Falmouth’s Main Street and an undisclosed location in Cataumet are the backdrop for a new TV Christmas movie. Filming on location is set to begin on Monday, November 2.
“The Cape House” will feature well-known actors playing out scenes in familiar locations, including Eight Cousins bookstore, the Pickle Jar Kitchen restaurant, and a new art gallery slated to open in a few weeks next door to the bookstore.
Writer/director John Stimpson of Princeton, Massachusetts, is producing the film for H9 Films LLC out of Worcester. He said the movie will most likely be purchased by the Hallmark, Lifetime or Ion Television network. Expect to see it aired a year from now, he said.
“I have relationships with those networks, all of which have picked up my movies over the years. They know what we’re up to and they keep an eye on what we are doing so when we have a new movie, they are anxious to see it,” he said.
“With this movie we have to be so careful with COVID when normally I love having people visit sets and put people in as extras,” Mr. Stimpson said. “It’s so different this time around. We’re working in a really tight bubble with everyone getting COVID tests all the time.” The timeline is tight as well, with a two-week shooting schedule.
COVID precautions are why the director is not disclosing the location of the house he is using in Cataumet.
The inspiration for the movie locations is drawn directly from his connection with Falmouth; Mr. Stimpson and his family have a second home in North Falmouth. “My summer home where I have spent so much time is what inspired the idea for the movie. I’ve known the town for a long time,” he said.
“The Cape House” is a feel-good, bona fide cheer-fest Christmas tale you would expect to see on Hallmark’s “Countdown to Christmas” lineup, or Lifetime’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday schedule of 30 holiday movies.
They are known and loved for their predictable, warm and fuzzy plots in a world of hot cocoa, Christmas tree farms and snow-covered quaint village squares where the high-powered. big-city main character comes back to his hometown to save the day and wind up in love with the girl next door.
In “The Cape House,” a children’s author hosts one last Christmas with her feuding siblings before they sell the family house. Along the way she reunites with her childhood sweetheart, who helps her find a way to keep the home she loves.
“Of course they save the house and of course they fall in love,” Mr. Stimpson said, noting the sweet predictability of his seventh Christmas movie.
An H9 film called “Christmas on Ice” premiered October 23 on Lifetime as the network’s first movie on its “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday schedule. The movie was filmed in Worcester. Credits also include “A Christmas Kiss,” “The March Sisters at Christmas” and “The Spruces and the Pines.”
A former president of Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Mr. Stimpson made his movie directorial debut in 1999 with the political drama “The Gentleman from Boston,” released internationally as “Beacon Hill” and starring Michael Landes, Wendy Benson, Grainger Hines and Drea De Matteo of “The Sopranos” fame.
The two featured actors for his latest production are Katie LeClerc, known for her role in the ABC Family series called “Switched at Birth”; and Brent Bailey, who is probably best known for his role in the film “LBJ” with actor Woody Harrelson.
Digital effects will create a winter scene with frosty windows and perhaps a few snowflakes.
“We’ll transform that corner into Christmas,” Mr. Stimpson said.
“Falmouth has really welcomed us,” he said.
James Fox, planning board member and realtor, has been helping the director. Mr. Fox is opening an art gallery next month in the space next door to Eight Cousins, but before it even opens it will be a part of a movie set.
“It’s a win-win. We get a great space, and it will help shine a light on a new gallery,” Mr. Stimpson said.
It is his second movie filmed in Falmouth. About five years ago he directed “Betrayed,” a drama/thriller in Falmouth.
“It’s a small crew and small cast, and we’ll make a beautiful little movie with lovely production value that will absolutely compete in the Christmas movie marketplace,” Mr. Stimpson said.