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Where the ‘Action!’ is

The “arrival shot” into Nevada City of the lead actor in “The Christmas Card” was filmed Wednesday on Broad Street and in the Nevada City Classic Cafe, giving additional area residents an opportunity to work with the TV movie.

John Newton, who plays Cody Cullen in the movie, rode a motorcycle down the hill late in the afternoon on Broad Street as more than a dozen crew members monitored cameras and other aspects of the scene, and workers at the Classic Cafe waited for Newton to enter the restaurant to play their roles as extras.

Kirk Valentine, owner of Nevada City Classic Cafe, said the movie is a “great thing” for portraying the community as the small, warm town it really is.



Valentine was sitting at a table in the cafe Wednesday afternoon as cameras rolled and equipment crowded the room. His wife and two children will also act as extras in the movie.

“The Christmas Card” uses Nevada City residents as well as the town’s actual name in a movie about a military officer who returns to America searching for a life and home he saw on a postcard while stationed overseas, according to producer Lincoln Lageson.




Lageson said filming, which started in mid-February, is expected to last until March 15. He said snowfall has provided a beneficial “visual” effect for a movie scheduled to air next Christmas on the Hallmark Channel. However, “operationally (the weather) makes things a little tougher.”

Lageson said he has been impressed by the “cooperation and help” of Nevada City residents, adding that he also appreciates the opportunity to film here because his parents grew up in Nevada City.

Anne Holst, ministry programs coordinator at Nevada City United Methodist Church, was one of about 50 extras who participated in filming Friday at the church.

“All in all, it was a very positive experience,” said Holst. “The film business is so intriguing.”

“Community support has been awesome … it’s worked both ways,” said Jerry Smith, pastor of the United Methodist Church. He said 83 people from the church were involved with the movie during the three days of shooting there.

Everyone involved “had a lot of fun,” said Smith. “The stars are so approachable.” In addition to Newton, the movie’s cast includes Ed Asner, Alice Evans, Lois Nettleton and Peter Jason.

Paul Matson is a Nevada City resident who became location manager for the movie, which he said entailed duties such as reserving space for equipment and resolving insurance issues.

“I feel fortunate that they chose our community, and Nevada City has a lot to offer to make this a very nice film for the Hallmark Channel,” Matson said.

To reach staff writer Josh Singer, e-mail joshs@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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