August 1, 2013
Beautiful, sunny, but breezy summer weather made Holly Springs a playhouse last week for film construction and paint crews working on sets for the pilot film, “Quarry.”
The film is being shot in the city and elsewhere in North Mississippi. Several locations in Holly Springs were selected as sets – Holly Inn, Rust College, upstairs studios at the corner of Memphis Street and Van Dorn, and the National Guard Armory.
A construction and paint crew spent last week getting rooms ready for filming Wednesday through Friday this week at The Smiling Phoenix coffee cafe and upstairs apartment across Memphis Street in the Utley Building and at the Armory.
Members of the crew expressed their happiness at creating sets in the city and the warm welcome they have received.
“It’s fantastic,” said Julie Thordarson, who has been working as a scenic artist for the film industry for about a year. “It’s a small town, just like I thought it would be. They’re all very friendly. People are asking us all about what we are doing and how long we will be here. People seem really interested in what we are doing. I think that’s neat.”
Thordarson said she loves the old buildings and really loves Booker’s.
“It’s so great,” she said. “I was taking pictures in there.”
About 16 years ago, Thordarson was in the area getting her hands dirty in carpentry in North Mississippi. She worked for Habitat for Humanity in the nine northern counties in Mississippi and helped build ramps for the handicapped and a playground near a homeless shelter. She joined the union in Nashville, Tenn., last year in July. She has been working sets since.
“I worked the show, ‘Nashville,’ and a movie coming out called ‘Identical,’ and ‘Boulevard,’ an independent film starring Robin Williams. I went to season II of the TV series ‘Nashville.’”
Victor Cook, originally from Dyersburg, Tenn., feels right at home in Holly Springs. He has lived in Memphis, Tenn., but likes small towns best.
Cook is a painter who can make a fresh coat of paint look old.
“It’s like home,” Cook said. “Everybody is nice – no problems at all.”
Cook has been working in the industry about 20 years. His territory is from the Mississippi River to the east coast.
Thordarson is originally from Chicago, Ill., and lived in Memphis 10 years. Now she lives in Nashville. She lamented so many of the old buildings in Nashville being leveled for progress.
Cook worked on the set for the movie “Big Bad Love,” some of which was filmed in Holly Springs. He worked in Greenwood for the set for the movie “The Help,” and in “Walk the Line,” a film created in Memphis based on the life of the country music legend Johnny Cash.
“Quarry” is based on a real story of a Vietnam veteran and Marine sniper from Kansas who is hired by the mafia as a hit man after he returns from the war in the ’70s. If the pilot is picked up by the studios, a series could result.
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