The Immigrant Garden: A Movie About Two Dreams – Oakville Chamber of Commerce

April 2002

Randy Caverly, Oakville Chamber of Commerce – From the April 2002 Oakville, WA Screening

While you have the unique experience of watching a movie written about and filmed in your own town, and enjoy the story of Cecily growing up here a century ago with her dream for a fulfilling life: I want you to think about the other dream this film represents.

The Immigrant Garden is the result of one man with a big dream, and the strength and courage to see it through. Director Tad Devlin has many years experience working in the movie industry, where multimillion dollar budgets are required to make the films you see at the theatre. It is an industry where only a very few individuals have the financial backing to risk the multi-millions of dollars it normally takes to make a feature length film. Hundreds of great film scripts never reach those producers and, therefore, never become movies.

Tad believed a quality picture could be made with the modern digital cameras and computer technology, at a cost that could be managed by a small film company. He left Hollywood with that dream, and found himself teaching a film class at Centralia College where he passed the inspiration of his dream on to his class. They found an award winning stage play written by Caroline Wood. who happened to live in Longview, Washington, and inspired her who help them rewrite it as a screenplay. The dream expanded.

They contacted Microsoft for help to take a huge step away from the Apple Macintosh computer technology that, until now, was what all of the major film makers used. It was hard making the new technology work with Windows, and sometimes discouraging, but Mr. Devlin had a half fulfilled dream that he was determined to finish for himself-and now for the 300 volunteers that believed it, too, and had joined him in the project. The movie you see today used all local actors, some from local stage companies and others from local schools; students who had never acted before.

Cecily lived in a world where young women were just beginning to understand that they could have personal expectations and goals, beyond marriage and raising children. Remember that in 1910, women were not yet allowed to vote in elections, and wearing pants was scandalous. Her generation’s dream for equality in everyone’s personal choices changed our world. Today your future is almost unlimited if you set your goals and believe in yourself. Follow your dreams.

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