No mask needed for these SIT Weekend Q&A's
Updated: Nov 22
Download these five short interviews, put on your headphones, and stand on the Grand stairs to hear Jeff Gourson tell me about editing the movie. Or go to Bogan Lane and hear Islander Trish Martin tell what happened at an Island screening of "Superman." Remember the warm spirit and great voice of transportation chief Steve Hellerstein in the Parlor. And meet Jo Addie (Parlor) and Steve Ellis (front porch rocker), who help keep the weekends going.
Or, if you're like me, and you wish you were on Mackinac, just listen and imagine yourself on Mackinac. Hey if it worked for Richard Collier...
Here are some pretty horrible but very affordable robot transcriptions of my interviews:
Speaker 0 00:00:04 Hi everybody. My name's John Raby and I'm the host of the somewhere in time podcast called call back yesterday. This is a pod let designed for anyone who is on Mackinaw Island this weekend at the 30th annual somewhere in time, weekend, grand hotel, or anybody who wishes they could be there like me to get the time travel experience, just right. Go to the place where I conducted the interview during last year, somewhere in time weekend, and listen, very intently and concentrate. If you do it just right, it'll feel just like it's 2019. Everybody is missing this guy right about now. He passed away August 8th at his home in Las Vegas. He was only 73. And Jeff Garson says he was really looking forward to attending this year. We spoke in the grand parlor. Please introduce yourself.
Speaker 1 00:00:53 Tell me what your involvement with the movie is. My name is Steve. Hellerstein my involvement with somewhere in time, I was the transportation captain, which involved logistically getting all the equipment to the Island, which was a, uh, quite a task because everything had to be barged over, um, and logistically loaded so that when the stuff came off the barge, we were able to take that off the barge. We had a couple of full paws involved because we, they were all tractor trailers and because they were being tractor trailers, everything has to line up when you, when you go on so that the tractor can get off. And then at the other end, you've got to have the tractor so that you can pull it off. So logistically it was a, it was kind of a nightmare in the beginning, but Mackinac Island is not built for tractor trailers.
Speaker 1 00:01:47 And nor is it built for motor vehicles, really, right? The streets are very narrow and every time we had to move around, we couldn't drive the vehicles any faster than the average person could walk. So there was times where we had to actually move from where we were parked. Let's call it point a and going to point B, I would take my bicycle, be the lead guy in the bicycle at walking speed, so to speak. And then I had this Armada coming in behind me and we would circle the entire Island so that we would land at point B. What's your attitude about whether this is a pain in the butt or a challenge? Oh, it was a challenge. It was fun. Literally after getting here, there isn't a whole lot to do for us. We liked to invent things. I had six guys here with me on the, on the Island and we like to keep busy, you know, because we're all, we're all kinda like hands on guys that, that, you know, get trying to get creative.
Speaker 1 00:02:46 We, you know, we, we build things. We help, the electricians will help the grips because they get busy doing whatever they're doing. And we're still like standing around. It's just not, it's not suited to us. So we, you know, we'd creative and there was a, I'll give you a little story. I don't know if you can put this on there, but we were going out by the lighthouse to do the scene at the lighthouse with, with Chris and Jane. And we had this LST, which was going to load all the equipment. And of course we needed some portal, portable bathrooms too, to take out there. So one of my guys and myself went up to the grip truck. We got some, uh, got a couple of two by fours because we, what we did was we figured we'd put them underneath the porta potties, pick them up and take them onto the LST, like a sedan chair. There you go. And, uh, anyway, so we left one of the guys, Lauren. I said, Lauren, you stay here, wait for that. We'll be back in 15, 20 minutes. So we come back and Lauren's nowhere to be found. So we pick up the first one and we loaded on there, and then you can draw your own conclusions. What happened? We found Lauren,
Speaker 0 00:03:53 The second one is heavy, a little bit
Speaker 1 00:03:55 Heavier. And it kind of tipped. Yes. I don't know if you can put that on there, but Lillian
Speaker 0 00:04:02 I've, I've heard that this is one of the happiest movie shoots ever. Is that true? And it's, you know, we're, we're 40 years on. So you can say now yes or no.
Speaker 1 00:04:09 Yes, it was, you know, I was very, very disappointed when the film, cause I really felt, felt my heart in the film that it was going to be a big success. And when it wasn't, I was, I was literally let down and now being invited here to the, to the Island and being able to participate in the festivities and everything, this has made my film career complete. It has really given me closure. So to speak on having a successful career, I finally did a film that is recognized and I'm recognized, and it's a, it's really a big deal emotionally. I I've, I sat and watched Jane give a little speech last night and I had tears in my eyes and uh, uh, all throughout my career, you, you want to be on a successful movie, right. And this has put closure on my career. It, uh, it, it, I'm getting choked up a little bit now thinking about it. But, uh,
Speaker 0 00:05:14 No you want that you want as a professional, you want that, you know, you want people to, to, uh, have felt something about a movie made.
Speaker 1 00:05:23 And you know, when I, when I talk to people and I say, Oh yeah, I, I, I did somewhere in time. That's my favorite movie. And I mean, you know, the little movie that not that I thought no one ever knew about has become incredible.
Speaker 0 00:05:38 I was 13 one. When this happened, I have a memory of a very slow drive of all your semi-trailers. I think it was a surprise. It wasn't, it wasn't planned. And it happened, I dunno, 10, 11 o'clock at night.
Speaker 1 00:05:53 I think. So. I think we had to make a move at at night because there was some reason. And I honestly don't remember, but I do remember it was going at night late. Yes.
