HARRISON COUNTY -- Filming for "The Majestic" starts Wednesday, the same day the 18th Gulf Coast Winter Classic opens, and the equestrian competition will provide an authentic setting for the film.
"The Majestic" is a movie about a family that finds a runaway Arabian horse, Majestic. While the family tries to locate the owner, a young girl becomes attached to the horse as two horse thieves try to steal it away.
Part of the movie takes place at a horse show and producer Mark Headley said, "We're going to get footage you can't pay for."
The public is welcome to watch the filming from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, 15321 County Farm Road.
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The full crew and part of the cast will be there for the opening shots.
Cy Parks from the Jackson area is the lead actor cast as Jeff Harris.
"Cy Parks is a thoughtful actor who really gets it," said director Rachel Gordon. "He's dedicated, creative and professional. A real team player. In every way, Cy has been a valuable asset to my project."
Other cast who will be there for the opening shots Wednesday are Gabe A. Smith and Jack Teague.
Headley also shot "Artists Die Best in Black" in South Mississippi and locals will have a big part in this film.
"Rebecca Powers and her daughter Mary are also involved in filming 'The Majestic,'" said Tracey Landrum, associate producer. "Coast native Derek Bradley is our director of photography," she said. Teri Carter and Charlotte Richardson are casting directors.
The full cast is not yet complete, but filmmakers wanted to begin shooting on the opening day of the horse show.
"It's easier as an independent filmmaker to use what you have available," said Landrum.
The Gulf Coast Winter Classic brings thousands of competitors from throughout the country to the Harrison County Equestrian Center each year.
Gulf Coast coordinator Janet McCarroll said Wednesday's schedule is mostly jumper competition and the event continues every Wednesday through Sunday for the next six weeks. There is no admission for spectators and a class is offered Sundays at 2 p.m. to help novices understand the sport.
She is pleased the Winter Classic will be part of the new movie.
"Anything we can do to promote our sport is something we like," she said.