Tuesday Dec 13 2011
Film producer Lisa Dane finds home in El Dorado Hills, was extra in Tom Hanks' 'Forrest Gump'
By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
Lisa Dane moved to Northern California and fell in love at first sight — with vineyards. A native of Washington, D.C., she lived most of her life on the East Coast. Her husband’s job took them to Indianapolis and after five years, it was time to head west when she and her husband John moved to the Sacramento area and settled in Serrano. Currently, Lisa is an associate producer with a film company based in Folsom and Los Angeles. What do you enjoy about the El Dorado Hills area? A huge benefit of this region, especially for someone not from California, is the weather. There is snow in Tahoe, if you miss all that, but essentially I was happy to give away our snow shovels to the neighbors when we moved here from the Midwest. I was also enchanted with the sight of rolling hills covered with vineyards and visits to Napa Valley. Sonoma became weekend outings. Closer to home, it became evident that living right here has the huge benefit of many vineyards in nearby El Dorado and Amador counties. In fact, I heard neighbors say over and over, “Our Sierra foothills grape-growing region is like Napa before it became (corporate) Napa”. What were you doing earlier? I was a film producer who worked for a film company in suburban Washington, D.C. I have a Telly Award sitting on my library shelf presented to me for making NBC–WRC-TV news station promotional spots. I’ve produced and been featured in TV commercials and as an extra in many movies, including “The Pelican Brief,” “The Runaway Bride” and I was a “hippie” in the film “Forrest Gump.” With Tom Hanks on the set one very cold shoot day, he leaned down from the stage and smiled, showing he understood about the cold and wind. “You see, it’s not all autographs and sunglasses, is it?” he told us shivering-but-delighted extras. As a film producer, what has been the most interesting thing that has happened to you? I assisted a young director with his movie — assuming it was a student film — helping him with research, scouting locations, casting actors and even providing Ed Sanchez with my saved wisdom teeth for use as scary props. The film became a sensation — “The Blair Witch Project.” What are your hobbies? An avid reader, I formed a book club when I moved to Sacramento. When I have time between script-reading, I especially enjoyed “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosnay and “The Painted Veil” by Somerset Maugham. Was it a coincidence that each has been made into a movie? Probably not. What is your favorite place to travel? I adore France and spent a glorious week in Paris last fall. Do you give back to the community? My husband, John, and I enjoy volunteering with CASA projects in El Dorado County. What are you most proud of? Of course my best “achievements” are our two sons — Erik who lives in Houston who is a business professor at Rice University and Alexander who lives in Denver who is a project manager for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).