Speaker 0 00:06:02 It was an event people, Hey, the trucks are moving. Hey, the trucks are moving and they're moving through, you know, they're these giant silver, if I remember correctly, silver semi-trailers dry inching through downtown, which is this old Victorian downtown. And you usually only see horses. And it it's, I don't know. It was almost well, it was a, it was kind of time travel in a way. It was funny. It was as if they were driving out of the past, somehow
Speaker 1 00:06:24 It looked like a flying saucer had landed because that's exactly what it felt like. I mean, the toll, the whole town was dark at that time. And all you had was the headlights of, you know, the, the trucks on the move and they move so slow in the reflections of the, of the lights off the buildings and so forth and so on. And it, you know, it was, it was wild. Yeah. It was incredible.
Speaker 0 00:06:47 It's it's, it's kinda nice. Cause I'm sure we saw each other without knowing who each other was. I had no idea. You had no idea who this little punk kid was. So it's really nice to connect, uh, almost 40 years later. So good to meet you.
Speaker 1 00:06:58 Absolutely. It's my pleasure. Thank you.
Speaker 0 00:07:01 Thanks for listening to a call back yesterday. Padlet, please subscribe and give us a rating. And I hope I'll see you next year on Mackinaw.
Speaker 0 00:00:04 Hi everybody. My name's John Raby and I'm the host of the somewhere in time podcast called call back yesterday. This is a pod let designed for anyone who is on Mackinaw Island this weekend at the 30th annual somewhere in time weekend at grand hotel or anybody who wishes they could be there like me to get the time travel experience, just right. Go to the place where I conducted the interview during last year, somewhere in time weekend, and listen, very intently and concentrate. If you do it just right, it'll feel just like it's 2019 walk, ride a bike or rent a carriage and get to Bogan lane near st. Anne's church. Up on the right. You'll see the Bogan lane in run by my longtime friend. I've known her for probably 52 years. Ever since my family rented a house on the other side of the Island, back in the late sixties, please identify yourself.
Speaker 1 00:00:59 My name is Trish Martin. I live on makin Island, had grown up here and I run a small BNB on Mackinaw Island and write for the paper and that's who I am. Yes. I have a master's in field botany having done a floristic study of the vascular plants of Mackinaw Island. If you want to know the truth, but it's fun. I do. How are you involved in somewhere in time? Well, of course we are here the summer. They made the film and, uh, I was actually an extra, but all my scenes got cut. So, but it was fun. I mean, we had a good time and uh, I had a lady who stayed with me for the six weeks or whatever, almost two months, I guess, uh, that the film was being shot, who was the understudy for Theresa. Right. And, uh, I also got to work on the costumes, fitting them to the people, uh, for all the periods scenes. So that was great fun.
Speaker 0 00:01:55 You fit for like, you know, is, I mean, did you fit for plumber a Seymour?
Speaker 1 00:01:58 Oh no. It's just for all the extras that were coming in. And a lot of the costumes I believe had been used in my fair lady. They've rented them for the film as they do, but they all had to be fitted. I have to tell you my favorite. Can I tell you my favorite story was, do you remember Agnes shine? Well, Edna shine was a very petite Scottish woman who came to work at the hotel, I believe at the grand, um, when she was 14 or 15 years old. And so they cast her as an extra and she knew I was working on fittings up there. And so she came out in her dress that she was wearing for the thing. And she was in a full nuns habit and she came up to me and she said, Turkish, Kenya, imagine me unknown. And if you knew Agnes, yeah, it was kind of hard to imagine her and none.
Speaker 0 00:02:55 You remember what it was like on the Island when they first said, Hey, there's going to be a movie here.
Speaker 1 00:03:01 I think people were pretty excited. You know, I mean, this is something that hasn't happened. I mean, since the MRA movies were made and the fifties and sixties, um, so we hadn't had any filming going on for a while. And, you know, people were kind of excited to have Superman be here and of course, Christopher Plummer and Jane Seymour. And so it was kind of exciting to see and, and everybody kind of wanted to be involved if they could. And because the cast and crew are here for almost two months, they got to know a lot of people here on the Island and, and we interacted with them a lot. So everybody was pretty happy about it. They thought it was odd when they allowed them to take cars up to the grand hotel. That was the big discussion at one point, but it was thought well, okay, if they do that early and it's out of the way for the tourists, that's fine.
Speaker 0 00:03:56 So you're being candid about that. Like, I could see people being much more outraged than that. I just, I remember eyebrows raised, but I don't, you know, I was 13.
Speaker 1 00:04:04 I don't think people were outraged. I think they've been, I don't know. I shouldn't say this, but anyway, a lot more outraged at Mike Pence coming here and bringing seven vehicles to the Island. So he could be here for a half hour or 40 minutes to do a talk. I'm sorry. We were a little more perturbed about that than we were the few cars for the, the scenes that were being filmed in semi-trucks and semi-trucks and yeah, there were things.
Speaker 0 00:04:30 What about where people were people suspicious of Hollywood?
Speaker 1 00:04:34 Not really. I didn't get that impression. I, more people were just excited I think, and the idea of getting to be an extra in a film or, and people would go down just to watch them film and see how they were doing stuff. And of course, some of the scenes had to be done filmed at night. So that was, that was different. And, and I have to say the cast and crew that were here were very nice. Um, had a couple of them come over for a meal and so on here. And, uh, bill Irwin came and had a breakfast with us one day and, and Susan French, we brought her tea a few times when she needed specialty.
Speaker 0 00:05:12 Th that's the word is that the, this was one of the happiest movie shoots in the history of movies.
