From the NH Premiere program:

Some notes on the making of The Go Cart

A few years ago, having worked for decades as a documentary photographer and filmmaker, I came upon the children’s stories of Rebecca Upjohn. How fantastic it would be to make films with the emotional clarity of her spare, pitch perfect work! To do this I needed filmmaker Jeremy Leach (Co-Director and Director of Photography). It took two years to develop the story, one week to shoot the film, and two more years before the editing was finished.

The Go Cart was shot in Chesham, NH in early October 2006. Local actors donated their time and their many talents altered the script in wonderful ways. Chris Sharrock (Pete) started his audition by playing Amazing Grace on his trumpet and then Taps on an ancient bugle. His musical ability changed the story. Judy Patton (Nan) arrived on the set with an old helmet painted blue and white attached to a wildly curly red wig. How could we resist? She was completely ready to give her all for Nan.

Many people of Chesham, Harrisville, and surrounding communities helped in innumerable ways. David and Colin Kennard and the staff of Wellscroft Farm graciously accommodated our barrage of pre-production questions, and our week long invasion of their farm and their kitchen. They also provided and managed all the animals with an expert hand. They built the go cart some years ago. Along with Tiger Batchelder, they worked emergency room hours to keep it acting responsibly, running when it was supposed to, and making evocative noises on cue.

Chesham is a magical place. Working on the film, I understood more than ever why my grandparents chose to build a house on Sunset Hill overlooking Silver Lake in 1933. And Rebecca and I realized how deeply our own childhood memories were woven into the story:

All my life I have been fascinated by the relationships between the very old and the young.  As a child, my grandmother was my best friend, a real playmate, with a wonderful mischievous streak. Only when she could not communicate with me any more did I realize what we had lost.

Rebecca writes,“My grandmother had a stroke. She looked weird, she couldn’t speak properly and it was scary to see someone who was so in control before become so helpless. And we were expected to go on as if nothing had changed. But the world had changed, the rules were different. It was hard from both ends. (In The Go Cart) Stephen’s fear and anger reflect how I felt."

What next? The Go Cart is the first in a planned series of short films for children. Although the locations, characters and actors will be different, the stories will be by Rebecca. Jeremy and I will continue in our existing roles. Already in production is an animated film by Noah MacNeil of Rebecca’s story The Footsteps and the Mountain

Sunset Hill Films and Lost City Pictures are committed to making films which let children breathe deeply, slow down and return to the central core of their lives.

- Wendy-Snyder MacNeil & Rebecca Upjohn