MARIETTA — Christmas came early on the Marietta Square on Wednesday.
Production teams working on a Hallmark film, “Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses,” erected Christmas trees, hung ornaments and covered grass with a carpet-like snow covering. Actors and extras donned winter coats, hats and scarves on the sunny, 60-degree day as part of the single day of filming on Marietta Square.
The film, which is based on a book by the same title, stars Jill Wagner as Abbey Fuller and Matt Davis as Nick Sinclair.
Thaddeus Roenitz, an assistant director on the crew, said several locations in Marietta have served as part of the film’s set.
“We’re moving tomorrow,” he said. “We’re having a good time in Marietta, though. Everyone’s been really great to us, and we’re so appreciative.”
Rich Buss, Marietta’s parks and recreation director, said Wednesday the production had been in town for three days filming at private locations.
Buss said the city receives permit fees for the filming, and charges vary based on the scope of activities.
“There is a $25 fee to submit the permit application and a $250 daily minimum fee for use of city property. Larger productions like today will exceed that because of the size of the footprint,” Buss said. “Annual fees paid to the city over the past few years have ranged from $10,990 to $20,600 with a three-year average of $17,500. We are on target to match that this year.”
Local churches and businesses also see benefits from filming, Buss said. Churches are are often paid for staging equipment and vehicles and local businesses see more customers, he said.
Buss said in the past 10 years, filming in the city has become more frequent. The average, he said, has been 25 to 30 permits, with 41 representing the peak in 2016.
“We welcome the opportunity to work with the film companies that are attracted to us because of the many neighborhoods with various home styles, a wealth of commercial areas and parks that are often utilized,” he said. “With the tax credits provided by the state, we expect to see as many or more productions as the years progress.”
“Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses” will premiere in December as part of the Hallmark channel’s series of Christmas films, Roenitz said.