Speaker 1 00:05:18 I think everybody had a good time and people on the Island, well, they were excited to have them here. I don't, they didn't really bug the cast and crew, um, as they might've done in other places, you know, and they were excited to meet Christopher Reaver or Jane Seymour, Teresa writer, whoever. But it was like, Oh, well, there they are. They're eating dinner. You know, let's let them eat dinner,
Speaker 0 00:05:42 Did a plumber and Reeve and Seymour and French mixed with the Islanders.
Speaker 1 00:05:47 Yeah. To some extent, uh, for Jane Sima or went riding with friends of mine when they were up here, they had a couple horses. Of course she couldn't do more than walk her horse because of movie rules, which is funny, cause she's a good rider. And they had a couple of hunt horses that were fun and you know, they would be around in town and seeing people and yeah, and the crew too was very much, um, we had a cookout with the cinematographer in his van and the crew from there one day, I actually had a friend of mine who's in the film. Uh, actually my best friend's dad father-in-law was in the film. And he actually got paid as an actor because he was supposed to be quiet in the back of an elevator and had to get out of the way for somebody coming in and ended up saying, Oh, excuse me. So he got credited as a actor in the film. Who was that? Oh, it was Jim Dunnigan, uh, who is a cottage you're up here. I used to be on the park commission here, uh, for a long time. And, uh, he was in the film and it's right there in the movie.
Speaker 0 00:06:58 Have you thought about the idea of the whole of time travel?
Speaker 1 00:07:03 Oh yeah. Well, the idea of time travel is just fun. I mean, it's interesting to think about going back to a particular period and seeing what it really was like, instead of just what we hear in the history books. I don't know if on the space, time continuum it would ever happen, but you never know there are wormholes and all sorts of weird strife. You never know
Speaker 0 00:07:26 We on a time machine right now, an eight mile round time machine called Makena Island.
Speaker 1 00:07:31 I guess you could say that. Um, though, I've lived here all my, most of my life. So this seems normal to me, it doesn't seem like we're back in time because this is how it is it's. And I like the fact that when you walk down the road here, you have to see your neighbors. You can't ignore them. And, and so you do say hi to everybody and, and it's a nice thing. I don't want to give up necessarily the real world to go back to those days. I don't think it was as a romantic or we have, I think we all have a romanticized view of history, probably things weren't quite as good as you think they might be.
Speaker 0 00:08:12 I think modern underwear's a lot better as is plumbing.
Speaker 1 00:08:16 Yeah. Modern plumbing, modern underwear, a few other conveniences.
Speaker 0 00:08:21 These are, uh, the, the, um, the gum toothpicks made of plastic. There's so much better than 1912 toothpicks. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:08:32 They showed the film Superman here. Well, Christopher Reeve was here and I was up at the, well, I can always call it the college theater, the mission point theater and somebody. And it was just packed. You couldn't get tickets. Everybody was excited about going because Christopher Reeve was here and somebody was saving three or four seats and people were saying, well, you can't save seats. You know, you got it. No. And they held him well after the movie started, Christopher Reeve and company walked in and sat in those seats. And then the sound went out in the film, which was notorious down at that theater at the time that the sound equipment, the equipment was from the fifties early sixties. So it wasn't in great stuff. But anyway, the film, when the sound went off and they were trying to fix it and Christopher Reeves stood up and started narrating the film for that few minutes while the sound was out. And then when the sound came back on, everybody applauded him and really sat down and watched the rest of the movie. The other thing is, my mother always likes to mention that Christopher Reeve donated his bicycle for, to the medical center for the auction to raise money for the med center. So
Speaker 0 00:09:47 I thought it didn't all the actors are many of them,
Speaker 1 00:09:49 Probably others did too, but mother always remembers Christopher Reeve doing it. So, yeah, cause she had worked at the med center stuff.
Speaker 0 00:09:55 I realized that you're a perfect, a perfect person to explain why the hell there was a full movie making operation on Mackinaw Island.
Speaker 1 00:10:05 Oh, well, um, there was an organization that had its world headquarters here on Mackinaw Island known as moral rearmament. It was originally called the Oxford group and eventually changed its name to moral rearmament. And you may not have heard of them, but you might have heard of some offshoots, including alcoholics anonymous and up with people. Um, it's the show that went around for a lot of years, they made a lot of films, as well as doing road shows and so on. And they had a full film studio in what is now mission point editing rooms and you know, the whole, the whole bit, a big sound stage. And it was, I think they told me at one point it was the largest soundstage East of the Mississippi at the time it was built. And it's because it was quite large. It ended up being the college gym eventually.
Speaker 1 00:10:59 But when the college started, what were the films about? Oh, well they were usually, there were a number of films. Um, I was in two of them. One of them was called pickle Hill, which was about bootlegging during prohibition and how somebody in Penn state college changed because of their interaction with some folks and getting their life straight and stop bootlegging at the time. Uh, another one was called, um, decision at midnight, Martin Lando was in that one. Actually, I don't remember much of it, but it was something world war, two vintage piece on trying to get their lives straight and getting out of Eastern Europe and stuff like that.
Speaker 0 00:11:39 And explain the connection with MRA
Speaker 1 00:11:41 Moral rearmament was the organization's, um, goal was to get people, to listen to the guidance of God daily and live by absolute standards of honesty, purity, love, and unselfishness. And so they were trying in making these films and doing the road show and then up with people and all this, um, to get people to take lives seriously and to, uh, try to make the world a better place. Figuring the only person you can change is yourself. So if individuals change, then the world can change and, and not be, uh, as bad a place. So that's what these stories were about. My dad actually worked on one film in Kenya, which was about the Malmo uprising called the voice of the hurricane. And Glen closest dad was in that one too. That's a whole nother story. And, and it's a funny, I have to tell one other funny story.
