Laura Warner brushed the hair off her face. It had been a long day and this was only the first day of filming. The summer heat in the small town of Sardis, Mississippi was taking its toll on the crew as well. Sardis, about 40 minutes south of Memphis, served this day as host to filming the exterior shots of the new southern drama "Where I Begin", an independent film from T-Street Productions. "We have to get up at five tomorrow morning," Laura said. "Eighteen hour days will be the norm for the next three weeks."
The film will be shot in Oxford, Sardis, Charleston, and Tupelo and like the locations, many crew and actors will be from Mississippi. John Wee, the director of photography, is from Tupelo. Melanie Addington, the co-writer lives in Oxford. Warner lives in Charleston and her daughter, Montana Byrd, has a cameo in the film. There are many others, of course. Other members of the crew came from Kentucky, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The mix is important to the film because it plays into the Thomas Wolfe-like theme of the movie, "Can you ever really go home again?'.
Despite the heat, the crew was very enthusiastic about the project. Sound director, Bill Kelly, who hails from Hunlock Creek, PA, describes the movie as a "gritty small-town drama" that is very much character-driven with a "rough edge to it". Kelly met the director Thomas Phillips in Burbank, CA and worked with him in a television production company. "You meet people and make connections in this business" he said. "I liked (Phillips) work, so when he asked me to do this film I jumped at the chance."
Phillips, from Knoxville,TN, has a lengthy resume in film and like his assistant, Warner, has worked with all the greats in Hollywood. His last film "Rattle Basket" won the top prize at the Winnipeg, Canada Film Festival. Now he turns his attention to "Where I Begin", a film he described as "very literary". The story is about a group of friends, an event that happened in their past, and how it shaped the friends' lives. When Jacob, the lead, played by Alex Walters, returns home, the past rears its ugly head and the event must be dealt with again. Philips, like Kelly, Addington, and Warner all are originally from small towns, left and made their mark in the industry, then came home. The story is personal to them and promises to show through in the film.
For more information, go to www,whereibeginmovie.com.