LOUISBURG — First Option Bank was a focal point of activity on South Broadway Street on Sunday.
The bank, which is located in downtown Louisburg, was not opening its doors to customers. It was being used in the filming of Louisburg resident Joni Mitchell’s award-winning screenplay, “Mildred’s Crime Show.”
The comedy is about a couple in their 70s — played by actors Marilyn Hall and Doug Dowell — who run out of retirement money and decide to rob a bank. But nothing quite works out as planned.
The short film was shot Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, in Louisburg. On Saturday, the crew filmed inside a residence, and then wrapped up at the bank on Sunday.
“Things went great all weekend,” Mitchell said in a Facebook message. “Aside from just a few hiccups, such as the weather delaying some outdoor shooting, it all went really well. The actors were phenomenal, and I think the audience is really going to love them as much as I do.”
Mitchell’s screenplay won multiple awards at the Kansas City Film Fest in 2018. Mitchell won the $1,000 prize for Best Short Screenplay and $100 for receiving the Audience Choice award from the Kansas City Women in Film & Television (KCWIFT), a chapter of Women in Film and Television International.
Mitchell also was a finalist for the Best Heartland Screenplay for women writers from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska or Iowa.
In a previous interview, Mitchell said she wrote the 15-page screenplay quicker than she has ever written anything.
“This one wrote itself,” Mitchell said. “I literally sat there laughing as I typed it. I thought, ‘I have to submit this because these people are hilarious.’”
Mitchell said her director Josh Leonard of Blue Boy Cinema and film crew — Nicholaus James, director of photography; La’Ron Cooper, Sound; and Devonte Brown, Gaffer — did an amazing job.
“I really couldn’t have been any more impressed with their skills,” Mitchell said. “After this weekend, I know this is just the first of many films to come.”
Mitchell thanked the city, people, and businesses of Louisburg for being so supportive.
Even some off-duty Louisburg police officers got to participate in the film.
Mitchell’s short film is being fiscally sponsored by KCWIFT, which she said means any donations made are charitable and tax deductible. Any people/businesses that donate will receive a thank you in the credits as well, she said.
“We’ve still got a lot of post-production costs, so we are looking to raise between $1,500 and $2,000 more,” she said.
For those interested in making a donation, go to the following KCWIFT link: http://www.kcwift.com/join/benefits/fiscal-sponsorship/fiscal-sponsorship-projects/
To donate, select Mitchell’s project, and when it goes to the payment page, select her project again so it doesn’t go to KCWIFT’s general donations page, Mitchell said.
Donors who want to include a business name that doesn’t appear for payment can message Mitchell on Facebook so she can thank them on social media and in the film, she said.
“We’re hoping to have post-production complete by August, and I’m planning to host a free screening in late summer or early fall, hopefully somewhere in Louisburg,” Mitchell said.