It's Happening: As the Scenes Unroll, Bridgeport is Touched by Projects of JC Films

By Julie Perine on March 24, 2019 from It’s Happening via

The premiere of "A Promise to Astrid" has been set for May 9-10 at Bridgeport United Methodist Church. This was the first JC Films project entirely shot in Bridgeport and surrounding areas. But it isn't the last. Jason Campbell, president/producer, has taken a liking to our community and has plans to shoot other movies here. It's an evolving situation, one giving Bridgeport the spotlight in more ways than one. Mike Tourville wrote the lovely story of Astrid, on which the movie was based. He was the real next door neighbor of the woman who - throughout her time here on earth - delivered anonymous blessings to others. It wasn't until after her death that the pieces of the puzzle were put together and many of Astrid's acts of kindness were revealed. There will soon be a movie version of the book, which - along with DVDs of the film - will be available for purchase at the premiere. Mike asked me to write about my insight about the project, which I followed throughout the process for you - readers of Connect-Bridgeport. That overview is below. I believe Bridgeport has been blessed with its little brush with fame; a brush that I believe coincides with God's will for his people:
I was sitting in Heather Mudrick’s family room when Jason Campbell handed her a copy of “A Promise to Astrid” and told her he was thinking of making a movie based on the touching story of Mike Tourville. It was June of 2018 and the house was festively decorated for Christmas as filming was taking place for “Megan’s Christmas Miracle.” Dean Cain was there, and I was writing about the JC Films project for Just a couple of short months later, I was happy to learn that Jason and his company were coming back to our city to begin filming “A Promise to Astrid.” Heather and I were excitedly chatting one day when she mentioned that I should be in the film. My acting experience had been limited to church plays, but I thought it was a great idea. I contacted Jason and was ultimately given the role of “Grandma.” (I may or may not be in the movie. I'm not sure if my scenes made the final cut or not!) As I read through the script, I loved the storyline the caring, selfless character of Astrid, who would be played by Jo Ann Peterson. 
I first met Jo Ann and much of the cast at a cookout held at Heather’s house to launch the first week of the shoot. There was something special about each person I met as it soon became apparent that a family of sorts had been assembled. Each visit to the set brought more of the same atmosphere. At the move-in scene, I got to know my “movie daughter and son-in-law” Luba Hansen and Jeremy Gladen and I adored them both. My real daughter and granddaughter dropped in that day and they both wound up in the scene; helping to unload Mike’s blue pickup truck. We carried the same boxes into the house and out again several times as Gary, Brad and Dan did their magic; filming the scene at different angles and even by drone. I never realized all that went into the making of a movie, including important timing issues and attention to detail to keep continuity. I also never realized that playing a very small role in this movie would leave such a big impact on me. Every day, as I live my life in our little community – the one that reminded Jason so much of Astrid’s hometown of Chicopee, Massachusetts– I find myself asking the same question as I encounter various situations and folks: “What would Astrid do?” I think many involved in the film share that same feeling and because of that, the making of this movie in our town has left it an even better place.
I closely covered the filming and associated events, including the premiere of “Megan’s Christmas Miracle,” after which the big funeral scene was filmed at Bridgeport United Methodist Church. According to the traffic the pieces generated and the number of people who jumped on board to serve as extras, there was no doubt that our community was very interested and embraced JC Films and this project. And that feeling of community was evident as the church was packed for the premiere and crowd scene. As Dean Cain walked in, stepped into his clergy robe and stepped behind the pulpit to portray Pastor Scott Seabury, we all sat in the pews, elbow-to-elbow and smiling ear to ear. The Rev. Dr. Ken Ramsey of BUMC gave Dean a thumbs up. I have a real feeling that God is giving this film - which illustrates true selfless, anonymous giving and how to put faith in action - his seal of approval, too.


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