This past year, I had the pleasure of working on an amazing film, “A Christmas Winter Song,” starring Ashanti, Stan Shaw and myself, which aired during the Christmas holiday season, on Lifetime. I wanted to share a behind the scenes look at what it was like to be a part of such a beautiful, NAACP Image award nominated, holiday classic.
Behind The Scenes of A Christmas Winter Song
It was a wonderful experience playing Mia, Stan Shaw’s betrayed daughter and working with Grammy winner Ashanti. There have been so many questions about what it was like to work on a film like this one. Many fielded from super fans of both Stan Shaw and Ashanti. To answer the most common ones, yes, everyone is super nice in person and yes, that really is Stan Shaw singing.
Our director, Camille Brown, writer Melissa Bustamante, and Catrina Brown were all gems. They greeted us with flowers and chocolates and beautiful smiles. I teared up a bit that first day as they surprised me with those unexpected gifts while getting ready for hair and makeup.
It was also fascinating to watch the behind the scenes as Camille helmed the ship to bring her creative vision to life. She didn’t miss a beat, from wardrobe to set design, and as a result made “A Christmas Winter Song” a masterpiece we could all be proud of. The entire cast and crew were terrific to work with. Special shout out to my favorite sound mixer, and friend Hugh Holesome, and to Ashanti for gifting everyone amazing “Winter Song” t-shirts as keepsakes on the last day of filming.
A Christmas Winter Song Filming Location and Production Time Frame
The film was shot in early May, at various locations in downtown, Brighton, Michigan, over the span of three weeks. With such a quick turn around, it was a lot of hustle to get things done. Scenes were filmed at Mill Pond, an eatery called Lynn’s, a residence in Whitmore Lake, and at a beautiful location representing Clio’s shop called Woods ‘N Things.
First Scene Shot
The very first scene that was shot was the diner scene, where Fred and Mia have a very emotional reunion. Stan Shaw and I had met moments prior, and the uneasiness of the two estranged characters melded together perfectly with the situation. It is one of my favorite scenes of the film. The other is when Fred (Shaw) gets Clio (Ashanti) to sing for the very first time and they have that tender moment by the piano, before being abruptly, interrupted by Mia (Sashani.)
My favorite moments are pretty much all of them. It truly was a once in a “Lifetime” experience that I will cherish forever. Here are some of the details about our film, including cast, writer, and director information as well and some fun behind the scenes pics for you to enjoy.
A Christmas Winter Song Movie Info
Movie: A Christmas Winter Song (2019)
Director: Camille Brown
Writer: Melissa Bustamante
Main Stars: Ashanti, Stan Shaw, Sashani Nichole
Release Date : 14 December 2019, USA
International Release Dates: 18 December 2019, UK | 17 December 2019, France
Networks: Lifetime USA | Channel 5 UK | My TF1 France
Filming Locations: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Production Company: MarVista Entertainment
Also Known As: A Christmas Winter Song, Winter Song, Christmas Song (UK) “UNE VOIX D’OR POUR NOËL” (France)
Networks Streaming The Movie Online
Clio (Ashanti) befriends Fred, (Stan Shaw) a former jazz singer, down on his luck. They form a special bond over music, and Clio, having just lost her own father, helps Fred reconnect with his own daughter, (Sashani Nichole) just in time for Christmas.
A Christmas Winter Song Full Cast
Ashanti As Clio
Stan Shaw As Fred
Sashani Nichole As Mia
Christian Rozakis As Jack
Tamsen Glaser As Candice
Poet Houston As Simone
Kaydence Houston As Olivia
Coleen Tutton As Eileen
Jean Zarzour As Gayle
Sarab Kamoo As Dr. Brown
Nevaeh Ashanti As Young Clio
Runako Marshall As Robert
Allie Santo Domingo As Hannah
Zachary Schafer As Hannah’s Father
A Christmas Winter Song Trailer
Favorite A Christmas Winter Song Quotes
Because you’re the first person to help me heal my broken heart.”Clio
“It’s the music, It does that!”Fred Myers
“Why do I try so hard? I’m such a good person!”Gayle
“I’m so glad you decide not to hire that adorable, muscular, stock boy.”Candice to Clio
“They like to talk about me like I’m not here.”Clio
“Come on Clio, I was just kidding. You know I get punchy when I’m tired.”Jack
“Grand pop” I like the sound of that!Mia
Behind The Scenes Photos and Stills
Photos courtesy of Camille Brown, Sashani Nichole.