Even though there are a ton of beautiful, yet spooky cemeteries in Charleston, we were having a tougher time than we expected finding a place to film our new short High Heels and Hoodoo. Many of the cemeteries do not allow filming at night, and when we did find places willing to let us film during the witching hours, we ran into an unexpected issue: all of those places also allowed ghost tours. Since we plan to film the week before Halloween, the ghost tours are in their prime season, and they have first dibs. Therefore we wouldn’t be able to start filming until after midnight, by which time we would have burned up half our hours of darkness.
Things were starting to look dire . . . like discussing making fake tombstones out of Styrofoam dire. But then our dad suggested the cemetery search on the Find a Grave website he uses for his family tree research, and that’s when we discovered St. Lawrence Cemetery. It’s right next to Magnolia Cemetery and across the street from Bethany Cemetery, which are two of the more well known historic Charleston cemeteries. For some reason, St. Lawrence gets less attention, but it is just as magnificent, and more importantly, they were happy to open their gates for us.
We ventured out to St. Lawrence today to decide on the perfect area to shoot. All the grave markers were so captivating, it was tough to decide. We knew we wanted a big oak dripping with Spanish moss in the shot, so that helped narrow things down. Then we found the perfect spot. It has a modern standing tombstone (since the Nanna character only died in the past few years), but it's surrounded by older, more photogenic tombstones. It also has an empty plot next to it, giving us plenty of room to set up equipment without tromping disrespectfully over the final resting places of the dearly departed.
The only drawback so far is that it is right next to the water. While this offers some spectacular views, especially of the Cooper River Bridge, it’s the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. They swarmed us while we were out there, and those suckers were HUGE! Brian even dubbed them birdsquitoes. Hopefully the weather will cool down enough to take them out without freezing us to death too.
Other than the pesky bloodsuckers, we couldn’t be more pleased with our location. A million thank yous to St. Lawrence for generously allowing us to film on their picturesque grounds.