So do you know what/where Truanik is? It might surprise you to know that Traunik, the location and name of the film we are currently making, is an actual place located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is a very small place, in fact, the Marquette Monthly calls it a "dot on the map, a blip on the radar, a blink in the road." So how did it come to be the center of my very first movie?
I grew up in Michigan and despite hating winter, I overall love the state and all of its natural beauty. As a kid I experienced typically one of two vacation spots--my grandmother's home in Arkansas or Mackinaw Island. I loved both, but Mackinaw and the area to the north was always a great place for me to feel relaxed and have fun with my family. To this day, it is my favorite vacation destination.
When the Michigan economy began struggling in 2002 and onward, I too felt the pinch. So when it came vacation time, I went with my default: northern Michigan. One can spend as much or as little money as one would like when traveling in northern Michigan and still have the most amazing vacation. Its beauty if beyond compare and with little more than a tent and some food, a traveler can see spectacular sunsets and serene surroundings.
Traunik was selected for my story because it is about as small of a town as one can find, but with wonderful people and beauty all around. Also, Traunik can be a bit challenging to reach which adds to the humor of my main characters plight. I don't want to spoil the ending of my movie, but let's say that ultimately, I hope the beauty of Michigan is one of the main stars of the movie! (Oh, and a few of my favorite actors as well!)
Lynne M. Smelser is an executive producer and scriptwriter. For more than 20 years she has been an active writer who has won many national awards. She also holds a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University.