By the Way

Did you know this movie was filmed in South Mississippi?

By Lauren Walck

lwalck@sunherald.com @laurenwalck

A crew from the movie 'Midnight Special' works to film a scene Thursday, February 13, 2014 on Mississippi 605 near Tradition. McCoy used her long-range camera lens to get this closer view of the action.
A crew from the movie 'Midnight Special' works to film a scene Thursday, February 13, 2014 on Mississippi 605 near Tradition. McCoy used her long-range camera lens to get this closer view of the action. Sun Herald

Finally coming Friday to a South Mississippi theater is a big-budget, A-list movie that was actually filmed here on the Coast.

"Midnight Special" opens at Cinemark 16 in Gulfport on Friday, just over two years after a crucial action scene was filmed in Harrison County.

The Warner Bros. movie features A-list actors such as Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and Joel Edgerton. It is written and directed by Jeff Nichols, best known for  2012's "Mud" with Matthew McConaughey.

A chase scene involving a traffic jam, helicopter and road block was captured on Tradition Parkway (Highway 605), from the Highway 67 interchange to just north of the exit to St. Patrick Catholic High School.

The road crosses Highway 67 twice, ballooning to the northeast in a horseshoe shape. There is nothing along it but pine trees. The closest buildings are on the other side of the highway in the Tradition neighborhood development.

At the time, location manager Batou Chandler said the road is perfect for filming a roadway scene that could be set anywhere in the country.

"I have a feeling that once we're done with it, a lot of other people will be interested in filming there," Chandler said. "It's calling for a car commercial."

She said the state's tax incentives attracted her, and that she was touched by how hospitable Mississippians were to the crew.

As the former Harrison County reporter, I first heard about the filming in a Board of Supervisors meeting when they gave approval for the filming in January 2014.

Sun Herald photographer Amanda McCoy and I went out to the film shoot to see what we could see, but it wasn't much.

The area is hilly, so just beyond St. Patrick, on the next hill, we could see a line of big rigs and people walking around in what looked like combat or SWAT gear.

We also saw a helicopter in the area, but the high-action filming was hidden from view.

The movie also filmed near Stennis Space Center and in McComb.

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