I love a good location to film at. Last year we shot in the Iowa State Capitol for the primaries and I was in heaven. A few weeks ago, we shot a short film at an isolated farm house with a little pond. At night I slept in a tent outside and we worked until exhausted. Again, in heaven. A location can play as big of role as the actor. The hotel in The Shining is a good example. There is probably some official term for this, but I am too lazy to google it.

Feeling a little creeped out?

We were recently in Salina Kansas for my parents surprise 49th anniversary party (different story). My dad was a lifelong Shriner and spent many years as the association’s Recorder. Because of this connection, we thew the party at the Masonic templethere in town. I had been in the building several times but it had been many years. I was blown away by how majestic the building is, and dad offered to give us a full tour. As we explored, I realized it was a perfect location to shoot, not sure what, but I felt an urgent need to create some sort of excuse to film in that building.

The real gem of the building, in my opinion, is the 1,200 seat theater in the center. It has over 80 hand painted backdrops that can be flown in from a pulley system.

Stage without any backdrops.

Me testing out the rope and pulley system. I was again in heaven.

This is a side view of a backdrop, notice the vintage lighting as well, all still fully functional.

One of the setups we made up, 4 layers deep

My dad telling the story of the building. He belongs on stage.

One of the over 80 hand painted backdrops, I think it depicts hell, or Wal-mart, I am not sure which.

Back corner of the theater.

Another good example of this amazing location.

The more we explored, the more we found. Behind the stage is a full barber shop.

A different lobby with some pretty awesome chairs.


I have become acquainted with a band out of Lawrence called Olassa. From their bio on Reverb nation, “We are a three piece indie folk/americana band. Featuring three part harmonies, accordion, guitars, tuba, trumpet, upright bass, keys, micro organ and drums.” I believe this band and the location are a perfect fit. We are planning to shoot in early February. Go to thier page at http://www.reverbnation.com/olassa. We are thinking at this point of using the song “Where will I live”. The plan is to raise and lower the backdrops throughout the course of the song. I am very excited and yes, I am a geek.



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