a “dramedy,” which is short for dramatic comedy.
While the movie may not find its way onto the Hallmark Channel as one of its popular Christmas movies, both Angel and Palomino said this film is definitely in that genre.
“When times are really rough, and we’ve all been through a collective difficult time the last few years, people are drawn to things that make them feel good,” Angel said. “They want an escape because there’s something about Christmas and basic, simple love stories. We all want love and connection and crave that. These movies are tied up in a nice, happy bow but that’s part of the appeal.”