"Sold Out," an independent movie filmed in Minnesota, follows a talent scout and "a down-on-his-luck construction worker" that she discovers and tries to help. Most of the movie is set indoors at bars, theaters, etc. so writer and producer Susan Brightbill Dahlseid, and her husband, Tim Dahlseid (also the director), wanted to incorporate a couple of scenes shot outside. The cast and crew drove down from the Twin Cities to a farmhouse in Hastings for the exterior shots. However, the planned shots of walking outside and chopping wood never came to fruition due to a common adversary in Minnesota: the weather.
Susan Dahlseid wrote "Sold Out" 15 years ago but never sold it. Instead, she kept it hidden away while she and Tim Dahlseid lived and worked in Los Angeles. She wrote and sold other scripts, but "Sold Out," the movie set in the Midwest, was only made after the couple moved to Minnesota with their son. The Dahlseids, according to Susan, wanted to raise their son "amongst nice Midwesterners and be closer to family." Tim is from Minnesota and Susan is originally from Wisconsin.
The couple created a production house in the Twin Cities to write and create movies. The first movie that they were paid to create is "Sold Out." The majority of the cast and crew is comprised of Minnesotans.
"We've been blown away by the talent here and there's really everything that we've needed," Susan Dahlseid said.
Hastings film session
The three days that Susan Dahlseid had reserved to shoot in Hastings were during the cold stretch that had 45 degrees below zero wind chills.
Dahlseid had been preparing the scenes for a few weeks. She and other movie members asked friends and acquaintances if they knew of or had a building and land that would work for the movie. Without being offered a farmhouse that fit the envisioned shots, the movie's crew turned to Airbnb and found the property owned by Tim Behrends.
Behrends has lived in Hastings all of his life. The farmhouse that is used in "Sold Out" was purchased by his grandfather in 1919 and passed down to Behrends' father and then Behrend himself. In recent years the house had fallen into disrepair.
"I was about to call the fire department and have them practice," Behrend said.
However, his sons decided to update the house so that Behrend could put the farmhouse on Airbnb. Now, according to Behrend, the house that was once almost burned for practice is occupied for the majority of the year.
Despite being excited to film scenes on the land that surrounds the small, red farmhouse that looks like it was made on a movie set, Susan and Tim Dahlseid decided that they would have to move the scheduled scenes indoors due to the cold.
"We could not ask our actors to be outside," Susan Dahlseid said.
Even if the actors were outside, most of the equipment would not function in the freezing temperatures. So, the scenes were shot in the farmhouse. Once the temperature was above zero, Tim Dahlseid returned to the Hastings house to get footage of the surrounding area with a drone. The movie will, after all, show some of Hastings' beauty.
When shooting ended for a day in Hastings, Susan Dahlseid said that she, her husband and the other producers worried about everyone getting home in the cold. They told cast and crew members to text them when they arrived at home, to make sure that they had air in their tires and gas in their tanks.
Now that filming is coming to a close, the movie will soon be edited and then submitted to the Sundance Film Festival.