'Love sick' with Fredericksburg: Filmmakers bring day-long shoot to Hangar Hotel

SETTING UP his shot, director of photography Jeffery Buras (right) prepares to film a scene at the bar with actresses (from left) Shina Sterns, Dani Bell and Kelsey Pribilski Sunday afternoon at the Hangar Hotel Officers' Club for the upcoming short film "Love Sick Lonnie." —Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Matt Ward—  Film crews shut down the Hangar Hotel Officers’ Club Sunday as the Hill Country Film Society (HCFS) shot a large portion of their second short film “Love Sick Lonnie.”

A non-profit organization that hosts the annual Hill Country Film Festival in Fredericksburg, the society finished principal photography on their second short film after the success of “Detention,” shot at St. Mary’s Catholic School last summer and shown at the 2013 Hill Country Film Festival.

“We just wanted to shoot another short film and involve the city of Fredericksburg,” HCFS executive director Chad Mathews, who also wrote, directed and acted in “Love Sick Lonnie,” said.

Mathews said the inspiration for “Love Sick Lonnie” came from friend Michael Morales, who stars as Lonnie, and his obsession with boy bands.

“He has this just funny mannerism that he just loves boy bands and sings all the time in real life,” Mathews said. “I wrote this piece with him in mind and thought that this could be a clean comedy and we could shoot in Fredericksburg.”

The majority of the film takes place in a bar, where a heartbroken Lonnie communicates through the lyrics of boy band songs.

“This location at the Hangar Hotel is just perfect because it has such a great American bar (vibe),” Mathews said. “This could be any bar in America and it’s one of the many locations in this town.”

Filming at the local hotel bar was the second and final day of shooting after a shorter work day Saturday in Austin, shooting at a baseball field and inside Mathews’ home.

The Fredericksburg portion of photography Sunday was spent entirely in the Officers’ Club, where scenes were rehearsed and shot over a 10-hour day.

The film crew used lighting techniques, several costume changes and areas of the club, allowing scenes that occur on different days and times to be shot at the same location.

“Love Sick Lonnie” also marked Mathews’ first time to direct and act in the same project.

“It’s fun. I think the best way to be able to do it is to have people that you trust help you out,” Mathews said. “One of our producers, Gary Weeks, and our editor, William Reed, they’re looking at the monitors while I’m on camera and they’re extremely helpful in letting me know if we’re getting the shot right.”

“It’s the stuff that I would be doing behind the monitor if I wasn’t in the scene,” he added. “I’m in most of the scenes today, so I’m really relying on friends that I trust.”

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