Independent film crew shooting scenes in Oak Park

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By Ashley Lisenby

Digital Editor

It's a pretty cold January day, but that doesn't stop an independent film crew from setting up lights and cameras in front of St. Edmund, 188 S. Oak Park Ave.

A couple of the crew members, on their sixth day of production, said they are out in front of the parish working on a SAG-AFTRA film called Doug's Christmas, a nearly 30-minute movie with a Scrooge-esque storyline.

The premise of the film is that a Korean War veteran, whose friend dies on Christmas Eve during a battle, loathes Christmas but learns to see the holiday in a different light after meeting a struggling young mother and her two daughters.

"The film is based on a true story," said co-producer Amir Mathis.

Doug's Christmas has two connections to Oak Park and Chicago. Not only is co-producer Amir Mathis the son of Chicago based television judge, Greg Mathis, but Doyle Devereux, producer for Doug's Christmas, is also Judge Mathis' bailiff as well as the brother-in-law to the Director of the first, second and third Harry Potter movies, Chris Columbus.

Even more close to home?

Devereux and his family are former Oak Parkers, one reason Mathis said St. Edmund was selected as a location for shooting some of the scenes in the film.

The cast and crew will gather again at St. Edmund on Sunday for a final day of filming.

Mathis said he expects Doug's Christmas to be in film festivals starting in August.

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Negro from oakpark  

Posted: January 20th, 2014 1:28 PM

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity


Posted: January 19th, 2014 9:38 AM

Question about this story. Who is Judge Greg Mathis? Leaves me completely baffled as I don't get the connection that seems to be obvious to the reporter but is totally unfamiliar to me. Is it just me or is this a horribly written story? Hope it is just me.

Decorrevont James from Chicago  

Posted: January 18th, 2014 4:04 PM

As a former parishioner, I can totally agree with Mary Darnall in saying that St. Edmund is a stunningly beautiful place to worship

Mary Darnall from Oak Park  

Posted: January 16th, 2014 7:09 PM

It was exciting to see the film crew at St. Edmund. They acknowledged how beautiful the church is. Come visit! Just an aside: Christopher Columbus was director of the first two Harry Potter films. I still say he was responsible for all the remaining films. If he hadn't captured the magic in the first film the way he did, there wouldn't have been any others!

Suzanne Vestuto from Oak Park  

Posted: January 16th, 2014 5:50 PM

Several metro-area film makers and crew members reside in OP, so they know the possible, available sites. Having co-administered Film Permits for the VOP for 30 years in the Community Relations Dept., I was especially busy w/ TV & films in the 80s & 90s working here. Documentaries, commercials & PSAs also favored village locations, American & foreign crews alike. This is a beautiful church in which to film in again! Bravo!

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