Education producer fulfills Hollywood dreams
By Nancy Hurrelbrinck
Everyone who goes to film school
probably dreams about making a movie, but how many actually do?
C. Williamson, a producer/director at Educational Technologies,
a division of Continuing
Education, has made his dream a reality. "When Love Walks
In," his feature film about a grieving widower who falls
in love with his children's 22-year-old babysitter, will be released
"It's about how tragedy opens the door to new opportunity,"
he said. "What we see as devastating in reality can be the
key that unlocks the next phase in our lives."
Williamson and Maggie Jones star in the Paladin Pictures film,
"When Love Walks In."
a smaller scale, he could be describing his own life as well.
In 1997, he was being courted by a major production house. When
he found out that he hadn't gotten the job, it galvanized him
to make the film he'd been thinking about for a decade, he said.
Williamson, who came to U.Va. in 1995, began working on the project
that June and started filming in April 1998.
people with ties to U.Va. worked on the film. The cast includes
Melissa Dawn Bryant, a U.Va. drama department graduate, and Maggie
Jones, then a third-year student. Stephan Prock, a lecturer in
the music department, wrote and produced the film's soundtrack,
and several U.Va. students served on the crew.
film was also a family affair. Williamson played the lead role
of the father, his 3-year-old daughter played one of the children,
his brother co-directed, and the rest of his family arranged their
lives around it.
we shot at my house, there were people from all over the country
living there. My mom and my wife catered the film. It was kind
of crazy. It took an incredible amount of coordination.
you need a bouquet of flowers. If you don't have it, you have
to wait for it," he said.
had hoped to shoot the whole film in two weeks, but ended up spending
26 days, despite working 14 to 16 hours per day, he said.
cast and crew were wonderful, he said.
a low-budget movie like this, all of the cast is working on points,
which means they don't see a dime unless it makes money,"
said Williamson, who spent $60,000 to make the film.
"Everyone working on this film gave me so much of their lives,"
he said. "Watching them work changes your life on a working
level, and getting to know them has been a real growing experience,
a real lesson."
were a few tough moments. After filming at a Scottsville vineyard,
his brother accidentally ran over a $400 tripod with his car.
And there was a kissing scene that had to be shot three times.
a climax at the train station," Williamson said. "The
babysitter is about to leave, the father asks her to stay, she
agrees, and they kiss on the platform. Everyone's tense about
filming a scene like that -- the crew and the cast get weird."
He and his wife had agreed in advance that she'd be on the set
during the kissing scenes, he added. The first time, the scene
was rushed because the student playing the babysitter had to get
to a class; the second time, they were hurrying to beat the sunset.
we looked at the dailies [the raw film footage] after the second
shoot, I said, 'It's not ideal, but we can live with it.' My wife
was the one who said, 'No, go back and do it again,'" and
the third one was much better, he said.
Once the shooting was done, Williamson had to find time to edit
the film. Not wanting to cut into the evenings he spends with
his wife and four children, he has been getting up at 5 a.m. to
spend two hours editing before he dashes off to work, where he
produces documentaries for organizations like the Virginia Bar
Association. "It's made me very disciplined," he said.
expects to have finished editing the film in the next month or
so, and then he'll start submitting it to film festivals, where,
if shown, it could generate interest among distributors and buyers.
trying to come up with a marketing strategy," he said, adding,
"I'm much more of an artist than a businessman.
"From day one I've said this will be a success if it allows
me to do my next film, whether I sell it and raise money or I
can use it [to get financing]," he said.
film should be available on video in May, and Williamson hopes
to do a couple showings at a local theater.
film is an experiment," he said. "You start down a road
and have a concept of where you're going, but no idea how long
it will take you to get there or what you'll see on the way. It's
an incredible learning experience."