Skip to content

Subscribe  |  Login  |  Account

First Nantucket, then the world!

Christian on bow

Photo Courtesy of: Willow O’Feral

Craven says he started the program from a desire to offer students a hands-on and highly collaborative learning experience in the film world. In 2014, 32 students from a dozen colleges were enrolled, and each was involved in every facet of the production of Peter and John, from directing and cinematography to makeup and costume design. “It has been a fabulous experience,” Craven says. “When you work with young people in this way, you know on the last day of the production whether you were successful in terms of the educational aspect of it—and so far the answer to that has been a resounding ‘yes’.”

Throughout the shoot, Craven says the support he and his crew received from the Nantucket community was extraordinary. “The film became the equivalent of a barn-raising,” he says, “with literally hundreds of people pitching in.”

For starters, Hy-Line Cruises donated more than 100 ferry tickets to help the film’s professional crew and the students, and all the equipment, make their way to the island. During filming, the Maria Mitchell Association housed the crew at a discounted rate, while the students stayed—also at a discount—at the Star of the Sea Youth Hostel near Surfside Beach.

The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) provided Craven and company with access to its vast collection of 35,000 artifacts—some of the pieces used in the film included jewelry, china, and walking canes. The NHA also allowed Craven to film in the historic Hadwen House, a 19th-century residence on Main Street that was once owned by a whaling merchant. Cape Cod Five Cents Bank even chipped in to cover the rental cost of a carriage with horses, which helped authenticate some scenes in the movie.

family breaskfast

Photo Courtesy of: Willow O’Feral

“I’ve always been focused on this community aspect of production,” Craven says, “but the Nantucket experience went way beyond what I’ve ever been able to achieve before in terms of community participation. This was a very ambitious, 19th-century period piece made with a very modest budget and involving 32 students as a majority of the crew. It would not have been possible without so many fabulous people pitching in.”

Craven says film has been a part of his life since he was a child, and for that he thanks his late grandmother, Dorothy Keith Hatch of Orleans. “I was raised by a Texas grandmother who loved movies—mostly Westerns and Tennessee Williams’ pictures,” Craven says. “So, when my peers were watching Dumbo and Lady and The Tramp, I was checking out Red River and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof—anything with gunslingers and distraught Southern women.”

You might also like: