Vicksburg film among those to be screened

Published 7:57 pm Friday, January 27, 2017

A partnership between the Westside Theatre Foundation and Running Wild Films will bring Mississippi filmmakers to Vicksburg on Feb. 25.

“This will be a day to recognize and celebrate Mississippi films and also gives people in Mississippi the opportunity to recognize their local filmmakers and support their local filmmakers,” said Travis Mills, co-founder of Running Wild Films.

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Last year, Mills held an event similar to the one that will be offered in Vicksburg, and it was offered free of charge to the filmmakers.

“I just wanted to give filmmakers in Mississippi an opportunity to screen their work without having to pay a submission fee to a festival. I did this for the first time last year in Brookhaven, and I wanted to do it with the Strand this year because I love those guys,” Mills said.

Submission fees can be costly, he said, and then there is also the chance a film will not be accepted.

In addition to Mills working with communities to provide a venue for filmmakers, he said he also likes to encourage Mississippi filmmakers to make films in Mississippi.

“You stay where you came from and you develop film there,” he said.

During the February event, a showcase of films will be screened, which will include short films, documentaries, a selection of student films from the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven and two feature films — one of which will be “Don’t Come Around Here,” produced by Mills.

Also, a web series that was shot mostly in Vicksburg by a team from Vicksburg will be screened, Mills said.

A film begins with a script or an idea, Mills said.

A filmmaker will then go through a preproduction process, which is the planning of the script.

“Then you set shoot dates and cast your movie and find your crew whether it’s recording sound or shooting it. Once all of your ducks are in a row like props, costumes and all that stuff, you then go into production and shoot for how ever long,” he said.

“A short film may take five days to shoot if it’s complicated. We have made most of our short films in a day.”

Mills said the production process of filmmaking will be the culmination of everything shot, being cut together with sound and music the really hard part to follow — getting the film screened.

Daniel Boone, who is the film programmer for the Strand Theater, concurred with Mills.

The ultimate goal of a filmmaker is to have their film screened, he said, and as a member of the Art House Convergence, Boone is excited to help make that possible for Mississippi filmmakers.

“The Art House Convergence is a bunch of people who get together and network. You want your film to be seen, it’s your calling card to prove what you can do,” Boone said, adding that he would love to see this event grow and to have even more people participate and submit films.

The Mississippi film showcase will kick off with a screening at noon at the Strand Theatre, 717 Clay St. Screenings will continue throughout the day together with film discussions with filmmakers, including Mills.

A reception will also be held at the Strand prior to the 7 p.m. feature film produced by Mills.

For those wanting to attend, an all-day pass to the event is $25 and available at the Strand.

Offering a showcase of Mississippi films in Vicksburg could be a positive element for the city, Mills said.

“It could alert the audience that there is such a thing as a vibrant film movement in Mississippi and hopefully this will excite them for a way to showcase Vicksburg,” he said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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