Speaker 1 00:12:39 I was in, uh, I was in China in 1981 and the film was released in 80. So it was there in 81 with my mother who had been born and raised in China. And we came out into Hong Kong, uh, at the end of our trip. And we were looking in the newspaper in Hong Kong to see what was available to do. And we saw an ad in the paper, which said held over for the 11th week, somewhere in time. And all we could laugh was we went halfway around the world and we cannot get away from this movie.
Speaker 0 00:13:16 Thanks for listening to a call back yesterday, Padlet, please subscribe and give us a rating. And I hope I'll see you next year on Mackinaw.
Speaker 0 00:00:04 Hi everybody. My name's John Raby and I'm the host of the somewhere in time podcast called call back yesterday. This is a pod let designed for anyone who is on Mackinac Island this weekend at the 30th annual somewhere in time weekend at grand hotel or anybody who wishes, they could be there like me to get the time travel experience, just right. Go to the place where I conducted the interview during last year, somewhere in time weekend, and listen, very intently and concentrate. If you do it just right, it'll feel just like it's 2019. Listen to this one on one of the landings of the long stairs leading to the garden, you'll realize soon why pick this spot? Like everybody says happens at the weekends. My husband and I became good friends with this guy and his wife, Stacey, we visited their house, painted their horses and ate delicious donuts then covert. So we stay in touch by texting, which is fine, I guess, but no donuts.
Speaker 1 00:01:03 So you can't, you can't even see the microphone we're recording. Right? Cause you work on movies, right. And you work on movies. Yeah. Please introduce yourself and tell me your connection to the movie. But my name is Jeff Corson. I was the film editor on somewhere in time. Where are we standing? We are standing on the landing of the grand hotel where Elise and Richard met on the staircase. Elise yelling out Richard when she saw Richard and what I find very fascinating with this, which I'm sure this is a process has been used in movies quite a bit, but, uh, Isidore Mankowski the photographer used a split diopter in order for you as a viewer to see the person close up in focus, as well as the person, many, many, many yards away that were also in focus. Did you know he was going to do this or did you see it in?
Speaker 1 00:02:04 I didn't. I did not know. Uh, I saw it in the dailies and I went to see his and I said, Oh my gosh, that is a fantastic shot. I can't believe that you've, you know, how'd you do that. And obviously everybody's aware of, I guess, a split diopter except me, you know, and this was about my second film. I've done second or third film. So it was an education and I was very impressed. And that's why we were standing on this landing talking because it's brought that memory back. Did he tell you what it was? How he did it, how he thought it out? He, well, w w the way he said it is that, Oh, it's just a split diopter. I go, okay. It's not like no kid it's magic. And I'm not going to tell you the trick, the trick for 10 more years now, he was, he was very forthcoming with the truth. It achieves an effect. That's very romantic. I get well, yeah, because if he didn't use that effect, you couldn't see them both in focus at the same time. So,
Speaker 0 00:03:00 And their reactions, like all the emotion involved in that,
Speaker 1 00:03:03 Because when she saw him, you see her react. And then when she yells Richard, you see his reaction. Well, if they didn't use a split diopter, they would rack focus from her to him. So you kind of lose that as you said, romantic little piece, because now it's becoming mechanical and it's a visual that you're seeing change where the split diopter prevents that, which is pretty cool. Yeah. It's like, you got one that's near site
Speaker 0 00:03:32 And not, uh, it's something they would do with CG now, but the old Hollywood way is the way
Speaker 1 00:03:38 Exactly they would have split the screen. They would have shot her in focus, then go and then shot him and focus and then put the two together. And you wouldn't see the split. It would be a seamless split, but the way he did it, it was all in one shot. And that's what I admire about his adore is that needed a lot of in-camera effects.
Speaker 0 00:03:57 You were working mostly way over at the place that was Mackinaw college used to be an MRA film studio. So that's where you were editing film far away from the hubbub that was mostly here at grand hotel. What do you think about being separated that way from, from the excitement?
Speaker 1 00:04:14 It was fine because the editor as myself and any other editor, you know, we're stuck in the cutting room. I mean, I'm grateful that they brought me here because if they hadn't, I would have been editing in Los Angeles and then shipping the film back and forth. I guess they felt that it would number one, be cheaper to keep me here and to the director would prefer to me be closer because that way he could come in and look at stuff that I cut nowadays. It's the technology has changed so much that if we were to shoot this, the technology today, if we were to shoot this, they would probably have me in LA because it's so fast that you just put the stuff online and the director sees it. Sorry about that. He's a big guy in the movies. So he's getting
Speaker 0 00:05:04 Texts probably for, is that score sassy again? Pardon me? Is that score sassy again? Yeah. Oh yeah. You know, he just does call Thelma.
Speaker 1 00:05:11 It doesn't leave me alone. I mean, I just can't get away from him.
