When sisters Scarlet and Isabel Nixon Klein first decided to start making movies together, they were just looking for something fun to do.
Several years later, that just-for-fun project has turned into Three Girls Grove Productions, LLC, which has produced a handful of short movies over the last two years. Now, they’re about to celebrate a new milestone with their first debut of one of their films.
“The Perfect Proposal” by Three Girls Grove Productions, LLC, will debut Saturday night with an outdoor screening at downtown Centralia’s Pine Street Plaza. The film is the third installment of “The Perfect Series” of movies which includes “The Perfect Date” which was released in 2019 and “The Perfect Dinner” which was released in 2020.
All three follow the same character, Sally Sue (portrayed by Scarlet), an unmarried 1950s housewife searching for love. Isabel explained the stories are what she calls a “comic strip series” in that each follows the same character through very similar scenarios and toward very similar punchlines.
“What I enjoy about the series is it helps me as a filmmaker grow because each time, I see how I can take the same scenario and make it a little different or add to it in some way,” Isabel said.
For instance, while “The Perfect Date” and “The Perfect Dinner” were filmed around the Twin Cities area, “The Perfect Proposal” was the first of their movies to be filmed at a remote location. “The Perfect Proposal” was shot on site at the Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center in Ellensburg, where cast member Henry Wegener works.
“The week before I kept thinking ‘what if I forget something? It’s a three-hour drive,’” Isabel said.
The first two movies in “The Perfect Series” did not receive public premieres, but were uploaded to the Three Girls Grove YouTube channel. For “The Perfect Proposal,” the idea to have a public screening came about when cinematographer Joshua Gerlach mentioned many movie theaters were renting out their spaces for private screenings because of decreased audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They researched movie theaters but ended up deciding an outdoor screening in downtown Centralia’s new Pine Street Plaza would be a better fit for their “silly, short movie.”
“I think it’s a perfect location for our kind of film,” Isabel said.
The Saturday night screening will begin with the premiere of “The Perfect Proposal” and will also include “The Perfect Date” and “The Perfect Dinner.” Admission to the film screening will be free, although donations will be accepted toward future Three Girls Grove Production projects.
Three Girls Grove started when Isabel was 11 and Scarlet was 13 as a fun project to beat boredom. It wasn’t until about 2019 that they said they began to approach their productions with much more care toward scripts, storyboards and locations.
Isabel acts as director, while Scarlet stars as Sally Sue and also helps with choreography and costuming. Many of their friends and fellow local thespians assist in the productions.
Isabel, a homeschool high school senior taking Running Start courses at Centralia College, would like to turn filmmaking into a career. Scarlet was also homeschooled and has graduated from high school. She is working in a number of creative capacities and considering what her next step will be but she hopes it involves dancing and acting. As for Three Girls Grove, the sisters say it is something they both enjoy but they do not know what the future might bring for the venture.
“It’s a fun project we do together and like. If that’s all there is, that’s all it is but if it’s more that would be great, too,” Scarlet said.
Isabel said she hopes to add at least two more stories to “The Perfect Series” and Scarlet said she is still on board to continue the series both as a collaborator and as Sally Sue. Isabel said “The Perfect Proposal” includes a hint as to what the next chapter might bring for Sally Sue in the next installment, which will be titled “The Perfect Night”.
“There will be a musical number, which will be our first, and there might be a saxophone involved,” Isabel said of the movie, which could be released next winter or spring.