Episode 12: Prelude to a Kiss
From the Production Journal of Michael Landon Jr. and Brian Bird, Executive Producers and Creators of "When Calls the Heart"
It is 6:15 a.m. on Friday, Day 7, Episode 12 – and it is starting to snow at our Coal Valley set (amazing because it has never snowed once on us during filming hours even though it’s the middle of winter). But unlike most production days for the past six months, we are not just arriving at work. In fact, after filming for the last 19 hours straight, all day Thursday and all through the night, we just said "It’s a wrap" for the last time on the first season of When Calls the Heart. We are exhausted and emotional, some of us even had to fight through sickness to make it to the finish line. There are hugs and mass-embraces going on all over and lots of tears, and it’s very difficult to bring myself to write this journal entry. We are all hoping and praying that it is not the last time we will be saying "it’s a wrap," but what I have learned throughout my film and TV career is that you do everything under the sun to deliver the best possible story-telling and production value you can, and then you have to leave the rest up to the audience, the powers that be... and lastly and most importantly... to God. We have finished strong, but now the future of this series is out of our hands. We have done the best work we know how to do, but our growing audience and the remote controls across America are now in charge. The future of When Calls the Heart hangs in the balance. But for my pal and partner, Michael Landon Jr., and for our creative inspiration, Janette Oke, this is the best place for us to be... on our knees, dependent on God, knowing he has a plan for our welfare and our future. It’s one of the virtues we hope the audience understands about this show and about our world of Coal Valley. Reliance on providence is a value woven into the tapestry of this world and it works in real life. A wise man once said, “Work as if it all depends on you, and pray as if it all depends on God.” So, until we meet again... either in Season 2, or in digital perpetuity on DVDs, DVRS and tablets across the land... we, the creators of When Calls the Heart, bid our growing audience… adieu for now.
-- Brian Bird, Day 7, Episode 12
Producer’s Note: Since this journal entry was written, an amazing phenomenon is sweeping the country. The #Hearties have emerged as a self-organizing fan group supporting When Calls the Heart. In just three short weeks, their ranks have been growing weekly by a thousand percent, and they are unquenchable in their enthusiasm of all things When Calls the Heart. If you haven’t joined their cause, we hope you’ll consider doing it now. There is a hunger for television programs whole families can watch together, and the Hallmark Channel is the only network brave enough to risk making those kinds of shows. We hope you’ll become a #Heartie and also support Hallmark’s next great family-friendly series, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” premiering in just a few weeks.