Wednesday marked the first day of Spring, but residents in East Aurora are already dreaming of a white Christmas.
Starting next Tuesday, an independent film company is kicking off their shoot of a made-for-television movie called “Special Dinner.” The director is no stranger to Western New York; he’s made several movies in the area before and said there’s a reason why he keeps coming back.
“Everybody here makes you feel like you’re more than welcome,” said “Special Dinner” director, Fred Olen Ray. “They’re very cooperative and they act like they want you here.”
The streets of East Aurora will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the Christmas-themed movie. It will be centered around a prince who is looking to host a charity dinner, and stumbles upon a restaurant in New York City. This means the crew will have to turn downtown East Aurora into one of the largest cities in the world.
“We’ll go to New York City and shoot a bunch of plates, establishing shots of the street and stuff,” Olen Ray said. “Then we’ll shoot on the tighter streets [in East Aurora] that are busier, and on the sidewalks.”
You’ll also see some familiar scenery when the film makes its debut. Vidler’s will have scenes shot both inside and outside the iconic store.
“I think it’s a testimony to the village itself an Vidler’s,” said store co-owner Cliff DeFlyer. “We’re just so homey and friendly, and the store is nostalgic and there’s something for everyone. They love shooting here just for the atmosphere alone.”
Olen Ray said they’re also looking for people to be extras in the film. Anyone interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“If they write it there and we can work it out, they’ll give them a call,” he said.
People will have to wait to see themselves on the screen, however. The film will air on a TV network to be determined after Thanksgiving.