What has made the experience even more special for him, though, is having his friends involved in the production of the film, which finished shooting Tuesday in
Scenes were shot in front of the old cinema in
"I think it went fantastic," Lamb said this morning. " Synthetic Cinema did a terrific job on a
relatively modest budget and I think they knocked it out of the park."
One of his former Norwich Free Academy students,
"I think this is so exceedingly cool," said Lamothe. "I'm just so glad they're able to film this in eastern
Lamb, who appeared at the filming later in the day, was an English teacher at NFA for 25 years, where Lamothe taught mathematics.
Lamothe said not only was he Lamb's best man as his wedding, but Lamb was his best man when he got married.
On Tuesday, Lamothe said he was honored to act in Lamb's movie.
"It was really neat shooting at NFA where he taught," he said.
Lamb was an associate professor of English at the
The movie is based on his
It takes place in Three Rivers, a fictional town in eastern
"We did a full Christmas pageant at NFA," he said.
The movie is set in the 1960s and is a comedic Christmas story about
In the movie, Funicello is a distant cousin of Mouseketeer and teen movie queen
The movie was directed by
O'Brien said the studio typically works 12-hour days, including crew clean-up time, and hoped to finish no later than
During their bus ride, the children sang "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," annoying Lamothe's character.
When that song is sung, Lamothe said his character wanted "no part of it."
The magnet school shoot involved
"It's really very exciting and, in many ways, unexpected. But, what a wonderful cast," said
The plan is to have a limited release of the movie, including dates in
Those involved with the film were headed to
"We haven't sold anything yet, but we know a lot of places that want to do it," said O'Brien.
According to Lamb, the movie will play on the Lifetime network around Christmas time.
Because it is a Christmas story, he felt the movie was appropriate for that channel.
"My other books are longer and more complex," he said. "I think this one just sort of fits the format they are looking for."
Though he has earned numerous awards for his novels, "Wishin' and Hopin'" is the first
His honors include
Gernhard could not be reached for comment.
Lamb noted he used to live with his family on
O'Brien said the majority of the cast and crew are from
She got him involved instead.
"I wanted to introduce him to this because I thought this might be another interest,"
Some of the extras spoke about their work while taking a break from the set.
"I think it's a great experience for him," said
She noted he was working on the movie with one of his closest friends and neighbor,
" He's really liking it,"
One challenge of acting in the movie, he said, was that if something was funny, it was difficult "not to laugh."
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