Tupelo director premieres new sci-fi drama

Dawn (Meaghin Burke, left) and Vivian (Casey Dillard) make the daunting journey back to Earth in Glenn Payne’s “Earthrise.” (Courtesy)

Dawn (Meaghin Burke, left) and Vivian (Casey Dillard) make the daunting journey back to Earth in Glenn Payne’s “Earthrise.” (Courtesy)

By Sheena Barnett

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo director Glenn Payne wants to take us “home – for the first time.”

Payne will debut his new feature film, “Earthrise,” next week at the Malco.

“In the story, humans have ruined Earth and live on Mars, and a select few are returning to Earth to fix the planet,” he said. “They’re seeing the planet for the first time.”

Those lucky few are Dawn (Meaghin Burke), Vivian (Casey Dillard) and Marshall (Greg Earnest), and they encounter more than just a troubled planet on their journey.

“I’m calling it a sci-fi psychological drama,” he said. “There are elements of ‘What the heck is happening?’”

Payne has made a host of other short and feature-length films, but this is his most ambitious project yet.

For that reason, Payne used the crowd-funding website Indiegogo to help make his idea a reality.

The donations from fans and friends helped pay for everything from set construction to special effects.

Still, Payne and his crew, which includes his director of photography, Michael Williams of West Point, worked on a tight budget.

“We even got to the point where we had to reuse material, so after we shot in one room, we’d tear it down to build another room,” Payne said.

“Earthrise” was filmed in West Point, and it took about three weeks to build the spaceship and two weeks to shoot.

Payne hopes to find a distributor for the film, so DVDs won’t be for sale soon. If anyone wants to see “Earthrise,” June 19 is the only chance for now.

The film will be followed with a Q&A featuring Payne and his cast.

Payne wants to shoot a horror/thriller film this fall, but he hopes fans support “Earthrise” for its one night on the big screen.

“It’s a film that will have an impact and cause you to think,” he said. “It’s a Mississippi film made by Mississippi artists. It’s something they told us we couldn’t do, and we did it.”

sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

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ON THE BIG SCREEN

What: Premiere of Glenn Payne’s sci-fi thriller feature film, “Earthrise”

When: 7:30 p.m. June 19

Where: Malco Tupelo Commons Cinema

Cost: $10

Info: facebook.com/earthrisethemovie