‘The Secret: Dare to Dream,’ helmed by director Andy Tennant, is a romantic movie based on the ideals of Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling self-help book, ‘The Secret.’ The story of the 2020 film follows a single mother, Miranda (Katie Holmes), who works at her boyfriend’s (Jerry O’Connell) restaurant and struggles financially. Her life takes a turn when she rear-ends a stranger, Bray (Josh Lucas), who had been looking for her, hoping to deliver an envelope. The man is a living and breathing embodiment of the principles of ‘The Secret’ book, talking about the importance of positive thinking and visualization.
Bray helps fix her car, and when a storm destroys her roof, he tells her everything happens for a reason, and goes on to fix that too. Becoming increasingly attracted to the handsome stranger, Miranda is at a crossroads when her boyfriend proposes marriage to her, with the contents of the envelope promising to change everything. The events of the film unfold around a quaint suburban neighborhood, with a river flowing by it. Everything from where Miranda works, to her small home has a laid-back, serene atmosphere. With the positivity of the film being enhanced by its peaceful setting, one might wonder where its filming took place.
Where Was The Secret: Dare to Dream Filmed?
‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ was filmed entirely in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. Principal photography took place from Oct 30, 2018, to Dec 8, 2018, and was done once later in June 2019. Let’s take a closer look at the specific locations used to set the scenes for the movie.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, a vibrant and culturally rich city nestled along the Mississippi River, is a promising destination for any filmmaker. Its unique blend of history, diverse communities, and picturesque architecture offer an unparalleled canvas for storytelling through the lens of a camera. From its iconic French Quarter to the mystical bayous, New Orleans is a place that exudes character. The producers of ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream,’ felt that working-class communities are very underrepresented in film, and thus chose to film on the North Shore.
Congratulations to Aidan Pierce Brennan and the entire cast and crew of THE SECRET on wrapping this incredible adaptation of Rhonda Byrne's best-selling self-help book starring Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas.
— Lauren Singer Talent (@LSTalent) December 6, 2018
Notably, the film was six years in the making before its release in 2020. While filming wrapped up in over a month, the producers waited a long time for the elements to come together. Speaking about the movie’s inception, author Rhonda Byrne said, “I think ‘The Secret’ team always knew there would be a movie, at some point, beyond the documentary. We just didn’t know yet what shape that film would take.” She was present on set throughout the filming process and further added that everything happened for the right reason, with Andy Tennant entering the team, bringing inspiration and a great screenplay.
However, that doesn’t mean the film crew ignored popular spots in New Orleans. When Bray is jogging on the streets of the city, we spot a board of Hotel Maison De Ville, a historic inn with an attached courtyard that is now closed. The hotel is located in the French Quarter or Vieux Carré, the colorful old heart of New Orleans with cast iron balconies and a vibrant nightlife. The 18th-century structure of the hotel was put to use in a few scenes of the film, with Bray sitting in its courtyard having coffee and Sloane giving him a recently arrived mail. Later in the film, we see the French Quarter in its full splendor at night, bustling with tourists and lit up with warm lights and inviting shop signs.
Miranda’s workplace, the lakeside restaurant, was portrayed using Middendorf’s Manchac, 30160 US-51, Akers. The restaurant is a landmark seafood joint, known for its thin-cut catfish and a spectacular lake-side view; the latter probably drew the filmmakers’ attention. Manchac is an unincorporated community in Tangipahoa Parish. When Miranda and her boyfriend are at the pier unloading fish off their boat and arguing about inviting Bray to a party, the Manchac Swamp Bridge can be seen in the background. The pier they are standing on is adjacent to the restaurant.
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