A Magical Memory on Set of Nation's Fire ...
One question I was asked to write about: What are your favorite memories from production?
Although this story starts out with tragedy, it soon became magical. A couple of months before I was to head to California from Florida to start production, my uncle Warren Saxon fell into a coma from a drug overdose. He was on life support. We were working like crazy in pre-production. I dropped everything and my mother and I immediately flew to Minnesota to be with him. We felt for sure that he would wake up. It was a snowy, cold January in Minnesota. I went back to my hotel to sleep and to go back to him in the morning. That night I had this vivid dream that he was standing before me, smiling, that big tall, tattooed up Viking of a man, bright and happy. He was next to the Easter bunny. They both stood in front of me with their arms filled with golden, vibrantly beautiful Easter eggs. He and the bunny were handing them to me. When I went back to the hospital the next morning, I told my mother and aunt about my dream. They smiled and said how cute. We fought for him to wake up, we fought to keep him on life support. One by one, his organs were coming back, but his brain was not. In April, he was removed from life support and day after day, he miraculously was just not passing away. Twelve days went by of no food, no water and the Dr asked my mother who never left his room for weeks, what he could be holding onto, we didn’t know. They were perplexed that he could possibly survive this long. He finally let go Saturday, April 15, the day before Easter.
I had the most difficult decision to make as we were scheduled to be shooting in Ca. on the day of his funeral. I cannot hold the whole production back, and I cannot miss his funeral. His daughters, my cousins, told me how proud their dad was of me and to go work on my dream. The first day of shooting Nation’s Fire was the day of his funeral. We happened to be filming the funeral urn scene where you see me crying in the movie trailer. I truly released my pain that day on set in that scene.
Little magical things kept happening on set. Cast members, crew members and even Bruce Dern spoke of the magical energy that is indescribable on this production. After a month of magic, we commenced shooting in L.A.
The production team headed to Fl to complete the shoot, we were location scouting for the big unity memorial run near Scooter Haven in Inglis, Fl. There were a few carloads of us driving down State Rd 40 Inglis/Yankeetown. We were on “Follow that Dream” Road where the Elvis movie was filmed, and lo and behold, there is one tall sign standing amongst the trees. Just one sign, nothing else. I look up to read the sign, and it says “Saxon”. I pulled my car over with tears of joy, it is just like him to literally leave a sign. This is it! This is where we are doing the unity memorial ride. My uncle Warren Saxon is standing right here, tall in the sky, telling us all to follow that dream, and we did. Here we are.
Of all we have been going through to bring this movie to life, I am positive in my heart that it is meant to be.
Krista Grotte Saxon