Professor writes and produces film
'The Historian’ to be shot in Hattiesburg
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 23:12
An exciting film project is in the works to be filmed in the Hattiesburg area. “The Historian” is an independent film written and produced by Miles Doleac, a visiting Latin and history professor. Doleac will also star in the film.
According to the synopsis, “The Historian” is “a dark, funny humane drama that puts academia under the microscope and finds a mirror of human nature.”
The story “pits two brilliant and troubled professors of different generations against one another in a simmering conflict of ideals.”
According to Doleac, the film is somewhat based on his own experiences in academia.
“I wanted to write something that spoke to the current state of university education,” Doleac said. “I consider myself a real advocate of the classic education model--a model that is very rigorous but to a very specific end--building a more socially aware human being.”
Russell Baily is set to direct the film, whose first feature length film “BARMY” just completed post-production. Doleac is producing the film with Mackenzie Westmoreland, an award-winning playwright, stage director and producer.
While casting is still underway with casting director Jodi Collins, two well-known actors have already committed to the project: Colin Cunningham, from “Falling Skies” and Academy-Award winner Shohreh Aghdashloo, known for movies “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “the Exorcism of Emily Rose.” According to Doleac, both were the first picks for the role.
Doleac said that Bill Pullman is “currently entertaining an offer to play a lead role, the department chair.” Bill Pullman played President Thomas J. Whitmore in the movie “Independence Day.”
Doleac, a native of Hattiesburg, decided to shoot the film here for a number of reasons. He was influenced after seeing the impact the film industry made in New Orlean’s economic recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
“New Orleans became Hollywood’s second city. There is so much going on there. I also see real opportunity here in Hattiesburg for film production. I saw firsthand what it can do for the economy of a state. “
He sees Hattiesburg as a hidden gem for the film industry. “[They] don’t know about Hattiesburg yet. If they did, they would be here already,” Doleac said.
Doleac also saw an opportunity to use local talent and crew in the production. He urged the Hattiesburg community to get involved in the project.
“We can’t do all this alone. We need support from the Hattiesburg community. If people want to really see film production in Hattiesburg and take advantage of what that can mean for the city, we need to bring in as many people as possible,” Doleac said.
Doleac has been working with the Office of University Communications to shoot scenes of the film on the Southern Miss campus. Other scenes are planned to be shot in the downtown area.
“The Historian’ could offer opportunities, not only for the university, but for the entire Hattiesburg area. A successful production promises to bring business to the area and sales tax revenue to local government. More importantly, from the university’s standpoint, is the prospect that Southern Miss students who aspire for careers in the entertainment industry may gain valuable experience working on a professional movie set,” Director of Communications Jim Coll said.
The project is still in the funding process and is seeking investors. However, Doleac said many ways exists to get involved.
“It’s not just about writing a check. Restaurant owners, rental companies and local business can get involved by offering services,” Doleac said.
According to Doleac, downtown business Click Boutique has already pledged to donate the costumes for the leading lady of the film.
He encourages local talent to participate in the project. Auditions will start in April 2013 to fill smaller roles. He encourages Southern Miss theatre students to audition as well as film production students to learn more about how they could be involved in the crew.
The tentative production start date is May 15, 2013.
Send inquiries about the project to Miles Doleac at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the project at www.facebook.com/HistoriaFilms.