A new movie, “Affairly, Diana,” is filming in West Hartford this week, and the location was carefully chosen.
The film’s writer/star, Elle J. Conard, also known as Lindsay Conard, grew up in Pennsylvania but knows the West Hartford area well. She is the great-granddaughter of Fredrick Underwood Conard, the local businessman and chairman of the West Hartford Board of Education in the early 1950s for whom Conard High School is named.
Conard, is part of the film production company Black Tie & Blue Jeans media & entertainment.
The cast and crew arrived on Sunday and expects to stay a week. Many scenes will be filmed in a house in town, but the filmmakers are also planning to shoot in the downtown shopping district, and last week were finalizing plans at one of two possible restaurant locations.
Some scenes will also be shot in Manchester.
“I wrote it about myself,” Conard says of “Affairly, Diana,” “based on my past experiences. It’s about a woman who finds out her husband is cheating on her, and gets in too deep and ends up having an online affair.”
The woman returns to her hometown, and that’s where Connecticut comes in. “It’s being entirely filmed here,” Conard says, “which is supercool. We can put our friends and family in it.”
Conard is also in the midst of a separate project, a multi-part series called “We 5″ that will air in February 2022. She wrote and acts in that one as well.
“We 5″ is a political drama set in Washington. D.C., not in Connecticut, but contains some of the same cast and crew members as “Affairly, Diana.” The prolific actor Eric Roberts — who boasts well over 500 film and TV credits, including “Runaway Train” and “Sharktopus,” — joins Conard in both “We 5″ and “Affairly, Diana,” in which she explains “he’s playing my dead father.” Eliza Roberts, the actor/casting director and producer who is married to Eric Roberts, is also involved in both projects. The Roberts are not among the cast members who are in West Hartford this week.
Also in “Affairly, Diana” as well as “We 5″: nationally touring comedian Brandon Rainwater, who has also been working with Conard on yet another project, “Money Run,” which is due out next year.
Besides screenwriting, Conard has worked as a political speechwriter, experience that the “We 5″ series has benefited from.
“I started writing scripts when I was 6 years old. I used to script our dinner conversation. My dad was the bass player for Jay & the Techniques, and my mom was an English teacher.
“I’m a Conard. I’ve been to Conard High School maybe four times in my life, to give talks. I grew up in Pennsylvania, but I probably spent half my life in Connecticut, visiting family.”
She wrote “Affairly, Diana” with “this area in mind. My production coordinator, Loren Hall, is from Connecticut. His dad recently passed away, and was really proud of him, so we’re using his house as kind of a tribute.”
Christopher Arnott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.