Making Movie Magic across Mississippi – Part I

Wonderful films are being produced across Mississippi, and you may not even realize it. Small independent movies to larger big production films have taken advantage of the resources Mississippi offers. Filmmaking is a complex business as you sit down to watch a movie, you hardly consider the long hours of work contributed by the people who labor over the ideas, the words, and the images that ultimately end up coming together to be the final production.

The film business has taken ups and downs here in Mississippi for many different reasons. Cher Foley of Ocean Springs, casting director and producer, has worked in entertainment since the 1990s, starting in musical theater at the Saenger Theater in Biloxi.

“The need is not for trucks, equipment, [and] people,” Foley explained. “We need investors. Investors who want to create content. Mississippi has creative people, writers, and filmmakers. People need to bring their stories here to shoot.”

Nevertheless, Foley has a passion for filmmaking and has turned that into a business, working as the casting director on films such as LIFETIME’s charming holiday special Christmas on the Coast and educational shorts such as The Hole, which stars Payton Wich of Stranger Things.

Foley remains positive about the potential for growth of the business of making movies in Mississippi. If you wish to be cast in a film or aspire to act, reach out and take a class to get real-life experience. Contact Casting the Coast at [email protected].

Mississippi also has its share of famous Hollywood names like actor and producer Morgan Freeman. Freeman currently has a new film, Vanquish, being released in theaters later this month, that was shot using several locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A Lionsgate action-thriller, Vanquish tells the story of a former cop that holds a drug dealer’s daughter hostage to get what he wants. Big budget films can be a great boost to the local economy, but these films don’t tell the whole story here.

There are many smaller, independent, low-budget films being made across the state. These projects are equally important and reflect a great growth opportunity. Glenn Payne, writer, director, and producer for Dead Leaf Productions, is from Blue Springs, Mississippi, and has created a dozen or so independent films. He collaborates with several other local talents, and their productions stream on platforms such as Amazon Prime. Titles include OzLand, Stagrassle Paranormal, and DRIVEN. The latest release is a thriller comedy called The Killer Concept in which writers chronicle a  string of murders ultimately putting themselves in danger. Find more information on The Killer Concept by visiting the film’s Twitter and Facebook pages @killerconcept1.

Looking for a new thriller to watch right now? Go ahead and consider the made-in-Mississippi movie mentioned above called DRIVEN. Glenn Payne directs Richard Speight, Jr. of both the CBS TV series Jericho and The Agency, as well as Casey Dillard, writer and actor recently considered a “rising star” by Medium. An entertaining story about a hired driver who finds herself involved in hunting deadly demons, the plot is more than fun, holding several true surprises that will keep you watching. This is a professionally executed inexpensive film made right here in Mississippi that proves talent and hard work are coming together to make movies in this state. Find the film and take the ride with Glenn Payne’s DRIVEN.

A Glenn Payne Film DRIVEN

Make sure to be on the lookout for more articles about making movies in Mississippi, highlighting additional local film artists, writers, producers, and productions!

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Written by John Dolan

A resident of Ocean Springs, John is passionate about art, music, and entertainment. A writer, film maker, and an at home chef.

Enjoy more gulf coast entertainment and stories @ Mississippi Hot Entertainment on Facebook. Be happy!

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