back to top

Filming for “Lake Effects” to Begin

The film’s production crew discusses a scene.

Smith Mountain Lake will soon hit the big screen.  Filming for the movie “Lake Effects” begins October 5th and will last until the end of the month.  According to Chinah Helmandollar, production coordinator from Hardy, “We have different locations all around the lake (for filming).”  “We want to expose as much of this area as possible because the end goal of this project is for people to be able to Google “Smith Mountain Lake” and see pictures from this movie.”  The production company Laugh Out Loud Films is keeping the name Smith Mountain Lake in the film to help boost economic tourism and development in the area.

“The plot centers around [the idea that] everyone is searching for something,” according to Helmandollar,  “and the main plot is about a family whose father dies and it’s about sisters and the mother who are searching for why their father loved the lake so much; why he thought it was so important to raise a family at the lake.”

“There’s a humorous plot along with that.  There is a group of guys who are searching for a lake monster. . .They’re always going on escapades and their plot runs into the sisters’ plot at some point.  So, as you can imagine, it gets pretty humorous.”

Helmandollar says they’re finalizing the cast in the weeks leading up to the start of filming.  “We’re mostly casting local but from the very start (producer) Sara Elizabeth (Timmins) has said it is important to the film that we have named talent attached because that’s why people watch movies.”  She can’t reveal names yet because the cast hasn’t been finalized, “but we are talking to some named stars that people would know.”

As for the stars of the movie, Timmins says, “I really feel that for the community the cast is what’s going to solidify the project.  And I think that we’ve known that for some time and we’ve just really been looking forward to having that opportunity to make the announcement.  They’re going to be thrilled.  The cast right now has such a range of appeal that I think regardless of whether you watch a lot of TV or you’re a big movie person or you watch family channels . . . that the stars that we have aren’t all from one genre or one specific nitch.”

Local residents can also have a part in the movie.  Open call auditions are set for Saturday, September 18th at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount from 10 am to 4 pm. Helmandollar says, “It’s for people in the community to come out and read for certain roles.”  She says actors can audition for more than 20 speaking roles.  Extras can apply on the website

“If you fill out a form on that website, you’re going to automatically be put in our database for saying you want to be an extra. “The open call is for someone who may want to be an extra but maybe you want to have a chance to have a speaking role; have a chance to be one of the characters that is being cast in the movie.”  She says some characters have a few lines; others have a few pages.

Helmandollar says the first draft of the “family dramedy” will be out early next year.  They have several companies interested in distribution but a final selection has not been finalized so it’s not known exactly when the film will come out.

Timmins says, “I just cannot stress enough how thankful we really are because there’s not a day that goes by that I do not (have) a very strong realization that we could not have done this without the community.  There is absolutely no way.  They have taken this project and enabled us to make such a high quality, solid project with integrity that we never could have done on our own.”

By Beverley Amsler
[email protected]

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles