Maitland, Fla – We’ve all had to make major adjustments just to do our jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and the movie industry is no different. The movie that opens the 2021 Florida Film Festival is a testament to that.
“Because of Charley” was shot in Central Florida at the height of the pandemic in September of 2020. The film was shot in 21 days in Celebration, Kissimmee and Orlando.
The production had a COVID Compliance Officer on-set at all times. Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which is the actors’ union better known as SAG-AFTRA, detailed the protocols for filming during the pandemic. Key members of the “Because of Charley” crew were tested every other day. They also had their temperatures checked regularly and wore masks between scenes.
The onscreen movie magic of making you forget COVID-19 ever existed is especially important for “Because of Charley” because the movie is set in 2004. That’s the year a string of hurricanes tore across the Sunshine State leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Hurricane Charley was particularly brutal in Central Florida.
Because of Charley stars legendary actor John Amos who you’ll probably know best for his acclaimed work in the 1970′s sitcom Good Times and the landmark miniseries Roots. In “Because of Charley”, Amos plays the patriarch of an estranged, racially mixed family that comes together for a family reunion. They are forced to deal with their differences over race, age, faith, gender and sexual orientation while huddling in a hallway to ride out the wrath of the storm.
“The role of Grandpa spoke to me. I felt that the character fit me like an old shoe, and the complex interplay between the ensemble players was compelling,” actor James Amos said in a press release from the Florida Film Festival.