“In the Moon’s Shadow” was a multi-year process, which started in 2016. The film centers on the solar eclipse of 2017 and is based mainly in Belgrade.
BELGRADE, Maine – A dirt road alley in Belgrade, marked with a post saying “Lord Lane”, has been in the family of Debra Lord Cooke for generations. For this reason, it has always had an importance in Cooke’s personal life, but now it is also linked to his professional life.
This is where the independent film “In the Moon’s Shadow” begins (a project by Cooke, originally a pre-med major, performed and produced). The story follows the reunion of two estranged sisters who decide to take a road trip from Maine to Nebraska to see the 2017 solar eclipse. It’s a message about the importance of staying connected, a message that perhaps strikes you. be closer to home after a year of isolation caused by a global pandemic.
âI believe this movie will make people think and maybe make changes and connect with some of their loved ones,â Cooke told NEWS CENTER Maine.
On September 7, “In the Moon’s Shadow” will be available on select streaming services. It was chosen by Green Apple Distributors after being a finalist for “Best Feature” at the La Femme International Film Festival last summer.
This project has been in the works for years. Cooke says she and director Alvin Case came up with the idea in 2016. Case’s brother (a daytime nuclear physicist) wrote a screenplay, and the team decided to focus it on the highly anticipated solar eclipse. from 2017. They researched and determined the best vantage point would be Scottsbluff, Nebraska – but the story would start in Pine Tree State.
âThere is no place like Maine,â Cooke said with a smile. “There is no place like Belgrade.”
There was also another reason for this decision. Initial funding for the film failed – so the team set up a non-profit organization to raise funds. The film’s final budget was around $ 70,000 – about half of what they originally planned – which meant the team size was pretty small. The limitations did work in some ways, however.
âWe believe in regionalism,â Case said of the importance of embracing different places. “We believe that every region in every part of the world has a story to tell that is unique to that region.”
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This commitment to staying authentic and local came as a pleasant surprise for one company – Castle Island Camps in Belgrade. The owner, John Rice, says Cooke called, saying she needed a lunch spot that looked a bit “older.” Rice says he and his team were happy to help – and eventually ended up having a night out with the cast.
âI think everyone thought it was really cool to be a part of something,â said John.
Her 18-year-old daughter, Paige Rice, was even able to say a few lines when the actress assigned to play a waitress couldn’t come. She says she did theater in high school, but working with a director and a camera was a new experience.
âI never thought I would get to the level of going to see the movie premiere I was in a little scene,â smiled Paige.
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Everything other than the eclipse scenes was shot in Maine. Case and Cooke say working around a phenomenon like this – around four minutes and 38 seconds – was a unique and empowering experience. Cooke and her fellow actress watched the eclipse happen in real time, and Case had to make sure the camera was in focus when the sun was directly behind the moon, in order to avoid blowing the lens.
âThe task of an artist is to imagine what was not visual before – what has not been heard before,â Case explained of the âsingle takeâ opportunity.
âThere’s nothing quite like being out there and going through this,â Cooke said.
Cooke says there will be more information available on where âIn the Moon’s Shadowâ will air soon. She also played a role in the movie “The Girl Who Got Away”, which hits theaters and streaming from August 20.