“A Gettysburg Christmas” moves into post-production; will open on Dec. 1 in Gettysburg

The film footage shot in Gettysburg in January for the Hollywood movie “A Gettysburg Christmas” has been shipped to California for post-production, and Director and Screenwriter Bo Brinkman is there overseeing the work.

Brinkman said there were over 30 people involved in the filming in Gettysburg and that the post-processing occurring in Los Angeles would include at least 10 or 15 more, in addition to many other people from other companies involved in the work.

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“I’m working together with the assistant editor to do the rough cut,” he said. “The cuts are arranged to create the narrative, and then refined into the final version over the next weeks.”

Although the cast did take advantage of the snowfall that occurred while they were here to shoot a snowball fight scene, the final cut will be enhanced with computer-generated snow. The film will also be color-corrected.

The cast used the “poor man’s process,“ in which the actors are shot inside a car and the surrounding scenes are spliced into the cut. “The computer puts the scenery around the car, but even I can’t tell the difference. It’s that good,” said Brinkman.

Music and Sound Effects

“The sound edit follows the fine cut,” said Brinkman. “It will be done at Juniper Sounds in Burbank.”

“They’ll do the foley (sound effects) and add the underscore – the music that is composed just for the film and that goes underneath the dialog. “The underscore gives the film gravity and emotion,” said Brinkman. “It’s a delicate dance to enhance the performances and drive the story forward.”

Brinkman said there was a “world of difference” between the sound recorded on the set and what would be heard in the theater. “The original sound might not be good, for instance because of the trucks that came through the square when we were shooting.” At first, it sounds like the actors are talking out of a 55-gallon drum,” he said. 

The studio will use a procedure known as “looping” in which the original actors are brought in to overdub their lines. “The actor watches himself on a big screen, and they hear 3 beeps. Then they speak their lines which syncs the voice up with their own image. You can’t tell it when you see the finished version,” he said.

The film will include a Christmas song by local composer and performer Greg Platzer.

A Tight Budget

Brinkman said the film’s budget was tight, coming in at about $500,000. Our Initial efforts to raise enough money were unsuccessful,” Brinkman said. “I got really nervous.” Brinkman said the film’s Executive Producer, Vance Howard, loved the idea and helped fund the film.

Brinkman said he had originally set the budget at $300,000. “But I didn’t take into consideration the pandemic and inflation. “I was about $150,000 off my mark. Everything including the food went up.” 

Brinkman said most the of cast and crew were his friends, who took either half or less than half for their salaries.  “But even with the favors, we were still way off the mark,” he said.

Brinkman said the cooperation of people in Gettysburg made the movie possible. “All of the locations were free.  All of the extras were free.  That’s huge. We couldn’t have made it without that.” 

Brinkman said the two vans the cast was able to borrow locally saved them $20 or $30,000.”

“I’m not making any money off this.  We did this to promote the Christmas holidays in Gettysburg,” he said. “It wasn’t about the money; it was about making the movie. It was our Christmas card to the United States.”

Distribution and Release

Brinkman said he did not yet have a distributor for the film. “We’re going to field offers for it. There’s a lot of interest because of the actors who are in it. We’re not in a big hurry for distribution.”

Brinkman said that although independent films are usually very difficult to get into theaters, he expected a “Gettysburg Christmas” to run in at least some. “Our goal is to get it into theaters,” he said.

The film is a 3-year project that began in December 2020.  “A lot goes into making the finished project,” he said.

Brinkman said his next project was directing a horror film in Atlanta starting in May or June.

“A Gettysburg Christmas” will open on Dec. 1, 2023 in the Gettysburg Majestic Theater. The Executive Producer is Vance Howard and the film is produced by Jack McWilliams with Brinkman as Producer/Director/Screenwriter.

Featured image: Brinkman with Kris Webb.

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Charles (Chuck) Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Owner, Publisher, and Editor in Chief. I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at cstangor@gettysburgconnection.org.

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Yvonne Groen
Yvonne Groen
4 months ago

Please let us know how we can purchase the Gettysburg Christmas Movie. We would love to see the movie.

Connie Gleed
Connie Gleed
7 months ago

Anyone know if DVD’s of the Christmas movie is available for purchase.

Delynn
Delynn
1 year ago

We cannot wait for the movie! We love Gettysburg.

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