Flossmoor serves as movie location because of its small town feel

  Actor Aaron Fotheringham, center, from Las Vegas
  prepares himself for filming to begin in "The Law
  of Moises," being shot in Flossmoor.
(Photos by 
  Mary Compton/H-F Chronicle)
 
A quiet street in Flossmoor became a movie production site for eight days.
 
Ark Productions was filming “The Law of Moises,” a family film about Moises, a young filmmaker desperate to escape his small town until he learns the mayor has been stealing funds. He sets aside his dreams to leave because he realizes he cares about the town and its people and he doesn’t want to see them hurt, said writer and director Crystal Barnes.
 
“I knew I wanted to shoot in Homewood-Flossmoor because I wanted a kind of small town feel but not so very far from Chicago where I could bring in people and talent from Chicago,” Barnes explained. 
 
The 10 actors and 35 crew and staff members spent seven days in Flossmoor starting Sept. 22 using the home of Darren Avant as a base. His house is on the Illinois Production Guide, a list of properties available for filming.
 
“I just heard about (the guide) in passing and thought it’d be a good idea,” Avant said. “Oftentimes you see productions taking place in the city and it occurred to me that that’s probably how locations are selected.”
 
He’s lived in his house since 2012. This is the first time his house has been used for a film.
 
Barnes said she scouted four locations before selecting the Flossmoor site. She is a friend of Ricardo Tovar and was able to use his Tovar Shoe Repair shop in downtown Flossmoor as a stand-in for a store. 
 
Avant’s house was recreated as a home of one of the lead characters, in addition to serving as the base for the crew.
 
“They’ve taken over, in a good way,” Avant said. He was home to watch and experience the workings of the people on the set.
 
“It’s something I’d never done before, so it’s interesting,” he said.
 
Part of the movie revolves around water, and the Flossmoor location allowed the crew to film a scene near Butterfield Creek. The crew went to Olympia Fields for a government office setting.
 
Barnes has acted in Chicago and produced commercials and film work. This is her first effort at a feature film. It’s been in the making for seven years, a timeline that she says is about average. After filming in Flossmoor and other locations for 13 days, the crew will begin post-production work.
 
The film uses the Bible story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt as its undercurrent. She named the main character, Moises, which is Spanish for Moses. She has planned special-effects scenes with frogs and locusts.
 
The film has faith-based elements, but Barnes said she didn’t want it to preach a message. She calls it a family oriented film. 
 
“I wanted it to be current day and relatable to kids and it would be fun, and have action,” she said.
 
The director selected a diverse cast. She brought in an actor from Las Vegas who uses a wheelchair, and she made a point of finding minorities and women for cast and crew. 
 
She estimates making the film will cost $300,000. She had enough money for filming, and hopes a distributor will be interested in picking the film up.  That would help cover the second half of the budget. If not, Barnes hopes to raise another $150,000 through crowd-funding.
  As Alex Rivera, left, holds the mic, actors
  Tom McElroy and Nick Caruccio, both
  from Chicago, go through a scene.
  The scene was filmed at Butterfield Road
  and Brookfield Drive in Flossmoor.

 

 

 

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