Chris Stack and Samantha Soule film a scene from “Midday Black, Midnight Blue” on the Coupeville wharf June 14. (Karina Andrew / Whidbey News-Times)

Chris Stack and Samantha Soule film a scene from “Midday Black, Midnight Blue” on the Coupeville wharf June 14. (Karina Andrew / Whidbey News-Times)

Indie film crew: Whidbey residents are ‘generous and welcoming’

The movie makers are shooting scenes for a full-length feature at various sites around the island.

Cameras are rolling on Whidbey Island, where a group of independent filmmakers have found a home for their story, “Midday Black, Midnight Blue.”

This feature-length film stars Chris Stack as Ian, a man coping with grief and mental illness as he tries to find closure from the death of his lover, Liv, played by Samantha Soule, who also co-wrote and is co-directing the film with Daniel Talbott.

Though the crew originally meant to film and set the story in the Great Lakes region, they turned to Whidbey Island when their Michigan filming location fell through.

“We had to make a very sudden pivot, and we thought to ourselves, ‘Well, where does this script really want to be?’ and everyone just sort of said, almost in unison, ‘Washington,’” said producer Lovell Holder, who also plays a small role in the film. “This feels like a Pacific Northwest story.”

Washington Filmworks Film Commissioner Amy Lillard said she was grateful the original location didn’t work out, because the “Midday Black” team has been such a joy to work with.

“I like to say that we stole it away from that other state,” Lillard joked.

Beyond the pleasure of working with such an affable cast and crew, Whidbey residents also benefit from the film in other ways. Lillard said movies shot on Whidbey substantially benefit the local economy as filmmakers spend money on things such as props and catering.

Whidbey locals will also get to enjoy the simple excitement of seeing hometown landmarks on the silver screen. The film won’t be finished until next year, but when it becomes available Whidbey residents can expect to see familiar locations such as the Coupeville Wharf and the Little Red Hen Bakery.

The crew also plans to film on Suva, a 1920s schooner that was brought back to Coupeville by Mark Saia. Saia, who worked in the film industry himself when he lived in California, has spent the last several weeks making repairs and preparing Suva for the cameras.

“We’re really honored to be part of the film,” Saia said. “They’re very heartfelt when we talk about Suva in the movie and what it represents to them.”

The team said they found Whidbey Island and its residents to be generous and welcoming hosts.

“It really is a unique culture here, where everyone is trying to get the ball across the finish line,” Holder said.

“We’re already hunting for projects that we can bring back (to Whidbey),” Soule added.

The film itself is sure to be an emotional journey, as the story was born from a trying experience all viewers will have in common: COVID-19.

Soule said the story is meant to convey the isolated feeling experienced worldwide during the pandemic year.

“When we were first envisioning this, it was at the peak of the pandemic, so we were like, ‘Okay, let’s write a story that largely takes place inside someone’s head,’” she said.

Dreary though the prospect of reliving pandemic loneliness might seem, the film is also overcast with hope.

“Life is there,” Soule said about the film’s theme. “You just have to reach out and find the ways that you can fight your way out of your own inner labyrinth.”

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Whispering Pines Apartments complex which is slated to be demolished in October but must be vacated on August 31. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
New low-income apartments to replace Whispering Pines

On Monday, Lynnwood approved the housing authority’s plan for another affordable apartment complex.

Election vote icon for general use.
2021 primary election results for Snohomish County

Returns for contested races and ballot measures, updated daily as mail-in ballots are counted.

Man hit by truck and killed in Lynnwood is identified

Charles Fritz, 20, was believed to be part of a group of people riding bicycles, scooters and skateboards.

Native American remains found at Oak Harbor construction site

Archaeologists are working with Tulalip, Samish, Swinomish and Stillaguamish tribes.

Mike Evans, Blue Heron Canoe Family patriarch, asks permission to navigate the Coast Salish waters as paddlers prepare to depart on their two week journey to Lummi Island. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)
Pandemic disrupted tradition, but not their love of the sea

The Blue Heron Canoe family has embarked on a two-week journey, launching from the Edmonds waterfront.

Lynnwood Job Fair is Tuesday at the Convention Center

The event is sponsored by the city, the Chamber of Commerce and the Lynnwood Convention Center.

County fish passage work blocks section of road near Stanwood

Snohomish County crews are replacing a culvert under 268th Street NW in the 1300 block.

A man was found dead in the Snohomish River in June 1980. More than 40 years later, cold case investigators used DNA and forensic genealogy to identify him as Steven Lee Knox, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Wisconsin.
41 years later, man who died in Snohomish River identified

Steven Lee Knox, 24, went missing in 1980. Genetic genealogy helped identify him last month.

Election
Incumbent Everett, Snohomish mayors seem headed for November

After early counting, Cassie Franklin and John Kartak appeared to be headed for the general election.

Most Read