Credit: Jane Seymour (FayesVision/

“These things live or die is through the dedication and passion of the people.”

Despite sharing no scenes together in the film “Lake Effects,” just released on DVD, both of their characters share a strong bond with the main character; Seymour as her mother and Podell as her love. They each took some time to speak with us about working on the low-budget film, forming bonds with the cast and crew and what else is keeping them busy these days. How did you get involved in “Lake Effects?”

Seymour: It was offered to me. It was a small budget movie and not something I normally thought about doing, but I read it and it just got me. I thought it was a beautiful movie and I really liked what it said. It moved me. It had a great concept and really good cast and I thought it was a character I hadn’t played. What I didn’t realize until I got there was that it was being made by a community, and that ended up making it even more magical. The producer lived on that lake with her parents and the whole thing was pretty much shot at her parent’s home. All the local community chipped in – retirees were driving us from the set, gave us homes to stay in, and Scottie (Thompson) and Maddie (Zima) and I really bonded. We would act all day and have wonderful meaningful conversations over dinner that I would cook. I almost became their mom in the evenings and there was just something magical about it.

Podell: I got involved the old fashioned way. I auditioned, which was a lot of fun. Just walking into the room there was a good energy and a bunch of enthusiasm. It was a really young team with people who really believed in the project and had a passion for it with all sorts of personal connections. It was one of those projects where the people who were promoting it were able to – through their passion – get some pretty good people on board. I managed to emerge from the pile so to speak. Tell us about your characters?

Podell: Tyler is a professor at Virginia Tech and he grew up in this small town with, Sarah, played by Scottie Thompson. Through the course of their relationship in high school, he never quite got the guts to make his move. She leaves town and he thinks it is because of him. He goes off and succeeds and does his undergrad work at a great university and they lose touch. And when she comes back to the town at the beginning of the movie, she has a bad attitude about small town people and small town life after she had been living in LA and practicing law. She thinks when she comes back to town that I am one of those local yokels who never got out. As the movie progresses, much to her surprise, I reveal myself to be intellectual, successful and not quite what she remembered. We manage to hit it off and rekindle the old flame.

Seymour: I am a woman who lives on this beautiful lake in Virginia with one of her daughters. The other daughter is a high flying Beverly Hills lawyer with a whole different lifestyle. I have chosen to stay at the lake and my husband gets up every morning really early, takes the dog and leaves a rose on my pillow and goes off to go fishing. And right at the beginning a tragedy occurs and he dies. So now there is going to be a funeral and the other Sarah has to come away from her very stressful but incredibly exciting life to come back to this very rural area and she really is dreading it. SA series of things happen and she realizes ultimately that what she thinks she left behind is not actually what was. Sometimes you make choices and other people don’t see them the way that you see them. Sometimes things happen and there are huge misunderstandings and you carry them with you your whole life, thinking that is your family story and it isn’t at all. How was this role different from some of the others you have done recently?

Podell: It is one of those projects that is different in that it was a low budget film, and if you have ever done a low budget film, you know the way these things live or die is through the dedication and passion of the people. You are putting in extra time, you are making do with limited resources, whether it is lights, cameras, crew, whatever. So everybody that was involved really loved the project. It was a learning experience for some people. For others it was an opportunity to mentor. It had this great sort of entrepreneurial energy about it. It is set in small town that was incredibly grateful and gracious for us to be there. They managed to get all these volunteers in the town to get involved from the beginning. The head of transportation was a guy who ran the local DWV. Catering was the local restaurants that donated lunch. There was a contest they threw via Facebook to get the town involved in building the mechanical monsters to be used as one of the set pieces, so there was a lot of engagement from the community, enthusiasm and excitement. People showed up late into the night, sitting there having a good time and watching. Southern hospitality, I used to think it was just kind of something you talked about, but I got to experience it firsthand. I got to drink moonshine in a living room with a bunch of people I never met!