A wrecked Earth lies virtually abandoned in space.
Only one percent of the human race exists on the planet in an attempt to rehabilitate the environment. The other 99 percent have colonized Mars.
Each year, a group is chosen to travel to Earth to work on the rehabilitation project.
"Earthrise", a new film by director Glenn Payne follows the journey of those on their way to Earth, and West Point will be the setting of this Sci-Fi psychological thriller.
Payne and his crew are no strangers to West Point. Films like "Third Shift" and "Genrevolt" were shot in our downtown streets and businesses over the last couple of years.
After receiving a grant from the Mississippi Film and Video Alliance, Payne and his crew are ready to take the step from the shorter 15-30 minute films of the past to this feature-length project.
Part of that crew will be West Point's Michael Williams who will once again serve as Director of Photography. Williams runs the Commerce Street business Shendopen Productions, and he has worked with Payne on numerous projects. Williams will be producing his own film after the new year, OzLand.
The budget will be bigger, and the movie will be longer, but Payne says that there is no place he would rather film than West Point.
"The town is so supportive," Payne said on Tuesday morning. "That's not something you always get. The people are so great to us, and we always knew we could find what we needed there."
Payne's thriller "Third Shift" was filmed inside of the Main Street restaurant The Twisted Burger Company, and it was premiered with two other films at the Ritz Theater earlier in the fall.
West Point residents could also recognize much of the setting from the lighthearted "Genrevolt" that premiered the same night. Films like those were shot in a short amount of time, and they were done on relatively small budgets, no more than $300 according to Payne.
"Earthrise" is going to take longer to film, and it will naturally require a larger budget to get the job done.
"With the shorter films, it was easier for the crew to take off a couple of days to get it done," Payne said. "This film will take a couple of weeks, and it's harder for people to take off work and volunteer because they still have their own bills to pay."
The film's website estimates it will need to raise around $14,800 within the next five weeks. The largest part of the budget is $6,100 to pay the cast and crew.
Another $3,000 will go toward space rental and utilities. $2,000 is needed for set design, and $1,550 will be needed to cover food costs over the estimated two-week filming period. The site estimates the film will need $800 for animation, $400 for miscellaneous expenses, $300 for the spacecraft model and additional props and $350 for the musical score.
"This list shows where the money will go," Payne said. "This way people don't just give us money and hope for the best. This shows how we are going to use it."
Before the age of digital technology, West Point played host to a few movie crews, but it was harder to get funding for mass production of videos in those days. New technology not only allows filmmakers like Payne to shoot more quality works on smaller budgets, but it will be guaranteed to reach a larger audience.
"We are able to make films and get them out to the masses," Payne said. "We are also able to do nice projects for very little money."
After doing several movies in town, Payne feels confident that whatever resources he needs, he will find in West Point thanks to support from individuals like Williams, David Hodges and Monte Brasfield with the West Point Arts Council.
Payne is also counting on financial support from locals, who can give anything from $1 to $2,500.
Anyone interested in donating or just seeing what "Earthrise" is all about can visit the movie's website at http://www.indiegogo.com/earthrise .