You know...UNFINISHED BUSINESS...it's a great name for a pilot.
All pilots should have this as their subtitle.
Why, you ask?
I'm glad you asked!
Because you never know what happens after you finish shooting.
Nor do the producers.
Can it hopefully become a long running series?
...a limited series?
...a full length movie?
...or does it go to Pilot Heaven
..so right now the pilot that I did for Tim Baker and Stephanie Mazzeo is really and truly UNFINISHED BUSINESS.
It's taken from a book by the same title written by one of our producers Tim Baker.
What a read!!
Its all about the supernatural and according to our director Alan J. Levi who has directed numerous series that you know and love he says (and I quote) "I never read anything more perfectly suited for a series."
I get to play one of the leading roles....its a supernatural story based on the premise that when one dies, you have unfinished business that you didn"t get to do."
My character's name, well, I will give a direct quote from my dialogue:
"I am Rosalita Deville. Please call me Lita."
It was so much fun to be transformed into this exotic brunette with head scarves and the whole boho look. There was extensive discussion about the wardrobe and the look, with wardrobe head Jayne Baker and the producers because the author had an exact image in mind.
I had major wig fittings trying to find the exact one....the make-up maven Danielle Battaglia magically transformed me and was personally supervised by our co-producer Stefanie Mazzeo who has done extensive make-up for film and commercial on both coasts.
What does my character do to bring back the dead?
She owns a mortuary and lives there as well.
And she has the power!
All of this was shot in different parts of Florida . My most memorable moment was the shoot at "the" actual mortuary. Located in a town called New Smyrna.
Not a studio set but the "real" deal!
Now, to be honest with you I didn"t know what to expect or how I would feel. Whenever I have had to go to a funeral its always very sad.
But this was different.
It was such a unique place . Called Settle-Wilder. A beautiful old home that has been perserved and is serving that town since it was built in the 1920"s. I am telling you that they had some really AMAZING caskets.
Gorgeous ones fit for Royalty. Urns out of this world.
And all the walls were painted in very peaceful colors.
Now when it was time to do the morgue scenes. I finally asked .."Um...am I going to see you know the actual"....and they said "No" they had crew members portray the corpses...some with their toe sticking out with a tag around it to make sure their identity was correct.
I had to do one of the scenes in this atmosphere with that adorable child you see Kayleigh Webb.
This kid was such a natural.
And such a beauty.
The crew is fanning all this haze around us in this darkened atmosphere to make it look moodier and all little Kayleigh wants to know is "Why is that man not wearing a shirt?" She was referring to a corpse. I as "call me Lita" said "Well, it is very warm under that cloth that covers him from head to foot and he wants to sleep."
She was fine.
I was relieved.
Now the person who runs this funeral house is named Meg Seabury. Tim Baker based this whole entire storyline on her. She even gave permission to use her real name.
Margot Demeter brings Meg Seabury to life. All of my scenes were with Margot or Kayleigh who plays her as alittle girl... Margot gave the role such life and is an excellent actress to work opposite.. We ran everything we had to say even before we got in front of the cameras which helped a great deal for many darker moments of the shoot.
For those of you who have never experienced filming ..you never shoot any film in the final edited order...you shoot your scenes according to the locations that they got permission to use that day. So without giving away the storyline ...you really have to prep yourself mentally while everyone is doing their job around you.
P.S. I forgot to mention the author wanted a European accent to go with my character.
P.P.S. I was one busy girl.
It was chaotic fun.
And a final note: Even though my husband, John Byner who plays "Pappi" and I were both cast in this...none of our shoot days were the same there was not one word of dialogue that we exchanged on screen between us.