The fabulous Tina Sloan, who starred on GUIDING LIGHT for 26 years and who debuted on indie soap EMPIRE today, has formed a production company called 9 After 7 Productions with eight other GUIDING LIGHT pals, from both in front of and behind the camera. Sloan, Fiona Hutchison, Beth Chamberlin, Grant Aleksander, Ron Raines, Jill Lorie Hurst, Maria Macina, Alexandra Johnson-Gamsey and Christopher Cullen are the "9" from GUIDING LIGHT who met after "7" in the evening and formed the company whose first project is a DVD movie called La Lumiere. We Love Soaps recently caught up with Sloan who filled us in how 9 After 7 came about and what the plans are for the future.
We Love Soaps: Like I said the last time we spoke, you're doing everything!
Tina Sloan: I am. I'm just exhausted [laughs].
We Love Soaps: Tell me about this new venture. How did the idea for 9 After 7 Productions come about? From the press release, it seems like the idea originated from you and Fiona [Hutchison].
Tina Sloan: Yes, it started with Fiona and me. We were saying we have all these people [from GUIDING LIGHT], so let's do something instead of just letting it go away. We all love each other so much.
We Love Soaps: I have long thought that there were merchandising opportunities that daytime soaps didn't take advantage of.
Tina Sloan: I think you're right. A friend of mine called me the other night, and this is in relation to "Changing Shoes," but she suggested making a little necklace with shoes on it. I think we showed there's a "light" after GUIDING LIGHT. Our [production company] website is called New Kind of Light, and I think that's perfect for what we are.
We Love Soaps: What Crystal [Chappell] is doing with VENICE shows there was a group of fans who not only were passionate but willing to spend money. Even if P&G couldn't keep GUIDING LIGHT alive, I would have created an "Otalia" web series to take advantage of all the passionate fans who wanted to see more.
Tina Sloan: There were a lot of a new fans too who hadn't watched the show until the "Otalia" love story came on. She was absolutely brilliant. In a way, she broke the ground. She very nicely called us last night and gave us some tips about PayPal and DVDs. She's so generous. We were all saying when she got off how lucky we are to have each other.
We Love Soaps: When you and Fiona started talking about this, were you always thinking it would a GUIDING LIGHT thing or were you just thinking about it in terms of doing a project together?
Tina Sloan: To me it had to be GUIDING LIGTT. We started this in September of last year. It started with Fiona and me, and I think Ron was there the first day, and one other person, maybe Jill. Then we brought in other people until we got to be "9". For me, it was very, very important it was GUIDING LIGHT people because I wanted to work with GUIDING LIGHT people and that's what we ended up doing. We were all going to miss each other so much.
We Love Soaps: I always say if you have the resources, instead of the waiting for the perfect project to come along, write one or produce one yourself.
Tina Sloan: You know, I'm doing "Changing Shoes" for a lot of reasons, but I think this is being done for the fans. We really wanted to work together, but we really saw how much anguish people were in who were going to miss us so much. We thought, "What can we give them?" We couldn't do a TV show because that wouldn't work, and we tried really hard to get GUIDING ILGHT back on the air, so we thought we'd do a DVD movie. We have to shoot it still but it's written in parts and uses so many of the actors. I think quite a few more will come on board. If it works, we'll have people coming on at the end to be part of the next one. I think in different years we'll have different people being in it.
We Love Soaps: Are you revealing anything about the story of the film, La Lumiere?
Tina Sloan: No! [Laughs] Well, it's at an inn and you can see that on our website. The inn which is called La Lumiere, and different people come to the inn. It's going to be a country inn and we went to film our house up there to see if it works. I don't think it will. Somebody is looking out in Peapack for a house for us that we can hopefully rent for very little money.
We Love Soaps: Peapack loved you guys so that's probably not a bad idea.
Tina Sloan: I think it's a really good idea, a place where they know us and love us, and would be happy to have us again. I think that's really valid.
We Love Soaps: Is Jill [Lorie Hurst] writing the script?
Tina Sloan: Beth Chamberlin really came up with the concept. She's been working on it a lot with Jill. I'm going to start helping her really soon, and Fiona will too.
We Love Soaps: You should product place kettlebells in the inn!
Tina Sloan: With "Changing Shoes" books all over!
We Love Soaps: Hey, I would add a "Changing Shoes" commercial as soon as the DVD starts playing. Cross promotion!
Tina Sloan: And in every room of the inn there's a kettlebell. That would be hysterical.
We Love Soaps: Are you going to focus on more films or are there other types of projects 9 After 7 productions might produce?
Tina Sloan: It's sort of like a repertory company and we can keep using GUIDING LIGHT people. We would be giving everyone jobs and in different forms than our GUIDING LIGHT characters. We've had some ideas about other projects. When we voted on this, there were other ones we liked that we weren't able to pull off at this time. This movie was the right project for right now.
We Love Soaps: The "So Long Springfield" tour was so successful, maybe the "La Lumiere" stage show could hit the road!
Tina Sloan: There's so much work when you're doing a play. Because of my "Changing Shoes" book tour, I'm doing the play in Pittsburgh and Houston and two other cities. It's a huge job.
We Love Soaps: How about "La Lumiere" the musical?
Tina Sloan: That would be hysterical! I just hope the fans are really behind it. I mean it when I said we did it for them.
We Love Soaps: I know you did the short film Oh My Love [with Gil Rogers], but have you done other indie films?
Tina Sloan: Yes, I've done some other indie ones.
We Love Soaps: Are you guys all going to be producers?
Tina Sloan: We're all everything! We had to work on the website. Alex did a lot of that and Beth's husband helped. We all had to help with the press release. We're all doing things we never thought we'd learn to do!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to purchase La Lumiere.