110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Feb 27, 2013 - 6:34:46pm
The historic Dutton House in DeLand is providing the backdrop for a Discovery Channel television miniseries.
Dutton House's partially finished restoration provided just the backdrop the film crew wanted, and the $5,000 rental fee is a boost for the ongoing rehabilitation project.
The filming is part of a wave of film activity washing over Volusia County.
The small production crew from October Films UK didn't want too much publicity about their shoot, because of the intense nature of the interviews, which involved crime victims who flew into Florida for the filming, one from Korea.
Another three are being interviewed in California this week.
The women interviewed at Dutton House were talking about "stalking, harassment, things like that," producer Marguerite O'Callaghan explained.
On the first day of filming, an interviewee broke down and wept.
After taping is complete in the U.S., dramatized scenes will be filmed in October Films' London studios. A series of six shows is planned — a segment focusing on each victim — with the possibility of a regular series developing from the work.
The six-member crew enjoyed their time in DeLand.
"Everybody's been so lovely, and so helpful," O'Callaghan said.
Crew members patronized local equipment-rental businesses, Ace Hardware, and restaurants — they got subs from Manzano's in Downtown DeLand just about every day. They stayed at the Clarion Inn.
How did the film crew end up at Dutton House?
It's the result of the Volusia County Film Consortium working with the Florida Film Commission, Mark Shuttleworth said. Shuttleworth works with the Volusia County Film Consortium.
"Both groups kind of snooped for leads," he said.
Then, Susan Simms from the Florida Film Commission Office sent out 10 photos showing the type of location October Films UK wanted. The sample photos were taken inside an old British castle.
"I immediately said, 'That's the Dutton House, through and through,'" Shuttleworth said.
Dutton House, with its flaking paint, faded elegance, and partly torn out plaster walls revealing a pattern of plaster lath, would provide a suitable backdrop for the eerie stories, and the "emotionally evocative" atmosphere would encourage the women interviewed to reveal more information, Shuttleworth said.
He contacted the nonprofit organization that owns the structure at 332 W. New York Ave. in DeLand.
Dutton House Board Member Dagny Robertson helped out a lot, Shuttleworth said, with handling electrical issues and the like.
Shuttleworth sent videographer Woodruff Laputka to the Dutton House to film and check sound levels after the producers expressed concern about traffic noise. Photos and tapes went to London.
October Films UK wanted the site.
Shuttleworth said he would like to see more films made at Dutton House, which he said is perfect for shooting psychological thrillers and studies, mysteries, and even romances.
In the meantime, more film projects are coming up in Volusia County:
• On Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 27-28, National Geographic Television will be in West Volusia to film a show about the St. Johns River and a man who makes his life on it.
• In April, executive producer Cindy Joy Goggins and producer Sylvia Caminer of C-Joy Productions will begin filming a movie called Waves of Grace in New Smyrna Beach.
C-Joy Productions is "a clean and sober company," Goggins said. The movie is a spiritual story about recovery from drugs and alcohol.
The producers have been casting in New Smyrna Beach, New York and Los Angeles. They hope to hire a number of Volusia County residents as extras. The C-Joy office will open at 145 Canal St. in New Smyrna Beach on Monday, March 4, and will accept head shots from prospective actors then.
More is to come on these and other film projects in the works.
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