I was pleased to be the Associate Producer on this, my third CBS Schoolbreak special with Helios Productions. Having the opportunity to work with the amazing Whoopi Goldberg on this film was a thrill and the whole cast and crew gave their all to pull this period piece off on the slim budget CBS provided.
Set in the early 1960's in the south, the story of a group of young African Americans who stage a sit in at a drugstore lunch counter was intense and all of us were dedicated to getting it right.
Our director, Helaine Head, was the perfect choice for crafting this project and I have seldom worked with a more down to earth and gracious actress than Whoopi Goldberg. She was a top feature film actress at the time and we were incredibly blessed to have her in this film. She never complained once and her presence on the set put us all at ease when the schedule got tight and the hours got long. I will never forget her dedication and spirit.
The film was shot mostly in San Pedro, CA in a very authentic looking drugstore that still had a lunch counter. It was very cold that November and we all scrambled to keep warm as we shot mostly after hours. I remember craft service brewing a lot of coffee! We shot on super 16 and transferred to beta SP. We did the off line on one of the first non-linear MAC based systems which really sped up post.
I loved the final film and I wish it was available on DVD as its message most certainly is just as powerful today as it was when we made it. My thanks to execs Brad Wigor and Joe Maurer for having me along on this one.
Michael Killen, Associate Producer
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