The Hallmark Channel’s newest movie, “Love in Zion National: A National Park Romance,” premieres on Saturday, May 20, at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. The movie stars Cindy Busby and David Gridley. Read on to learn all about where the movie was filmed, including behind-the-scenes stories from the cast.
‘Love in Zion’ Was Filmed at Zion National Park in Utah While It Was Cold & Snowing
The latest “National Park Romance” movie, “Love in Zion National,” was filmed on location at Zion National Park, in southwest Utah. Unlike many Hallmark films, this one wasn’t filmed in Canada!
But filming was challenging. Production designer Cameron Barrett is listed on Mandy (a platform for cast, crew, and creative professionals) as having worked on the project in Kanab, Utah. He posted on Instagram about how it was actually snowing on their first day of filming a movie that’s supposed to take place in the summer. He tagged the picture in Zion Mt. Ranch Resort, based in East Zion National Park.
He wrote: “Remembering back to Day 1 for Love in Zion National met us with snow. ‘The Snow Must Go On.'”
Busby talked more about filming in Utah for a story in News Tribune (beginning on page 10.) You can also see a version of the story shared by the journalist who interviewed her, Jay Bobbin, on Facebook.
Busby shared: “Zion National was beautiful, but it was pretty chilly still. They’d been getting a little bit of snow, so we were working with Mother Nature, if you will. But the sky was clear, and we were just lucky to be shooting outdoors. Every day out there is a good day.”
Unlike when she was filming “Marry Me in Yosemite,” Busby didn’t have to get up at 4 a.m. to beat the tourist crowds, she said.
“Most of the time, we had no cell-phone reception… which kind of told you where you were at,” she said. “You knew you were kind of in the middle of nowhere, which I frankly loved. It’s nice just to be in the moment, and it really makes a difference. And it makes for a more tightly knit crew, because everyone is just there together. Most of the crew on ‘Yosemite’ was part of this one, too, which was really cool.”
Barrett shared a number of behind-the-scenes photos while filming the movie, including this stunning photo tagged in Kanab, Utah.
He was shared this next one on March 31.
In Busby’s interview with Bobbin, she said she felt a bit like Indiana Jones.
“I felt a little bit like Indiana Jones at times, since we were finding all these clues about the vases, then something would happen that derailed us,” she said. “It was pretty fun to do a mini-mystery in that regard. Everyone learns along with Lauren, the character I play.”
See More Behind-the-Scenes Photos Taken During Filming
Production designer Cameron Barrett shared a funny behind-the-scenes picture in Kanab, captioning it “Aggressive Yee-Haw.”
He tagged this photo, shared in early February, as being taken at the Emerald Pool Hike at Zion National Park.
On February 5, he revealed that he was “location scouting” Zion National Park for an upcoming production.
Art director Chantal Massuh posted on April 12: “The helicopter shot on set. Was awesome working with a real chopper 🚁”
On April 6, Massuh said they were wrapping filming and heading back to California.
In another post, Massuh wrote: “Got to be the entire b unit in Zion.”
“Utah is cold 🥶” Massuh shared on April 5.
There were some interesting interactions with wildlife while on set…
Aaron Kesler, who was tagged in the photo, shared some thoughts about filming the movie.
Kesler wrote: “I recently had the good fortune to spend 2.5 weeks in southern Utah with a crew of amazing artists and photographers!! Getting snowed upon while filming a “summer movie” isn’t ideal, but the excruciating power of movie magic pulled through once again.”
Massuh said they used snake props.
On April 2, Massuh shared they had one week left in Utah.
This photo shows the crew unloading. It took a lot to make the movie a reality.
A behind-the-scenes look at how they got some rest:
Reid Collins, part of the photography crew, posted this beautiful shot on his Instagram account on April 14.
And Cindy Busby opened up to viewers, sharing that even though it looks warm on camera in the movie, it was actually really cold.
Funnily enough, the actress also starred in the previous movie as a different character. Let’s see if this is going to be a trend in a new series, perhaps?
Meet the Cast
Hallmark’s synopsis for the movie reads:
Lauren, (Busby) assistant curator at the Denver Museum of Natural History, has just received an exciting donation to the museum’s Native American Collections – a set of Anasazi wedding vases. But not everyone is as excited about the donation as Lauren. The benefactor’s grandnephew, Grady Hollingston (Bourke Floyd, “The Locksmith”), plans to contest the donation, claiming his great aunt had no right to give away such valuable family heirlooms. Lauren believes that based on the design of the vases there is a fourth vase that is missing from the set and if she can find it in Zion National Park herself, she can make the case that the vases should be returned to the Pueblo Nation. She heads to the park where she meets a local ranger and native Puebloan, Adam Proudstar (Gridley). Adam is at first skeptical of Lauren’s motives, but reluctantly agrees to accompany her search for the missing vase. When they arrive at their destination, they discover that Hollingston has also started a search of his own. Believing that they failed and have run out of time a disappointed Lauren and Adam prepare to part, despite growing feelings for each other, but perhaps not all is lost when a family secret is revealed.
Cindy Busby plays Lauren. According to her bio, she’s established a reputation for her varied and creative work in both cinema and television. She starred in James Brolin’s “Royal Hearts,” “Love in the Forecast,” “Romance on the Menu,” “Follow Me to Daisy Hills,” “Chasing Waterfalls,” and “Warming Up to You” for Hallmark. “A Godwink Christmas: Meant For Love” stars Busby and Kathie Lee Gifford for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. In “Date My Dad,” she showed her comic chops.
She also starred in more than 50 episodes of “Heartland,” where she had a leading role, and is well known for her role in Hallmark’s “Darcy” series of movies.
Adam is played by David Gridley. According to his bio, he attended the University of Georgia and earned a degree in fine arts. He’s been in a number of network TV programs, such as “Pretty Smart” on Netflix, “Army Wives” on ABC, “The Last Ship” on TNT, and “Team Kaylie” on Netflix.
Also starring in the movie, according to Hallmark’s press release, are:
- Raquel Gardner (Margot)
- Michelle Murphy (Milly)
- Liam Riley Woodrun (Tate)
- Bourke Floyd (Grady)
- Crispian Belfrage (Dr. George)
- Monique Filips (Kaya)
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