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Utah is famous (infamous?) for its fried sauce, snow, and pronunciation of the word “mountain.” But many people don’t know about the Hive State’s thriving film industry, more specifically the number of holiday movies made in our beloved Desert.

Last month was a highlight for Lindsay Lohan triumphant return to the screen with the Netflix film “Falling for Christmas”.

Watching Falling for Christmas is like snorting peppermint powder—a little too a very seasonal touch for even the most hulette-loving among us. While the production value was better than most holiday movies put together in a few weeks, the story of a big-city woman who falls in love with a flannel shirt attached to a generally handsome man is as tired as parents on Christmas morning. at 2 o’clock. halfway between putting together a toy kitchen and a foosball table.

But whether Christmas is good or not is completely beside the point. It’s holiday-themed and available in December, so people are going to watch it. Just as the beasts of the savannah are primarily drawn to the waterhole, so we American consumers are drawn to the contents of our jingling bellies from mid-October to the New Year. And indeed, the film had more than 31.2 million views in its first four days on the platform.

I’m guessing at least 3.38 million viewers came from Utah hoping to see Salt Lake City and Park City, the two cities where Christmas Falling was filmed. Viewers might recognize The Goldener Hirsch and Midway’s Blue Boar Inn, barely transformed into The Belmont, a luxury hotel owned by Lindsay Lohan’s fictional father, and The North Star, a humble lodge owned by was to the blonde lovers (and either her mother or mother-in-law?) – a plot point among many that is never fully explained.

Lindsey isn’t the only one who has spent some time in our neck of the woods. The cast and crew of Hallmark Channel, Discovery Plus, Great American Family and the Food Network came to our great state this year: “Destined at Christmas,” “A Cozy Christmas Inn,” “Holiday Wars,” “Haul “Out the Holly” films. “, “Christmas with the Campbells” and “Holiday Stocking”.

Every year, it seems like a larger crop of this season’s movies are filmed in Utah, thanks to the state’s tax incentives, the diversity of geography, the proximity to Los Angeles, the look of anywhere in the US in many of our rural towns, our right; the politics of working and the powerful film talent and studios here.

With the ever-increasing number of holiday content being produced in our state, most residents have at least some familiarity with one of these productions.

In the summer of 2007, the film crew set up shop at my neighbor’s house and for weeks it was all they could talk about. Some residents on our street even set up lawn chairs across the street to watch the film shoot, a process known to move at a glacial pace. Every day we walked past the entire film crew and actors wearing coats in 100+ degree weather.

There’s something exciting about the glitz and glamor of The Cinema in your hometown. There is a sense of glory by proxy. Stories you can dine on for years. “Did you know that ‘A Very Country Christmas’ was filmed on my street?” during parties you can say.

Some residents were lucky enough to be recruited as extras or even recorded for speaking parts. But the novelty can wear off quickly for those who might assume that filmmaking is quick or painless.

And that undertaking doesn’t always come as a pleasant surprise to those who live and work near the filming locations. No one knows exactly where or when a low-budget film crew might go out and splash around, put cotton balls on the ground to look like snow, stick paper snowflakes on the windows, and throw the neighborhood into chaos. .

No place is safe. Just as many of our small towns can stand in for any city in the country, our downtown areas can look like any big city (if you can see).

For the most part, Hallmark/Lifetime/GAC/Netflix people and the suits who work downtown can coexist without problems.

But every now and then a head-on collision happens.

That was the case a few years ago when a film crew took up residence in a popular corporate office in downtown Salt Lake City. Employees in the building were not informed that the forty-person production would use their offices for dressing rooms and the lobby for craft services. Many of those whose offices were not used for wardrobes were locked out of their work spaces. No one could access the elevators.

FYI email sent to company about production.

The problem was eventually resolved without the actors being thrown onto the streets of Salt Lake City. But the incident shows that mileage can make a difference in terms of the excitement that can be felt when Hallmark comes to town.

But we know one thing for sure. they’ll be back again next summer, so pass the peppermint powder!


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