How to Shoot a Movie Inside a Trailer, According to A Love Song Director Max Walker-Silverman
By Margeaux Sippell • August 01, 2022
Max Walker-Silverman’s drama A Love Song, starring Dale Dickey and Wes Studi, takes place mostly inside a trailer, on the edge of a beautiful lake in Southwest Colorado near where the writer-director grew up.
But instead of taking the easy road to filming a movie inside of a trailer, Walker-Silverman decided to take the more difficult — but also more honest — route.
“To shoot inside a trailer is very cramped and awkward and slow, and I think a lot of people usually put it in a studio and cut it in half [to have more] space,” Max Walker-Silverman told MovieMaker. “I think it’s more honest and right to actually shoot in the places where you are.”
A Love Song follows Faye (Dickey), a lonely widow looking to reconnect with an old flame named Lito (Wes Studi). In an attempt to see if she can still feel love after so many years alone, she invites him for a visit to the campground where she is staying in a beautifully quaint, 1970s-decorated trailer.
Like any good indie filmmaker, Max Walker-Silverman, whose previous films include Chuj Boys of Summer and Lefty/Righty, called on friends to find the resources he needed to make the film — such as two different trailers. The one shown in exterior shots belonged to a friend named Anton “who owns an old mine and is what some people might call a collector and what others might call a hoarder,” he joked. “He had that trailer in his mine and was thrilled to let us use it.” Some carpenter friends built out the inside to give it the right look when the camera shows glimpses of the inside through the open door. The other trailer is the one we see in A Love Song during interior shots that showcase Faye’s modest living space.
“We actually shot the interior of a different trailer — I think it was in 1977 Nomad that I got from a guy in Montrose, Colorado. And that was the first money spent on the movie. I bought that trailer for $1,500 bucks, and there was no turning back from that point on,” he joked.
Production designer Juliana Barreto ensured continuity between shots of the different trailers. For the night scenes, they parked the trailer inside of a barn in order to fake darkness.
“She did a great job making sure that we were matched coming inside and out of it, rehanging the door, getting the right wallpaper just to see enough,” he said. “That’s that’s all her and my carpenter friends and they did a really nice job.”
The gorgeous shots of the lake and campground where Lito picks flowers for Dickey were filmed them just outside of a town in Colorado called Norwood.
“You always have to convince the local game warden that we’re like, not entirely distrustful hippies,” Max Walker-Silverman joked.
A Love Song is now playing in select theaters.
Main Image: Dale Dickey and Wes Studi in A Love Song, courtesy of Bleecker Street
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