Movie News & Reviews

It’s been 5 years, but 2012 Coast film set for January release

The film ‘Happy Log’ was shot in several locations in South Mississippi, including the Wolf River in Pass Christian.
The film ‘Happy Log’ was shot in several locations in South Mississippi, including the Wolf River in Pass Christian.

It’s been a long time since filmmaker Gary Thieman wrapped shooting on his film “Happy Log” — five years, actually. But come Jan. 17, Thieman’s movie will see the light of day as it will be released on DVD and on digital platforms including iTunes and Amazon Prime.

Set in 1959, “Happy Log” was shot along the Coast in locations including Pass Christian and Long Beach.

“We shot a lot of it on the Wolf River,” Thieman said. “We also shot some of it in the Coalville Cemetery.”

A period piece

Billed as a coming-of-age story, “Happy Log” is the story of two young boys who cross paths with a hit man.

“When you’re making a film, people will tell you to not use children, do not shoot at night and do not do a period piece,” Thieman said. “Well, we did all of that.”

He said creating the atmosphere of 1959 for the film was not as hard as one would think.

“We shot in October and that happened to be the same time as Cruisin’ The Coast, so we used a lot of the old cars that were here for the festival — it wasn’t planned, it just worked out that way,” he said. “We also used Danzey’s Oil Company in Wiggins for some of the exterior shots.”

Debut at Cannes

The movie made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

“It did well at the festival and it got the attention of some international distributors,” Thieman said

Thieman said a theatrical premiere is in the works for South Mississippi.

“We’re going to show it somewhere on the Coast, either in Gulfport or D’Iberville, in the early spring,” he said. “I’m still working out the details, but it will be out digitally and on DVD starting Jan. 17,” he said. “We’ve screened it on the Coast for all of the people who were involved in the film, but the official premiere is yet to come.”

Move to Hollywood South

One of the reasons for the delay in the film’s premiere, Thieman said, is he’s in the process of becoming a full-time Coastian.

“I’m moving my production company from Los Angeles to Gulfport,” he said. “I was stationed in the Air Force down here in 1973 and I was a disc jockey at an AM radio station. My wife and I love it here — the people here are so friendly. I decided to ‘retire’ here, although that’s a loose term.”