Acting coach kept film realistic

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Disability acting coach Tom Burke plays tennis with clients from the Burbank Center for the Retarded. (Roger Wilson/Leader)

Space didn’t allow my story to include producer Andrew Gottlieb’s comments on Tom Burke’s work on the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “A Dog Named Christmas” that aired at 9 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

Burke is the lead teacher for the afternoon program for developmentally disabled adults ages 18 to 25 at BCR “a place to grow,” a sheltered workshop that teaching independent living skills to its clients.

Gottlieb is a freelance producer but this is his fifth film for Hallmark Hall of Fame, long been recognized for its top-notch storytelling for as long as I can remember.

Gottlieb and director Peter Werner did a lot of research on the production and that included a stop at BCR.They met Burke and hired him on to consult on the script, but found they needed him in other areas. He offered insight on the clothing the character Todd would wear, as well as what his bedroom would look like, Gottlieb said, as well as how he would react to emotional situations.

And because the filming is done out of sequence, Burke’s help overall kept everything consistent, including how the actors playing the mother and father would portray their characters. It kept it realistic throughout, Gottlieb said.


Written by Joyce Rudolph

November 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

Posted in burbank, thoughts

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