Post by guest contributor Rebecca Louise Miller.
Every project starts with an image. In the case of One Day Home, which was actually based on a personal experience, I had a very clear concept of our location- the mattress floor of a vast department store. In my head, the setting was supposed to be a serene, almost sterile container for a very messy human interaction: two people falling in lust.
But the night I walked into Charles P. Rogers for the first time, that vision shifted drastically. The serenity is there, for sure; the space is elegant and carefully considered, but there’s also an immediate sense of warmth, almost an embrace. It starts before you even get inside- the store pulls you in off 17th Street with an inviting glow, and once inside, you find yourself wanting to linger.
When I walked among all those lovingly built beds and mattresses, it struck me that this store could be more than just a setting to our film; it could actually be a character. Rather than the blank canvas I’d imagined, this beautiful space would actually put our protagonists at ease- it has that incredibly rare brand of prewar New York elegance that manages to feel totally accessible. You feel like you’re visiting the loft of a good friend with impeccable taste.
Best of all: instead of plain white mattresses floating in space, the selling floor is full of beds of different styles. Think about the emotional impact of a tufted linen headboard versus an iron sleigh bed- visually, they suggest two completely different lifestyles. Our characters would be trying out more than just beds in this store: they’d be testing out new lives for a few minutes at a time.
Obviously, I was excited about Charles P. Rogers as a potential location. When I reached Linda Allen, the owner, by phone and explained the premise of the film- fresh on the heels of the breakup of her marriage, a woman searches for the first mattress of her new life and finds much more than she’s shopping for- her reaction was swift. Linda was immediately excited to help us tell this story, which she has seen unfold on her selling floor over and over again.
The store sees a lot of customers reeling from major breakups- just a reality of this particular business. When couples split, chances are that one or both will need a new bed- understandably, it can be a very fraught purchase. Not only is it a significant investment, but it marks a real emotional turning point. It’s a duty that the entire Charles P. Rogers team takes very seriously: helping people start fresh at the moments they need it most. By giving customers an experience that’s calm, respectful and un-pressured, sales professionals here turn a potentially traumatic event into an empowering, hopeful one. On a very literal level, they are helping people find comfort in their time of need. It’s no small thing, and their passion for guiding people to their perfect match is palpable. More than anything (even more than the beautiful space), that passion is what made Charles P. Rogers the perfect partners for One Day Home.
When our three night shoot rolled around, our director, cinematographer and design team were totally enamored with the Manhattan showroom. Every time a new member of the cast and crew came in, they commented on the evocative look of the space. But the clincher, of course, was the beds themselves.
The mattresses, lovingly crafted by hand in NJ, are incredibly comfortable. Many of us made it a mission to try them all, an activity that after 4am became a sort of narcoleptic roulette. Part of me worried that Linda and her team would come in on Sunday morning to find our entire team sprawled across the store, fast asleep on our chosen favorites, like bewitched villagers in a fairy tale.
Since that shoot I’ve joked that every screenplay I write will now be set at Charles P. Rogers. It might be somewhat limiting in terms of plot, but the deliciousness of the location would be worth it. I can say for sure that I’ll never shop for a bed or mattress anywhere else. There’s a PowerCore out there with my name on it.
You can learn more about One Day Home at www.OneDayHomeFilm.com, or visit us on Facebook.