2013-06-20 / Scene

Movie filming wraps up this week in Columbiaville

BY KRYSTAL JOHNS
810-452-2601 • kjohns@mihomepaper.com

COLUMBIAVILLE — Filming of Lyon Productions’ thriller Don’t Wait Til Dawn is expected to wrap up at the end of this week.

The Flint-based company has been filming scenes at the William Peter Mansion, as well as other locations in Columbiaville, including Curly’s Lakehouse Grill.

In the movie, an accident on the interstate leads a handful of people to exit in an unknown small town. They kill some time at a local diner and later find out another kind of killing has been going on when they attempt to get back on the road and find the local sheriff isn’t letting anyone leave.

Director Brad Leo Lyon grew up in Flint, and combed the entire state and beyond looking for just the right place to film. He finally found it, right in his own back yard.

“He’d been looking all over Michigan for a creepy bed and breakfast,” said mansion owner Theresa Cook. “He went over to Shamrock Farms (in Mayfield Township). He hadn’t heard of us. I think she sent him over here.”

Cook said it isn’t the first time someone in the movie industry has shown interest in filming at the mansion. Lyon liked what he saw, and the crew moved in and started filming last week.

“One of the big things is you want to work with good, quality people,” Lyon said. “These people have been amazing. They made it home and you definitely don’t always get that.”

The crew has been filming through the night all week, beginning around 11 p.m. and rolling until late morning or early afternoon the next day, pausing when necessary for vehicle traffic, fire whistles, barking dogs and lawn mowers.

The biggest name among the actors in town is Australian Vernon Wells, who can be seen in films such as Commando, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Weird Science. His accent booms through the old mansion as he performs his role as the menacing Sheriff Carter. He is businesslike, especially when it’s nearing time to wrap things up for the day, but isn’t above breaking into an impromptu tango with another actor during a pause in filming.

The filming has proven exciting for residents of Columbiaville, and Cook said she thinks it’s good for the entire community, giving the small village something to be proud of.

“This has been fantastic,” she said. “When they went around about the movie, people started cleaning up their yards.”

The movie isn’t supposed to wrap up for good until 2014.

Lyon has produced a number of films, including Little Creeps, which is in theaters now. Find out more at www.lyonmotionpictures.com.

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