In early 2020, Brigham McNeely, a screenwriter and director from the Morganton area, was ready to begin production on his third feature film.
“We were going to make a Christmas movie. But then COVID hit and things were put on the shelf. I had this money so I said I was making a movie. We don’t let that go to waste,” McNeely said Wednesday.
In April, McNeely, with the help of Darin Holiday, owner of Electric Films in Shelby, spent nearly a month in the woods around Morganton and Hickory filming what would become “Airborne,” which follows a man trying to find its place. in a world ravaged by a deadly virus.
“We shot it for 20 days in total, I think. It was really, really fast paced, ”Holiday said. “It was sort of in a remote area. It was largely what we call “run and gun”. It has a sort of documentary feel to parts of it. And it’s done on purpose, it makes the film look more raw. “
During the course of the film, the main character meets a group of Christian survivors who are locked in a conflict with a group of violent nihilists.
McNeely and Holiday both say they are Christians, and although the film includes a message of their faith, they have said the film’s purpose is not to preach to moviegoers.
“This movie is about how to have hope and move forward into uncharted territory like we have now,” McNeely said. “We are also leaning on the other end of the pendulum, why would God allow this? There are questions that are difficult for people in general to rationalize. These are real questions, even if you are not a Christian. . “
“Airborne” is the third film Holiday helped McNeely make. Previously he was director of photography for a film about a bank robbery, which was shot in Casar, and a drama about a young man facing loss.
“We really take the script and visually disassemble it. The director tells us what the movie should look like, what it should look like and we bring it to life, ”Holiday said. “Filming can be a very stressful environment, especially on a budget and with a high pace, you sort of go into battle together, but when it’s over you know you’ve shot the full script, and there is has a real sense of accomplishment.
McNeely said that when it came time to start working on “Airborne” it made sense to bring Holiday back.
“We’ve just cultivated such a great relationship over the years, and I’ve tried to stay with the same team. If something works, it doesn’t need to be changed. And something about Darin, c ‘is if you hire him he’s going to do it right, “he said.
“Airborne” will have a limited theatrical release at AMC theaters in the Southeastern United States in February.
In Shelby, the film will screen at the AMC Theater in Cleveland Mall on Wednesday, February 2. Tickets are on sale now.
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or Dustin.George@ShelbyStar.com.