Local graduate aiming for film breakthrough

From press reports

Writer and director Johnson Thomasson, a Grace Christian graduate and graduate of Mississippi State University, leads a team of Mississippi’s best filmmakers on the production of “Headrush,” a science-fiction short film this summer.

With an original screenplay written by Thomasson that draws on film noir and science-fiction classics such as “Frankenstein,” “Headrush” stars Cameron Spann, a fellow MSU grad, as Kurt Schuler.

Spann and Thomasson are both Grace Christian graduates and debuted their moviemaking skills in Louisville in 2004 with their first film, Private Detective, which premiered at Northgate Cinema 4.

The duo along with others also used Winston County as thier backdrop for their 2008 Dust to Dust, zombie spoof.

Other starring roles for the newest film are filled in by Kenny Cook (“Zion,” “42”) as Dr. Abrams, Amye Williams Gousset (“Army Wives,” “The Help”) as Marianne Abrams, Jon W. Sparks (“Nothing but the Truth”) as Dr. Kelly, and Leslie Palmer (“Treme,” “G.I. Joe 2”) as Sonny Merrit.

The creative production team on the film includes award-winning director of photography David Matthews (“Murderabilia”), two-time Emmy award-winning co-producer and gaffer Randy King, first assistant director Zach Prichard (MFA in electronic visualization from MSU), West Point native Michael Williams (“Illumination,” “Lukos”) and executive producer Robbie Fisher ( “The Gulf Islands: Mississippi’s Wilderness Shore,” “Going Toward Love”).

“Our cast and crew is packed with Mississippi’s best film talent,” said Thomasson, “people that you don’t know yet but you will. I think the trailer shows that together, this team is putting out amazing work.”

Headrush is filming in Jackson and Canton, Mississippi with locations at Millsaps College, the Department of Education Building, and the Historic Canton High School.

Set for completion this fall, and targeting a film festival run in spring 2013, “Headrush” is nearly complete, but with several crucial scenes left to shoot and the daunting task of post-production ahead, the team has turned to the internet to “crowdfund” the remainder of the project. Thomasson has edited an action-packed trailer, a two minute preview of the film.

“It’s a labor of love,” said Thomasson. “Most of us have day jobs and are working through the night to make this movie because we really believe in it. A lot of movies have been made about Mississippi by people coming in from the outside. I think it’s time we start telling our own stories. And that’s what the team behind “Headrush” is doing. It’s kind of unprecedented. I think we’re onto something special. But don’t take my word for it; watch the trailer and decide for yourself. And if you believe in it, help us finish it.”

Johnson’s company, Dog Canyon Films, LLC, headquartered in his humble home, is the company of record behind “Headrush.” During the day, Thomasson puts his Computer Science degree to good use working as an IT engineer at Mossy Oak in West Point, MS.

The trailer can be viewed: www.youtube.com/HeadrushMovie. The fundraising campaign can be found at www.indiegogo.com/HeadrushMovie .

For more information visit www.HeadrushMovie.com or call Johnson Thomasson at 662.275.8085.