Movie shoot moves downtown
Published 12:00 pm Friday, July 25, 2014
The Hollars, a film directed by John Krasinski, will feature King’s Daughters Medical Center locations in the final cut of the movie, according to film officials.
Brian Hillburn, location manager for The Hollars, said the production crew, originally set to film entirely in Jackson, was looking for a hospital with a double patient room and other amenities, which they were unable to locate at the Jackson hospitals. The production crew got a tip to check out Brookhaven, and upon arrival in the city, they were immediately impressed.
“John really fell in love with this hospital,” said Hillburn.
Hillburn said Krasinski’s enthusiasm over King’s Daughters Medical Center, combined with the hospital’s cooperation with the filming crew, was a “marriage made in heaven.”
In addition to directing, Krasinski also is the star of The Hollars. “He didn’t want something gray and sterile looking,” said Hillburn. Krasinski was looking for small-town feel on screen, film representatives said.
Because the plot works around the main character’s mother being ill for the majority of the film, the crew needed a versatile hospital that would be willing to work with production crew and be flexible enough to adapt to the film’s requirements.
Hillburn praised the KDMC staff and employees as well as the Brookhaven Police Department for their hard work and cooperation during the filming.
Half of the four weeks of filming will be done in the Brookhaven hospital and local locations, but Hillburn stated the scenes filmed at KDMC would definitely be recognizable in the final cut of the movie.
Hillburn has been responsible for bringing The Help and My Dog Skip to film at Mississippi locations in the past.
David Culpepper, KDMC marketing director, said the staff and patients at the hospital have been positive and encouraging throughout the filming process.
“The No. 1 goal of the hospital is our mission statement – providing quality health and wellness in a Christian environment – and the filming did not interrupt that process in the least,” said Culpepper.
Filming occurred in an area of the hospital where it would not interfere with patient care or visitors’ access, Culpepper said.
Culpepper added he thought the opportunity was a good experience for the hospital as well as Brookhaven overall.
Morgan Casting Company has been recruiting extras and volunteers for the film in Brookhaven as well as through an open casting call in Jackson. The casting call has given locals in the area an opportunity to act and to serve as minor roles in the movie.
State Sen. Sally Doty, who saw the casting call through Twitter, applied to be an extra. She was cast as a “normal person” getting off the elevator as the two stars, Krasinski and Anna Kendrick, are getting on. Doty said the experience did not take very long and she was very impressed with the film crew’s professionalism during shots.
Filming locally has also offered opportunities to businesses downtown. During the first week of production, the film crew and Krasinski were spotted around Brookhaven scouting out other film sets. The crew found what they were looking for in Janie’s Pastry on Whitworth Avenue.
Janie Stogner, second generation owner and operator, said she had originally planned to contact the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the bakery’s 75th anniversary by having a ribbon cutting, but due to scheduling difficulties with a family vacation, the plans were canceled.
Then, the day after Stogner returned from vacation with her family, Krasinski and the film crew contacted her and asked if she would be willing to have scenes from the movie shot in her bakery, and Stogner agreed immediately.
“We weren’t able to have the ribbon cutting, so this’ll have to do,” said Stogner with a laugh.
The film crew has been renovating the bakery since last Wednesday getting it ready for shooting.
“I think it’s fantastic. The bakery is turning 75, and she is getting face-lift,” said Stogner.
The filming has been taking place over the past week and will continue into next as needed. Hillburn said as a filming location director, he is very impressed with the locations Brookhaven had to offer and will consider it for more films in the future.