Donovan, who is set to appear in Reagan alongside Dennis Quaid next year, sat down with Wide Open Country ahead of the Tennessee RomaDrama Live! event in July to answer all our questions about making Hallmark movies. Here's what we learned.
There's a Reason Why There are So Many Passionate Hallmark Fans
"Hallmark movies have been a place for people to, for the past 10, 12 years ....a place for people to sort of escape and and know that they're [watching] this morally uplifting, positive message, feel-good story that's going to have a happy ending," Donovan tells Wide Open Country. "Now, in the last year and a half, with everything that's going on, and in the last several years, it's even that much more important and people are that much more grateful for it. I'm getting more and more responses -- positive responses. [People are saying] 'Oh, things are so difficult and I know I can always go to these movies and they're this wonderful escape. So I think that's really what keeps them coming back and keeps them so passionate."
Hallmark Movies are Made Incredibly Fast
"Most people probably don't know how long it takes to usually shoot a movie," Donovan says."All my movies, we shoot in three weeks -- 15 days from start to finish. There's a lot of work and it's really impressive to see how the crews and everybody works so well together in production."
It Takes a LOT of People to Make a Hallmark Movie
"So many people are involved. You see my face, you see an actress's face, you see other people's faces on screen, but you don't realize the hundreds of people that are involved to make that one scene happen -- with the lighting and the makeup, the hair, the direction of the cameras... set designs," Donovan says. "People would be pretty shocked to see how many people are involved in making these things."
Yes, Most Hallmark Christmas Movies Are Filmed in the Summer
"Because of the turnaround, we shoot [in the summer] and post-production has to get done and we have to air it by late fall, early winter," Donovan says. "So yeah, we're usually shooting in the dead heat of the summer."
The Set Decoration Helps it Feel Like a Winter Wonderland -- Even in the Heat
"Part of the crew is set decoration," Donovan continues. "So for these Christmas movies, they figured out this brilliant way of making fake snow and everything. So yeah, it's hot, but then you look around and it's festive and it feels like Christmas in the middle of the desert."
Real Friendships Are Created on Set
"The more you make it feel like a family on set, the more it's going to feel and look like a family on screen," Donovan says. "Hallmark, they have a way of vetting out difficult people to work with and bringing in people to work with who are positive and good people. So it's just a nice experience."
The Locations Are as Beautiful as They Look on Screen
"Hallmark typically is shot in Canada. In the past several years, they've been trying to bring more down into the states," Donovan says. "I did one called Love, Fall and Order in Utah. It was beautiful. Then I did one last year in North Carolina called USS Christmas...Another great part of shooting Hallmark movies is they do look for the most beautiful backgrounds."
Trevor Donovan will be appearing at RomaDrama Live! in Palm Beach, Florida from Jan. 7 through Jan. 9, 2022.
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