You may have chance to star with rebel soldiers, vampires

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NATCHEZ — Natchez residents have a chance to be featured on the big screen as part of a Civil War-era movie that will be filmed entirely in Natchez and Adams County during October and November.

Auditions for roles in the movie, titled “Rise Again,” will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Grand Soleil Hotel.

Writer and producer Jerry Quickley said the movie is the story of two brothers, who are Confederate soldiers, and their struggle to rid themselves of a curse and return home to their family after the war ends. Quickley said there is also a supernatural overlay in the movie featuring vampires.

Email newsletter signup

Quickley said Natchez was chosen for the sole filming location for the movie after a far-flung search that included Canada, Georgia and Puerto Rico, as well as other locations.

“We were able to find everything we were looking for in Natchez,” he said.

Natchez native Will Godfrey was hired as location manager by the film’s team after showing them around during a scouting visit.

“It’s very exciting for our town to get a production group like this,” Godfrey said. “It’s a great script, and they’re bringing their entire crew here.”

Quickley said his team found the sprit of Natchez more important than anything.

“I was impressed and pleasantly surprised at how accommodating, interested and supportive everyone in Natchez has been in helping us with the movie,” he said. “In our work, it’s something we just don’t take for granted.”

Director Craig Ross Jr. Said the history and culture in Natchez is what will make “Rise Again” such a special movie.

“The history in Natchez is unbelievable, and all that history is going to be bottled up in the movie and exploded onto the screen,” Ross said.

Ross said the crew wants to film at Longwood, Mount Locust, Under-the-Hill and Historic Jefferson College.

Ross said the production team decided to cast locals in the movie to keep the film authentic.

“Not only does the landscape provide history and culture, but the people do too,” he said.

Natchez Little Theatre’s executive director, Layne Taylor, will be casting extras, featured extras and bit players in the film.

He said extras will have parts in group scenes, featured extras will have names and be in multiple scenes, and bit players will have lines and recurring parts in the movie.

Taylor said he and the production team are looking for black and white actors of all ages, shapes and sizes. He said the movie calls for actors for a variety of roles, including freed slaves, as well as characters who are homeless, impoverished and starving during the aftermath of the war.

“We’re don’t want someone who looks like they should be on the cover of Vogue magazine,” Taylor said.

Taylor said there are also roles for wealthy townsmen, planters and their wives.

Taylor said some of the lead roles have already been filled by locals, including the main protagonist and the lead female role.

“It’s the kind of role that can make someone a major movie star,” he said.

Taylor and the production team were not willing to release the names of the actors Wednesday evening.

Auditions will be at the hotel conference room. People wishing to audition should bring a headshot and a resume. The headshot should have a name on it, and the resume should include name, address, phone number, e-mail address, acting experience, costume measurements, including dress, suit and shoe size, and skills such as horse-riding, gun-handling or gymnastics.

Taylor said he encourages anyone who has an 1860s authentic period costume to wear it to the audition. He said the costumer, Camille Jumelle, will be on hand at the audition.

“If it is something she can use, it will pretty much guarantee them a role in the film,” Taylor said.

Fore more information on auditions, e-mail Taylor at