Photo courtesy JC Films

Local youth to star in 2023 Christmas movie that’s being filmed in Buckhannon

BUCKHANNON – JC Films has returned to Buckhannon to film a Christmas-themed movie in several recognizable locations, including the Upshur County Courthouse.

And this time, a local resident’s son will fill the leading role.

Heather Hull, a producer of the film “Hank’s Christmas Wish,” said her son Brody Hull will appear in a starring role in JC Film’s upcoming picture. JC Films, a Christ-centered, faith-based production company located in Bridgeport, filmed one of their recent movies, “In God’s Time” in October 2022.

“I’m from this area, so my family and I live in French Creek, and my son took an interest in acting, so we connected and did a few films with Jason [Campbell] in Bridgeport,” Hull said. “The last film we did here was, “In God’s Time,’ and [Campbell] was looking for cornfields, and I brought him down to Buckhannon. I showed him some areas, and he said, ‘this is a nice little town; do you think people would be on board for us to shoot some of these here?’ and I said, ‘oh, absolutely, I think the community would be excited.’”

This will be her son Brody’s second lead role in a JC Films production.

“I think this will make his seventh or eighth movie; he’s 10 years old, and he attends French Creek Elementary School, so he started out being an extra and getting a feel for it, and he did a lot of the Buckhannon Community Theatre,” Hull said. “He did a few plays with them, and he said, ‘I really like acting, I think I want to be in some movies,’ so of course, living in this area, I had to figure out how we were going to do that and then we came across JC films and it’s faith and family, so it fit.”

JC Films’ latest movie is called “Hanks Christmas Wish,” and their website gave a brief summary of the picture, stating, “It is a story about a retired elf from the North Pole that wanted to live a life of seclusion until several unrelentingly cheery town folk help him regain his Christmas spirit. This cutesy, chestnut-roasting, Jack Frost-nipping faith film is packed with yuletide laughter and meaning.”

“So far, the locations we secured are French Creek Elementary School, and we’ll be doing a scene there on Sunday, Dec. 4 – our first day of filming – and then we’ll do a couple of days at the senior center,” Hull said. “The next couple of days after that, we will be filming in an apartment, which is located right above CJ Maggie’s on Main Street and we’re going to be doing the restaurant scene at CJ Maggie’s, and we’ll be doing some filming at City Hall.”

A scene will also be filmed at the courthouse at 5 p.m. Dec. 9 for a Christmas tree lighting scene and Dec. 10, a parade scene will be created in front of the Baxa Inn. (Read more here.)

“There are a couple of opportunities Jason has opened to the public to be an extra – the tree lighting is going to be a pretty big scene – and actor Dean Cain is going to be there. He’s going to play our mayor in the movie,” Hull said. “We are recreating a parade scene in front of Jerry Henderson’s Baxa hotel, so that will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, and people can come out and be an extra, be on set and see how everything works.”

Hull said she was happy to bring JC Films to Buckhannon and continue working with the community.

“It’s really an honor, and I feel fortunate that we can do this in our small town – get the community involved and give people an opportunity to be in movies who may not otherwise have the chance to be involved in a movie or be in a movie,” Hull said.

Both “Hank’s Christmas Wish” and “In God’s Time” are set for a 2023 release.

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