M. SCOTT MORRIS: Filmmakers take risks to deliver stories

For most, the movies are an escape from everyday reality.
For a select few, the movie business is an everyday reality.
The Tupelo Film Festival caters to the first group, and members of the second are always welcome.
But the world of independent film relies heavily on those in the middle. Between other, real-world jobs, they capture stories on film.
There’s something heroic about shooting on a shoestring with no guarantee the film will be seen.
Most filmmakers consider the risk successful if they make enough money to make another film.
Katherine Randolph is an actor and writer, and Alex Petrovitch is an editor and director. They live in Los Angeles, where they’re enmeshed in show business.
They still took a gamble to make their first feature-length film, “Joyride.”
“We came down to Mississippi to film it and drove in a Camaro everywhere,” Petrovitch said. “It was great.”
“Joyride” has been accepted by film festivals in California and New York, and it will screen at 6 p.m. today at the Lyric Theatre.
The “Joyride” screening isn’t their only concern.
Petrovitch compared film festivals to theme parks, where you pay one price to ride all the rides.
“You get to go to as many movies as possible,” he said. “You get so many different ideas.”
A film’s quality depends on how well the cast and crew answer a barrage of subjective questions:
• What story do you tell?
• Where do you set it?
• Which actor should play which part?
• Will there be caviar or Spam at the craft services tent?
The questions go on and on. The answers end up in the final product, so comparing notes with other filmmakers is a golden opportunity.
Today’s festival events include a free children’s acting workshop from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Lyric Theatre, and a special effects makeup workshop from 9 a.m. to noon at GumTree Museum of Art. The cost is $10 for the makeup workshop.
In addition, a dress worn by Renée Zellweger in “Appaloosa,” as well as the shirt, hat and kerchief Robert Duvall wore in “Lonesome Dove,” will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the museum.
Those costumes and others are courtesy of Ruleville native, Luster Bayless, owner of American Costume Co.
From 12:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre, animation, shorts and features will be screened. Lee County Justice Center will host a block of crime films at 4 p.m.
You’ll find a full schedule at www.tupelofilmfestival.net.
Who knows? A movie might help you forget about everyday life for a while.
Or maybe you’ll be inspired to do whatever it takes to get your unique vision on the big screen.
If so, good luck. The world can always use another storyteller.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal