Helmed by director Emily Moss Wilson, ‘Rescuing Christmas’ is a Hallmark holiday film set in a world where Santa and his elves exist and keep the holiday spirit alive. Two elves Chuck and Debbie decide to grant three wishes to a random human to ignite the holiday spirit. However, that human turned out to be Erin, a woman who has had enough of the Christmas cheer. She is set up on a blind date by her sister and meets Sam, a delightful man who loves everything about the holidays. Despite his lobbying, she does not see the fun and ends up wishing for a world without Christmas. All the lights and the cheer go out and soon she realizes the monumental grievance she has committed. It is now up to her and Sam to revive Christmas in a society without it. To learn the true meaning behind it while reintroducing its joy and falling for its romantic atmosphere and becoming closer to one another. The Hallmark movie takes us between Santa’s fantastical workshop and Erin’s homely town in Duluth, making one wonder where filming of the movie took place and if it was shot on location.
Rescuing Christmas Filming Locations
‘Rescuing Christmas’ was filmed in its entirety in Duluth, Minnesota. Producer Mandy June Turpin is shooting her third movie in the city since 2022, comfortable with her contacts developed there, she prefers to shoot on location rather than in Canada. Principle photography began on May 1, 2023, and was carried out until May 22, 2023. Let us take a closer look at the locations used in the production, and the cast members involved.
Situated on Lake Superior’s serene shores, Duluth, Minnesota, a quaint downtown, adorned with classic architecture and cozy shops, provides an intimate backdrop for heartwarming holiday tales. Though not widely explored for Christmas films, its inviting ambiance has been used by Turpin to lens ‘Merry Kiss Cam’ previously. For ‘Rescuing Christmas,’ its filmmakers made use of various locations throughout the city, from its Bayfront Festival Park to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.
Director Emily Wilson made smart use of Downtown Duluth, using a street in Lincoln Park to create a backlot for one week of filming. The businesses serving as a backdrop for the duration were OMC Smokehouse, Frost River, Dovetail Cafe, and the Duluth Creative Co. Bagley & Company Jewelers and its surrounding areas. Tents and vans were set up in the area when the team faced harsh weather conditions. To simulate a convincing Christmas atmosphere, the location was brightened up with Christmas lights, decor, and false snow.
The longest leg of the shooting process took place in and around the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. The archival structure was used to portray Santa’s workshops at the North Pole, where presents would be packaged and loaded onto a classic locomotive and sent on their way. It served as the elves’ base of operations and the train used for it was the William Crooks, the first locomotive to begin operations within Minnesota in 1861. While the steam engine became a mini polar express, the entire museum was transformed into a bedazzling workshop decked out in Christmas lights and adornments with gifts piled high. Just across the street from the museum, the Bayfront Festival Park was also used to film scenes of Christmas in its full glory, with a large central Christmas tree and a festive bustle of people around the location.
Rescuing Christmas Cast
The film is led by Rachael Leigh Cook, essaying the Grinch turned savior, Erin. She is supported in her mission by Sam, played by Same Page. Rachael Cook is a child model-turned-actress, most recognized for her role as Laney Boggs in ‘She’s All That.’ Since then, she has gone on to portray characters in a wide variety of movies and shows, such as Susan Whitaker in ‘Love, Guaranteed,’ Hermia in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ Cheri in ‘11:14,’ and Merry Griffin in ‘’Tis the Season to be Merry.’
Sam Page landed recurring roles in TV series from the initial stages of his career, you may have seen his work as Greg Harris in the popular show, ‘Mad Men.’ He has further taken on the role of Richard Hunter, ‘The Bold Type,’ Connor Ellis in ‘House of Cards,’ and Keith in ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.’ Supporting cast members include T. Mychael Rambo as Santa, Bailey Stender as Debbie, Patrick Thomas O’Brien as Chuck, Amy Jo Schmidt as Elf Council Member, Ahmed Mawas as Archie, Greta Oglesby as General Counsel, and Mika Bella Flanagan as Olivia. Other cast members include Christina Goltare, Gwen Ruhoff, Jim Cunningham, Davan Scott, Chase Marcotte, Sarah Agnew, Kathryn Fumie, Mike Flaherty, and Rod Kasai.
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