Speaker 0 00:05:15 Did you, do you remember what you thought when they said, ah, we're going to make a movie on an Island that has, you know, makin Island. It's weird. It's stuck in time. It's it's had you ever heard of Mackinac Island before? Even
Speaker 1 00:05:26 I heard of Mackinac Mackinac Island before, uh, Verna fields, who was the vice president VP executive of somewhere in time. And she was working at universal. And for those of you that don't know who Verna fields was that she was the editor on jaws. She took the position of a VP and then took over, over at universal. And then she became the VP on this movie and she asked me, she says, uh, you know, I want to see if I can get you on this movie that we're doing somewhere in time. And I said, okay. And she says, uh, you know, the only thing, the pay scale, I go, okay. And she says, you're going to have to kind of go on to location where like two months or so I went okay. And I would have done it for nothing. I mean, I would've done it for nothing, even though if I didn't know about this Island. And I obviously didn't know about it until I got here. And I was a little nervous because I wasn't really ever away from home. This was like my second or third film. And being away that long and not at the time I was married and I had a child. And why did you agree so readily? Why? Yeah, because I was an upcoming editor and we're working with Verna. I would have done it for nothing and I couldn't wait and being under her wing. And she being my mentor was unbelievable.
Speaker 0 00:06:40 So, so she says, you should do this, carries a lot of weight. Then she says, jump out of your house. Hi.
Speaker 1 00:06:46 You know, cause she was very important back then and very popular. And uh, and I had a lot of respect for her and I learned a lot from her. You know, I didn't really have much confidence in myself, you know, and I was nervous and uh, she would always give me that boost of confidence that, you know, you're fine. You can do it. You'll do it. You'll be fine.
Speaker 0 00:07:05 Just making movies. It's just making radio. That's all
Speaker 1 00:07:08 Just making it. It's just radio. But that's, that's, that's how I got involved in it.
Speaker 0 00:07:12 Did you know at the time how unique McEnroe was, did you know anything about
Speaker 1 00:07:16 No idea what makin Island was like?
Speaker 0 00:07:19 And then when did you learn and what did you think?
Speaker 1 00:07:21 Oh, when I got here and they said you are going to be, we can't put you in the hotel because there's no rooms and the crew's going to stay at a, in a dorm, like a college dorm. And I went, Oh, pretty cool. So I mean, they, they treated me very well. I had my own room, had my own bathroom where a lot of the crew members, some of them were sharing rooms and they were sharing bathrooms. And I, you know, they, they put, they put me up, they took care of me. And when we got here, they gave us all a bicycle. Uh, the department heads and I was considered a department head because I was the editor and we had our own bicycles. And that's the only way we can get around and, or walking. And then on the weekends or on my days off, which usually a Sunday, cause I'd worked six days a week, I'd go over and I'd rent a horse and buggy. And I would just go by myself in drive the buggy into the Island, to the inner workings of the Island. And, uh, they wouldn't allow us on the streets, you know, in town, but we would just ride drive the buggy. And I would, you know, try to get a couple of crew members to go with me if they want it to,
Speaker 0 00:08:21 I've been asking other crew members and, uh, this is, is it the case that this was an extremely happy shoot?
Speaker 1 00:08:28 I think so. Yeah. I mean, everybody seemed to be very, very happy. It's rare, isn't it? How can you not be everybody was in ways to be unhappy. True. But everybody was, it's a very positive. I mean, this is a magical place. It's, it's, you know, I mean every time my wife and I come here, Stacy and I come here, it's like Stacy, let's buy that house. And we would come back here and we'll move our horses here. Every, you know, we'll come out here during the, and we'll ship our horses out and which we have to, and I can hook them up with a buggy here and I can drive my own horses. I don't have to run any, but it's so beautiful and magical. And it's like, you get up in the morning. How can you be in a bad mood? You know, it's just it during the time we went, especially cause it was June, July, I believe somewhere around it.
Speaker 0 00:09:13 Do you agree with my thesis that, uh, this is, uh, a time machine, an actual time machine? The Island itself. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And then the
Speaker 1 00:09:22 Off the boat, or step off the plane and that goes, and everything's gone and you start walking into town and as a horse walking by you with the buggy it's or bicycles, and even in no matter where you are in the, on the Island, in a hotel, if you have your window open, while you're here as clip clop, clip clop, you don't hear any horns. You don't hear any engines roaring. Uh, the other day we were walking up the main street and all of a sudden I heard this and I turned around as an ambulance coming up towards a hotel. That's the only motor that I I've ever hear. And actually when we were here shooting, I think the only thing that was here was an ambulance and a firetruck. Even the police was on a bicycle. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:10:03 When did you first become aware that there was this fan club for somewhere in town? So you, you make the movie fails basically 10 years later, stuff starts happening around it. When did you find out about that?
Speaker 1 00:10:16 I was working on a television series called quantum leap and I was, um, in the lab and the gentleman by the name of bill shepherd got ahold of me and said, you know, we would like you to come out to maca. Now there is a fan club and we would literally have you come out, we'll take care of everything. We'll pay for the flight and this and that. I go nuts. Okay. I, you know, I'm just, uh, you know, I'd rather not. And uh, he kept being persistent and uh, I said, okay, I'll do it. I'll go. And I thought it was going to be kind of weird, you know, when you hear that kind of stuff. So I got here and I went, Oh my gosh. And unfortunately I was still working full time. So the only time I could go was like on a, take a Friday off, fly in, get here on a Friday night, do my thing for the fan club on Saturday and then fly home Sunday, which was really hard. So I chose not to do it for a few years. And then when I retired, I haven't missed a day a year. I've been here every year after that. And I think I've been retired maybe 12 years.
Speaker 0 00:11:27 So you come and participate in this thing, people asking the, I assume the same questions, the same kind of doing the same thing every year. Isn't that annoying?
Speaker 1 00:11:37 No, it's not annoying, but it is weird because I feel like I'm repeating myself and it's like, well, these folks I've heard this before. And I want to try to think of something different or something. I haven't told them. And then the coordinator, Steve Ellis says, there's new people all the time. They haven't heard it. So just assume that these are all new people and they're hearing it for the first time. So don't feel like you're repeating yourself cause you really aren't.
