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Casting call books up quickly

NATCHEZ — When the non-profit Film Natchez announced a locals casting call, it was not long before all the available time slots were filled with aspiring screen talent.

Film Natchez Director Devin Klugh said 25 time slots for a Sunday, Oct. 18, casting call were quickly booked after it was announced on social media last week.

However, Sunday will not be the last opportunity for locals to take part in a budding film industry in Natchez, she said.

The purpose of the casting call is to build online profiles of potential cast members from the local pool of talent that would be publicized for various film producers scouting in Natchez for their next project, Klugh said.

“We have 25 people for this Sunday that we’re doing headshots of and we’re using them to build a local casting tab on our website (filmnatchez.org) so that any projects that are coming to town will be able to see some local faces and hopefully pick from among available locals to be in featured roles. We want to see as many locals as possible on the screen.”

Klugh said the COVID-19 pandemic has been rough on the film industry in general but has been some help to giving Natchez some attention as a movie-making city.

“The film industry is starting to pick back up. This weekend, we had two teams of scouts here. We are starting to get our schedule moving again and hopefully have projects here that locals can be a part of whether it is on TV or as part of the crew,” she said.

“What we’re seeing a lot with some projects is maybe they had plans to film in LA or New York but because of COVID and everything being shut down they are looking for different places to film on location. They are seeing both our tax incentives and the hospitality that we have here and are telling their production studios that it is going to be much easier to make their project happen if we do it somewhere like Natchez.”

Those who are interested in becoming involved in the Natchez film industry can like and follow Film Natchez on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so they will be notified of the next casting call, Klugh said.

Aside from the on-screen workers, other jobs exist throughout the filmmaking process covering a broad range of skillsets: electricians, cooks, drivers, designers, painters and more, she said.

“It could be everything from a production assistant, which wouldn’t necessarily require any background education in film all the way to transportation crew who drive the trucks and vans,” Klugh said. “There is a job for almost every field when we have a big project come here.”

Klugh said those interested can drop their resume off at Film Natchez on 101 High Street, direct message Film Natchez on social media or email info@filmnatchez.org.