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Meet the producer bringing Hallmark romance to Tampa Bay movie sets

Paul Guzzo, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Entertainment News

“They need to be bright and alive,” she said. “They need clear and crisp locations. Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg lend themselves to that.”

Lincoln Lageson, who estimated he has produced more than 70 romance films including the two local Hallmark movies and "A Taste of Love" alongside Schmidt, echoed that sentiment.

“There are no bad angles here,” said Lageson, who will work on the third local Hallmark movie too. “Every direction you shoot, it’s going to be beautiful. It’s romantic.”

He credits Schmidt for recognizing that Tampa Bay is a good fit for such movies.

“Expect more romance movies to come here,” he said, “but Elayne recognized the potential first.”

Actually, Schmidt laughed, she initially recognized an option for a short-notice project. Hallmark reached out to Schmidt in early 2019 to produce a movie. Filming needed to begin in four weeks.

 

So Schmidt reached out to the Hillsborough and Pinellas film commissioners with whom she had a relationship from past movies she produced here, such as "Sex Ed" starring Haley Joel Osment that shot on both sides of the bridge in 2013.

The film commissions quickly helped secure locations and offered their production incentives that provide up to 10 percent back on what is spent within their counties.

Hallmark’s "True Love Blooms" was shot in February 2019.

“It went so well, we wanted to do another Hallmark here,” Schmidt said.

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