Speaker 0 00:12:03 But at the same time, people love hearing the old stories. I mean, it's fun. It's great. There's a point when Dan Dewey says and every single tour, uh, we go out on the ice for the Genoese Mark and he's like, where's the water? And he points down, no, the water is underneath you. That's great. A million times. And how the movie got made people. It's just an all, it's a story. It's lower people retell those stories over the over campfires and stuff. I think you're okay. Yeah. I think so too. But you guys are telling it with a heart that I don't see often, you know, when you watch movie Q and A's and like,
Speaker 1 00:12:35 Yeah, right. Yeah. It is. It is from the heart and it's a lot of feeling. And um, there was just one thing I remembered this morning, which I wish I would have said yesterday on a panel was, uh, one of my favorite moments on the Island was the associate producer. Steve Vical w when I first got on the Island, he said, I want you to meet Jane Seymour. I want a cool, cool. So he gets me over to Jane. He goes, Jane, this is Jeff course. And our editor, Jeff, this is Jane Seymour. Hi. Nice to meet you. So maybe a few hours later, I run into Steve and Jane and Steve goes, Jeff, have you met Jane Seymour? I go, Oh, hi, Jane, how are you? This is Jeff Corson. So, you know, this went on for two months, every time, not every day, but every time we were together, it was Jane. This is Jeff, Jeff. This is Jane. You want to remind her when I see her today? Yeah, Groundhog day.
Speaker 0 00:13:29 Uh, I was talking with Steve, the transportation director and he said, it's, it's, it's really great at a certain time in your life to know that you did something that matters to people.
Speaker 1 00:13:38 Oh, absolutely. And out of all the films that I have done, I think this is the most, this is the one that has affected me the most. And even if I didn't come back every year, just the fact that working on it, uh, you know, people ask what movies have you worked on? And I'll give him some of my credits. Then when I hit somewhere in time, they go, you did somewhere in time. Oh, I love that film. And then there's a few people that would say, well, you know, I've never seen that film. I go, well, you know, get your wife or get your girlfriend or whoever and, and watch it. It's a very romantic piece. I think you'll really enjoy it. And when they do, they go, Oh my gosh, I wish I had seen this sooner. So it, this is a memorable movie and a memorable experience, which I will never, ever forget.
Speaker 0 00:14:23 What did you learn about filmmaking by working on this film?
Speaker 1 00:14:27 Oh, that's a good question. When I learned about filmmaking, I don't, I don't have an answer for that one. Oh, wait, what did I do? Question. Yeah. Whoa, what did I learn about what I learned? Any filmmaker? What did I learn about filmmaking here? I don't have an answer for that again. I don't want to keep throwing this out there, but as an editor, I don't get out of the room that much. And I take it upon myself. When I think I need to take a break, uh, leave the editing room. I'll jump on my bike. I'll come down to the set. I'll hang out. I'll watch. I'll sit behind the camera with Chenault and watch from him. Actually, I take that back. I did learn a lot about filmmaking from Gino as a director, because I was able to come out on my own and just watch them. I love to watch the director and with a journo, he makes it so simple. I mean, you see him direct and just like, Hey, I can do this. You know, anybody can do this. Well, anybody that is good at their craft always makes it look easy. You know, the ones that don't make it look easy is the ones that are having a problem with it. And, um, I just learned a lot from, from general, just watching him and also being in the editing room with him.
Speaker 0 00:15:36 Do you remember a moment of, you know, there's a funky boat? I don't even know what that is.
Speaker 1 00:15:41 The barge. Wow. I don't know what's going on. You got a lot of stuff,
Speaker 0 00:15:45 Cole. Was there, was there something he taught you? Oh yeah, they're pushing it better. Oh, you're going to give me you're going through. You're cutting stuff. He says, cut here, cut here. And you're like, Oh, wait a minute. You're right. That works. Well,
Speaker 1 00:15:56 The director has a vision. I have a vision. When I read the script, I see a vision and you know, mentally I say to myself, well, this is the way I would shoot it. You know, I would say most of the time it would be similar. But then when you put it together, it's sometimes different. And I've had experiences where I would put something together and I would look at it and I go, this doesn't quite work. Right. So I try something different and then I would show it to the director general or whoever and they would go, wow, I didn't think about that. That's not what I had in mind, but a sure works. Let's leave it and let's move on. You know? So it's a very creative process. And, uh, you know, sometimes you're limited to what you can do with the film. And other times the directors, which is an odd,
Speaker 0 00:16:42 He gives you the, you know, it gives, you, gives you the yeah.
Speaker 1 00:16:45 Options where you can try different things. Um, she, you know, was a very well prepared director. So there wasn't that much film where if someone didn't know what he was doing, they would just shoot, shoot, shoot, and then you'd figure it out and post, you know, unfortunately today directors have the ability to do that only because it's not film anymore. It's digital. So it's so easy for them to go, well, let's do it this way. Let's try it that way. Oh no, that didn't work. Let's do it this way. We'll figure it out in post. You know, we'll fix it in post as a famous line, fix it in post. Thank you very much. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to, uh, talk to me.
Speaker 0 00:17:25 Thanks for listening to a call back yesterday. Padlet, please subscribe and give us a rating. And I hope I'll see you next year on Mackinaw.
