In Heartland, a young artist, struggling with a recent death, finds escape in a reckless affair with her brother’s girlfriend. For this Q&A session, Maura Anderson and Velinda Godfrey talk about the movie showing at the deadCENTER Film Festival.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your role with Heartland.
Maura: My name is Maura Anderson and I’m the director and one of the producers along with Velinda Godfrey and Jennifer Wood.
Velinda: I’m Velinda, cowriter/actress/producer of Heartland. I grew up in Oklahoma, but live in Los Angeles now. I always knew I wanted to return home to make my first film and am so thankful it came to fruition and we now have the chance to share it!
How would you describe Heartland to people?
Heartland is about a young Oklahoma artist struggling with a recent death, who finds escape in a reckless affair with her brother’s girlfriend. It was filmed on location in Oklahoma.
Why should one see it?
“It takes a look at the conflicted lives of ordinary people who are forced to question their allegiance to love and the value of mere tolerance.”Maura: There are a lot of relatable themes in the film love, denial, tolerance, and family. It takes a look at the conflicted lives of ordinary people who are forced to question their allegiance to love and the value of mere tolerance. Velinda Godfrey, Laura Spencer & Beth Grant all bring their characters to life. Plus we took full advantage of the Oklahoma landscape which is gorgeous.
Velinda: It’s made by Oklahomans, in Oklahoma to a standard I’m confident will make our state proud. It’s also a story you haven’t seen before. Plus, cast and crew will be in attendance, so join us!
What was the most challenging aspect you had in the production?
Maura: Tornados! We had tornados take out the one place we could afford to lodge our crew the week before everyone arrived. We had to shut our first day of shooting down 6 hours early because of a terrible storm that flooded the area.
What was the best part about filming in Oklahoma?
Maura: The people. Everyone was so helpful, we had amazing crew and people there letting us invade their homes for the shoot. Also, the landscape. It’s just beautiful, we got to film in Turner Falls before it shut down due to flooding. We also shot in Guthrie and Norman at Redbud Ridge Vineyard.
Velinda: Same. And I’ll add that the film commision was a vital part of getting this made. The incentive the film commision offers was necessary and the team that works there, invaluable.
What were some particular scenes that were enjoyable to film?
Maura: The treehouse scenes were fun just because Turner Falls is so pretty and we got to spend the day playing in the water. The water snakes were a little scary, but harmless :)
Velinda: I enjoyed shooting the scene that takes place at a church picnic because many of the extras were longtime family friends. It was humbling and surreal having them there to share in the venture and fun getting to catch up between takes.
What are your thoughts on the deadCENTER Film Festival?
“I’m excited to be screening in my hometown so I can finally share is with old friends and family, many of who made the shoot possible.”Maura: We got a chance to attend a panel last year as the festival overlapped with our last week of shooting.
We’re so grateful to be a part of it and so excited to share the film with all the people that had a hand in making it.
Velinda: I’m excited to be screening in my hometown so I can finally share is with old friends and family, many of who made the shoot possible. I’ve attended the festival before and know many opportunities to celebrate around screenings are also provided, so I definitely look forward to doing so with my local tribe and our crew.
Read more Question and Answer sessions with other deadCENTER filmmakers, past and present, here.