ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -- Christmas movies offer something for everyone.

They can make you laugh, they can make you cry, and they can transport you to another place entirely.

Thanks to movie magic, the magic of Christmas can be created at any time of the year, even here in Connecticut.

The Christmas movies on Lifetime and Hallmark have a huge fan base, and behind the scenes creating some of these films is someone who is no stranger to Connecticut.

“I love Connecticut. I love the people of Connecticut. I love the locations,” said Andrew Gernhard, owner and producer of Synthetic Cinema International.

Born and raised in Norwich, Gernhard found his passion early on.

“Growing up, I always loved movies. I loved Ghostbusters, Star Wars, same thing everyone else liked,” Gernhard said.

He turned that passion into a career, starting Synthetic Cinema International in 2004, which is based in Rocky Hill.

“We’re not a huge company. We’re not Universal Studios coming in here. We’re a small crew, shooting movies people love,” he said.

Love is an understatement, as those Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas movies have almost a cult following.

“I know people love the Hallmark movies. There’s a lot of fans out there and we see them every time we go to shoot, and the fan base is just growing for these Hallmark movies,” Gernhard said.

He was determined to use Connecticut as a backdrop for many of those films.

“Rediscovering Christmas” was shot in Hartford on Pratt Street this past September.

“A Very Merry Toy Store,” starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, showcased New Britain.

“A Very Nutty Christmas” was filmed on the Connecticut shoreline.

“Romance at Reindeer Lodge” featured South Windsor, Branford, New Haven and Hamden.

“Wishin’ and Hopin’” with Meat Loaf was shot at Gernhard’s alma mater, Norwich Free Academy.

“The thing with Connecticut is it looks like classic Christmas,” Gernhard said, adding that the appetite for these Christmas movies only continues to grow.

“With Hallmark and Lifetime, it is crazy. I feel like there’s as much market penetration as marvel. I mean really, people know the Christmas movies of Hallmark as much as they know Spider-Man,” Gernhard said.

His films continue to bring joy to the world and make spirits bright.

“You have to have a little happiness and I think around the holidays that’s what people are looking for,” Gernhard said.

Since all we want for Christmas is another Christmas movie, Gernhard has us covered.

“Holiday For Heroes” shot in Stonington premieres Friday on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.

“Rediscovering Christmas” and “Christmas Reservations” premiere on Lifetime in December.

As for Hernhard, he’s in Iceland right now shooting another movie.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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