Production team launches film project on the Coast

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The team for a major independent movie slated to be filmed in South Mississippi arrived on the Coast this week to begin putting together a technical crew.

The movie "Artists Die Best in Black" stars veteran actor Eric Roberts.

The brain trust behind the feature film began the process of finding local technical talent.

Executive Producer Billy Badalato says, it's important to get to know everyone involved with the project.

"We are interviewing for crew on the film. I like to meet everyone personally. It gives us a personal connection between employees and the people on the creative end," Badalato said.

Local Executive Producer Paul Bonje is funding the film. He has put up a significant amount of money and is excited about the project

"I'm looking forward to stimulating the industry here. If you do so it brings economic development. Everyone makes money and I can continue to do this," said Bonje.

The Coast is attempting to lure Hollywood to South Mississippi. Tax rebates and aggressive recruiting will pay dividends.

"It's a multi-billion dollar industry. No matter where the film is done, at least half of the budget is left in the local community," said Producer Mark Headley.

Potential crew members lined up for interviews in an effort to be part of "Artists Die Best in Black".

Filmmakers have been busy scouting locations on the Coast including old buildings in downtown Biloxi.

The project is moving forward and could go a long way towards making the Coast a film destination.

Principal photography is scheduled to get underway in April.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.