Speaker 0 00:00:04 Hi everybody. My name's John Raby and I'm the host of the somewhere in time podcast called call back yesterday. This is a pod let designed for anyone who is unmatched an Island this weekend at the 30th annual somewhere in time weekend at grand hotel or anybody who wishes they could be there like me to get the time travel experience, just right. Go to the place where I conducted the interview during last year, somewhere in time weekend and listen, very intently and concentrate if you do it just right. It'll feel just like it's 2019. Oh, here's her duty. Grab a rocker on the West end of the front porch. Look out at the bridge and Lake Huron and the fairies. Oh, just too beautiful and listened to this interview. What's your name? Steve Ellis. What's your connection with somewhere in time and grand hotel?
Speaker 1 00:00:56 I have been coming to the grand hotel, uh, basically my entire life and for the last 29 years, I've been involved with the grand hotel somewhere in time weekend. Um, and I got involved early on, uh, with the insight coordinator who was bill Shepard and got the ball rolling. And for the last 17 years, I've been in charge of planning and coordinating the events and gathering all the people together to make it happen.
Speaker 0 00:01:26 When people come to Mackinac Island for the summer in time weekend, are they getting into a time machine?
Speaker 1 00:01:32 Oh, absolutely. I think they are. I mean, I think that's part of the fascination with the grand hotel and the Island, you know, there's no motorized vehicles here. You have to get from point a to point B either by walking or, you know, horse drawn carriage. And I think a good portion of the fascination that people have with this film is just kind of escaping the hustle and bustle of 21st century life and escape into a much simpler time. So yeah, it's kind of like stepping into a time,
Speaker 0 00:02:00 The machine a time when you could sit on the front porch of a luxury hotel built in 1887 in a rocking chair and past the time of day with a friend exactly right. From a film historian point of view, where does this film fit?
Speaker 1 00:02:15 I think it fits into, um, a pretty narrow category with films, like a portrait of Jenny. Um, it's just a good old fashioned love story that happens to be wrapped in a time-travel, um, motivational piece. We got to get the main character from everyday life and his present circumstances and travel back in time to 1912. And I think that expresses things for people that, um, it kind of becomes a universal feeling.
Speaker 0 00:02:49 One of my themes is that when people come here, there are no 1979 pennies, so to speak that's right. To take
Speaker 2 00:03:00 Them out of it.
Speaker 1 00:03:01 I think you're you're right on the money. I mean, in a very literal sense, people come here and for the summer and time weekend, you know, I've been to a lot of film conventions in my life and this film convention, so to speak is really unique because there's no Trekkies here. There's no people that are just strangely connected to the film. They're all passionately connected to the film in a good way. Um, I think that they're kind of hopeful romantics as opposed to hopeless romantics that there's really maybe somebody out there for them. And I think it just in genders really positive feelings and, you know, I've watched people, uh, come back year after year after year, who tell me stories about, you know, meeting somebody here and going in vacationing with them, you know, going to their home state and meeting up for different, you know, events and, and what have you. And it's all because of Richard Matheson's book, the screenplay, the movie, and now this film,
Speaker 2 00:04:02 The convention somebody's Uber, somebody's Uber is driving by.
Speaker 1 00:04:07 Yes, they are. That's how we get around on Mackinaw Island.
Speaker 2 00:04:11 How old are your students in film studies? That's, you know, generally
Speaker 1 00:04:16 You get students that are 18, 19 years old that really have very little affinity for cinema. You know, one of the things that always amazes me is when, uh, you show a black and white film to students and they ask why aren't we watching the colorized version? Or what, why was this movie shot in black and white? So it will, you know, cause it was made in 1935 or something and they don't get it. Do you show somewhere in time to your students? I certainly show them bits and pieces of it. Yeah. Like there's a really specific example I can give you. There's a, it's called a split diopter shot, which kind of tricks the film, uh, the lens of the camera, uh, into being able to do a close focus and a deep focus. Uh, there's a shot in the movie where Jane Seymour is down in the, uh, the grounds of the grand hotel.
Speaker 1 00:05:09 Um, and Christopher Reeve is sitting up on the porch and, uh, there's a split diopter shot. Chris is in focus up close Jane's and focus way down on the lawn. And the cinematographer is a doormat Kosky, uh, set that shot up so that it was framed with the, uh, the porch post that kinda masking the split lens so that he could make that shot happen. Um, there's also a great shot in there where, uh, is a door set up a reflection of Jane in the window of a door and has a, uh, you know, crew member drawing the shade behind the window of the door. And you see reflected in that pane of glass. As she's walking down on the beach by the Lake, that's just cool stuff. And you know, a lot of times, you know, cinematographers now we're so concerned about how many explosions we can make happen and you know, how much flash we can get on camera that you forget about good old fashioned cinematography. So that's the kind of stuff I get excited about because the kids get it. They get it when you show it to them.
Speaker 0 00:06:26 Thanks for listening to a call back yesterday, Padlet, please subscribe and give us a rating. And I hope I'll see you next year on Mackinaw.
Speaker 0 00:00:04 Hi everybody. My name's John Raby and I'm the host of the somewhere in time podcast called call back yesterday. This is a pod let designed for anyone who is unmatched an Island this weekend at the 30th annual somewhere in time weekend at grand hotel or anybody who wishes they could be there like me to get the time travel experience, just right. Go to the place where I conducted the interview during last year, somewhere in time weekend, and listen, very intently and concentrate if you do it just right, it'll feel just like it's 2019. This interview was conducted in the parlor on the way to the dining room. And imagine as we speak that ladies and giant hats and men and spans are walking by
Speaker 1 00:00:49 My name is Joe Addie and my title. Well, let's see, I like keeper of the flame, but I'm the president of insight, the international network of somewhere in time enthusiasts.
Speaker 0 00:01:02 And what were you doing in the summer of 1979?
