“Saving the Hansen House,” a documentary film by Will ’76 and Deni McIntyre, has received an award of merit from the Accolade Competition, which recognizes film, television and videography professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity.
The couple operates Will and Deni McIntyre Photography in Winston-Salem. Deni McIntyre, who attended WCU before receiving a degree from Wake Forest University, directed and edited the film – her first feature-length effort – with Will McIntyre serving as cinematographer.
“Saving the Hansen House” is the story of Bob Hansen, a native of Minnesota and a theater professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who buys a falling-down, 250-year-old farmhouse in a tiny enclave in Forsyth County. Hansen at first intends to restore the house and then sell it, but as he and a sizable construction crew begin rehabbing the structure, the sense of community in Bethania, the first planned Moravian settlement in the state, compels Hansen to stay.
“This project was a labor of love. Bethania is a great little town with a fascinating history,” Deni McIntyre said. The couple gathered material for the film, which projects a gentle humor, over the course of three years and welcomed the project as something close to home after working in more than 70 countries. Will McIntyre also plays on the film’s soundtrack, along with composers Marshall Crutcher of San Francisco and Asheville’s David Holt, a Grammy Award winner and McIntyre friend.
With his wry humor and a willingness to confide his doubts, enthusiasms and cash outlays to the camera, Hansen proves a strong interview subject. The Bethania residents, who take an interest in the restoration, also appear in the film. The house itself, originally built by European settler and justice of the peace Michael Hauser, has a rich history. Once serving as a colonial post office, it saw British troops billeted in the garden during the Revolutionary War and was pillaged in a raid, along with the rest of Bethania, during the Civil War.
The film premiered in September at a local movie theater and showed in October on UNC-TV.