Ghost story could prove 'Signficant'

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Writer-director Shalene Portman landed at the AFM on Halloween with a spooky story that just might turn into her greatest marketing tool.

The filmmaker from Texas arrived at this year's market to find distributors for her romantic comedy "The Significant Other" complete with tales of ghostly casting.

The movie details the story of a woman who finds herself a victim of one of her own lies after she marries a gay guy to avoid the attentions of others and the man of her dreams shows up at her bed and breakfast.

The ensemble cast includes Brittany Joyner, Donny Boaz, Stephanie Young and Morgana Shaw.

Portman, who also penned "Other" and produced it herself said she was shooting the final day of her movie and "a ghost like face" appeared in a mirror at the 100-year old Victorian house in Gainesville, Texas.

"I saw it on the monitor from another room and told my crew to duck down out of the shot. They all did and it was still there," Portman says.

Ever skeptical, Portman took steps to dust the mirror, make sure the camera was clear and do another take. And still the "unexplained face" persisted.

Her assistant producer Betsy Dyer dubbed the strange figure Victor and her team persuaded her to leave the footage in the movie as a clip.

"As a writer and director I want to be more recognized for a movie that is funny and real rather than for some apparition that appeared during filming," Portman laughs. "I'm sure my talent in the movie would like their performances talked about rather than this ghost thing."

Still, real or imagined, Victor is turning out to be a key piece of casting, with local CBS news running a piece on Portman's movie.

"I just wish Victor wasn't getting so much attention," Portman says. "I definitely owe him a case of beer if we get distribution."

The young filmmaker also has other projects in development including "Here Kitty Kitty," which she bills as "Weekend At Bernie's" with a cat and plans to partner with other producers on projects which she hopes to meet here.
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