Speaker 1 00:01:06 Well, I actually fell into working on this beautiful film and through some very extraordinarily unique circumstances. And I ended up working on the film for three weeks and I was an extra in all the 1912 scenes. I wore five different costumes and I worked for three weeks. Well, let's see. Um, I actually came to watch, but like I said, I landed in, uh, working on the film and, uh, I actually show up 10 times in the movie I'm in all the 1912 scenes, except for the park scene. I'm a dancer on the dance floor, a walk across the lawn in front of Christopher Plummer and the breakfast scene and a writing outfit. Um, I'm in the theater right near Chris sitting in the theater. There's, there's a lot of places.
Speaker 0 00:01:50 How'd you wind up on makin Island? The summer of 1979.
Speaker 1 00:01:53 Actually, I came here with my husband. We were planning to come my earliest clear memories of my life. I was here when I was three and a half years old and he had never been, so I said, let's go to makin Island. This was in may. We set up a reservation to come here in the, for the end of may. And I happened to see, uh, you know, about a week or two before we were leaving to come. Uh, Christopher Reeve was on the news desk with channel two in Chicago. After we were watching movie, he came on and bill Curtis said, we're going to have an interview with Chris grievous and Tom making a movie. And then Chris did this great interview. And of course I knew him from Superman in LA and really admired his work. And he said, they're going to make an Island to film after they were filming four days in Chicago where I live.
Speaker 1 00:02:34 And so, uh, I thought, Oh my gosh, I wonder if they'll still be there when we get there. And they were, they were, you know, there was, uh, we, we got to watch the rain scene, uh, in front of Laura Robert's house. And we mingled with the crew and the cast and at Chris, and then they invited me back to watch the ballroom scene. And I ended up being dressed through these really bizarre circumstances, but I ended up being dressed for us into a 12 dress and in a carriage and on my way to the ball for the dining room scene, just like Cinderella.
Speaker 0 00:03:06 Had you ever worn period costume before? Were you into this at all?
Speaker 1 00:03:09 Absolutely not. I had never had such an experience, so I felt like Cinderella and, uh, we, and then I was picked to be one of the dancers on the dance floor and actually showed Chris how to do the dance.
Speaker 0 00:03:23 And it was what you danced with.
Speaker 1 00:03:25 Well, he came up well for among the small group of us that were standing, waiting for the scene to start to be S P shot. And he walked up and said, now, how do you do this dance? And I showed him how to do the dance. And at the funniest thing was, he turned to me and he said, after he let you know, I counted it out with him across from him and so forth. And he got this and he stopped it. And he said, I mean, after he got it, he stopped and said, are you the dancing coach? I said, no. And he said, well, you know, you should, because you really look like, you know what you're doing?
Speaker 0 00:03:55 Don't take this the wrong way. Um, was this a dance, like a waltz or something where you got to hold him or where he got to hold you?
Speaker 1 00:04:03 No, I didn't. There was no holding. No, I was just thrilled.
Speaker 0 00:04:08 Let's do the tango crit now next the tango. No, that'll take a couple of weeks
Speaker 1 00:04:14 Ugly. Let's start now. No, I was, I was actually thrilled to, to just be involved. Yes. And then, and then I got to know Chris and I went flying in his plane with Jane on a day off. And we had wonderful time and I was friends with him for 25 years until he died. And I'm still friends with Jane
Speaker 0 00:04:32 When the movie came out, what'd you think?
Speaker 1 00:04:35 Well, we all absolutely totally believed that what we were making was something extraordinary. And I was, I witnessed to the love that was poured into every frame of this film. And when it came out under the very sad circumstances of the actor's strike and stars couldn't make any personal appearances to promote the film cause that was considered work during the actress strike. So, uh, when the film basically died at the box office, it was heartbreaking for absolutely every one of us. And we thought that it had been dealt a very cruel blow because the critics were very cruel to the film. Uh, they had put Chris on a pedestal for good reason in Superman, but because he chose something so completely different, uh, in his next film here, and somewhere in time, they were gonna just tear him down and they were very cruel, unusually cruel, and, and, and people weren't in the mood for romance in 1980, they really weren't. It was the beginning of the black special effects films. We'd had Superman close encounters of the third kind we'd had of course star Wars. And, um, and so all these special effects films there, hadn't been a period film done in about 10 years. And, uh, so it just really wasn't the flavor of the day
Speaker 0 00:05:44 As we are now in the lobby of grand hotel, we're now surrounded by women wearing giant hats. Yes. Giant hats, beautiful hats.
Speaker 1 00:05:51 Sounds exactly incredible accessories. This weekend is a time machine. I always tell is the closest thing to actual time travel that they'll ever get, because it's always like time traveling when you come to Mackinaw Island. But when you're surrounded by 800 people in dress in period clothes, it is the closest thing to time you'll ever get. If you love somewhere in time, there's a lot about you. I already know you believe in true love and commitment. You have old fashioned values. You are romantic at heart. You appreciate beauty and you feel displaced in our violent and chaotic world. And you wish for a better one. And that combination of wonderful qualities is what sums up somewhere in time fans. So when you come here, you mingle with people that are so likeminded and you meet people and you find you can be instant friends, fast friends. And so it becomes like this takes on this sort of family reunion. And every year these people stay in touch with each other all year round and then they meet back in 1912 to, uh, or the somewhere in time weekend to honor and celebrate this film. That's brought them together.
Speaker 0 00:06:56 Thanks for listening to a call back yesterday. Padlet, please subscribe and give us a rating. And I hope I'll see you next year on Mackinaw.