Kris Webb brings “A Gettysburg Christmas” to Gettysburg

Gettysburg resident Kris Webb has a lot on her mind. Not only is she an artist/stylist and owner of Sixty East hair salon, but from now until December, Kris is immersed in the production of “A Gettysburg Christmas,” a heartwarming family film now being created in the streets, landmarks, and businesses of this quaint, historic town.

The premier is set to kick off the annual “A Gettysburg Christmas Festival,” December 1-3, 2023.

The two-day festival, which closes some streets to traffic to make room for the ever-growing vendors and crowds, is gaining momentum every year.

Kris and Bo Brinkman, the director and screenwriter of “A Gettysburg Christmas,” hope to give the festival a boost with the national release of this feature film, based on a  book by Craig Rupp.

Kris was able to spare ten minutes to talk to me while she waited in her car for an order to be filled somewhere in town. 

As Kris talks it feels like I’ve just downed an energy drink and it’s beginning to take effect. She starts out by talking about how well the schedule is working, the resilience of the actors, and the great locations. And then she begins to talk about the people of the town and how wonderful they have been.

Kris’s voice takes on a delightful bounce as she describes what it feels like to offer opportunities to young people to participate in bringing this story to life.  A girl scout troop that had heard about the filming was given an invitation observe and learn about this popular niche of the entertainment industry. Her day tomorrow includes being shadowed by a twelve-year-old girl who is interested in a future in film production.

The producers have hired interns from among Gettysburg College film students as well.

But I know that there is a deeper meaning to the lilt in her voice when she talks about her relationship with the film’s director/screenwriter Bo Brinkman.

Kris and Bo met while he was acting in the movie “Gettysburg” almost 30 years ago. She and Bo felt an instant connection to each other; could it be love at first sight? They talked easily and found that they both have a deep connection and love for this little internationally-renowned borough.

But, alas, like all great romances, their ability to be together depended on traveling to see each other. Bo’s life is based in Texas. As much as they cared for each other, they lost touch and reunited a few times. And then a span of about twelve years went by.

In early 2020 Kris had been thinking and feeling that Gettysburg could benefit economically from another big feature film. Kris started to feel something deep inside that she knew she had to follow. “And when you begin to follow that inner guidance, it’s always right,” Kris says with that deeply held determination in her voice.

 Kris had been thinking about how the film “Gettysburg” had boosted the economy of the area. She had an idea that it was time for another film that would show off the town and encourage a burst of tourism. She began feeling that Bo could be the one to help her make this happen. But, she didn’t know where he was. And she was reluctant to revisit the feeling of starting and having to end if they got together again.  And we all know what happened next. LOCKDOWN.

The urgency returns to Kris’s voice as she tells how intensely she wanted to find Bo to do this project in spite of her resistance. She didn’t know what his production company was working on. All she had was the phone number of his former next-door-neighbor Kelly, whom she had befriended. “I sent Kelly a text to ask that she send an SOS to Bo.” Kelly sent Bo a text, and in a show of good form, the next morning Bo called Kris. 

At this point I could say, the rest is history, but Kris went on to say that their reunion was miraculous and that this film could only happen with Bo’s help.  As they renewed their relationship, Kris says, “Something sweet was there. We have always had a connection. It’s a location thing. Long distance has always gotten in the way.”

The energy drink feeling kicks into high gear as she talks about how happy she is that Gettysburg has taken Bo and this project to heart. She raves about how different this filming is from previous movie productions. Kris said that usually a film crew will come into a location and take over, much like the soldiers did in 1863, but with fancy cameras and lights instead of guns.

She and Bo are protective about using the people who own and work in the shops in the finished film to give Gettysburg the recognition and investment that it deserves. And it will be fun to be in the audience at the premier when the townspeople see themselves.

And in the end, Kris’s voice grows a bit more serious as she talks about seeing this project as a way for Gettysburg as a community to get together to create something special for all the world to see. Gettysburgians know that anywhere in the world they travel, people know the name of the town where the deciding battle of the Civil War took place. Kris wants people to see her town as more than just a battlefield. She wants the world to know about the love and dedication that the residents of Gettysburg embody.

Bo Brinkman may be available for an interview, but Kris is being protective of his time until the filming concludes. She resists titles, but I’d call her Magical Coordination Fairy. Not only does she look amazing all the times that I’ve seen her, but her presence is sure to help those around her do their best work.

Kris Webb, though she won’t take credit, is the key to getting this film out of her daydreams and onto the screen. Her work previous to the actual on-the-ground filming is what has made it run so smoothly.

With all the best crew and community members to work with, this film is sure to rise to the heights that Kris and Bo know are achievable. They know it’s bigger than even the two of them.  

And from what I can tell, Gettysburg is going to be proud to claim as their own “A Gettysburg Christmas” and the beautiful couple who came together to make it possible.

Featured image caption: Bo and Kris [courtesy of Amilia K. Spicer.]

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Deb Collins has been in central Pennsylvania since 1989. Her children graduated from Gettysburg Area High School at the turn of the century and now live at opposite ends of the turnpike, Chelsea in Pittsburgh and Jake in Philadelphia. Raised in Connecticut, Deb enjoys the milder climate and the proximity to so many major cities that Gettysburg provides.

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1 year ago

What a great article. This article & photo of Bo & Kris should be printed in The Gettysburg Times. It’s wonderful to have our historic, little town highlighted to the world. Gettysburg should not just be known for “The Battle of Gettysburg”, but for the amazing town and towns people living here.

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