A director filming in St. Joseph said he fell in love with the community while scouting locations.

Joshua Brandon, who also wrote the film “25 Miles to Normal”, said in visiting the community, St. Joseph chose itself more so than he chose it.

“We came through and we just met so many great people and people were just welcoming us with open arms, offering to help, showing us around town. So, the story we were telling, we couldn’t come up with a better place. It was just perfect,” Brandon told KFEQ Radio in St. Joseph. “And so, as I like to say, you chose us.”

Another essential factor for choosing to film in St. Joseph, Brandon said, was the reinstatement of Missouri’s film tax credits.

Brandon said when making an indie film like he is, there is a finite ceiling because the movie won’t get pushed to large theaters or streaming services Therefore, Brandon said these tax credits are essential in helping assure investors their investment can be recouped.

“And so, the tax credit becomes critical, because it allows us to create jobs in the state where we’ve committed to film. And also, to make sure we have something to come in right from the beginning,” Brandon explained. “So, we can begin to get investors their money back, they can generate more confidence they’ve done the right thing, and ideally we close that gap when we make the sale. We make them a little bit of money, and everybody gets to come back and do it all again.”

The Missouri Legislature and Gov. Mike Parson reinstated the film tax credits last year. The last major film in Missouri to utilize these credits was “Gone Girl,” which was filmed in southeast Missouri’s Cape Girardeau.

While Brandon films, he is looking for local people to appear in the movie. Brandon said the community has been fantastic to work with as the movie gets made.

Brandon added that people interested in what they’re doing have shown interest in being extras, which he is always looking for.

“Anytime you see a movie, if you ever see a movie where there’s no one in the background, something feels wrong. And that’s because in real life, people are in the background, so we always want extras,” Brandon said. “We direct them to our website www.25milestonormal.com. It tells you who’s in the film, what it’s about, who’s involved, and how they also can be in the movie.”

Filming is underway and is expected to be completed this month.

By Matt Pike of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph

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