Small NE Missouri town part of new movie

EDINA, Mo. (AP) — Too bad tiny Edina, Mo., doesn’t have a movie theater, because the town itself is about to make it to the big screen.

The remote northeast Missouri community of 1,200 residents offers the sort of rural remoteness that brought independent film director Chris Grega to the town square to shoot scenes for his suspense horror film, “Sound of Nothing.” The film’s premiere will be July 18 at the Tivoli Theatre in St. Louis as part of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.

Grega told the Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig (http://bit.ly/12os5yL) that he needed a location to portray what he described as a certain vacancy but in a once-flourishing community. He describes the movie as a post-apocalyptic father-daughter story.

“This town, it’s not abandoned, but it’s not as thriving as it once was,” Grega said. “It really lent itself to the nature of the story.”

The film is set in a period six years after the apocalypse. A father and daughter have hidden from creatures and militant survivors on a secluded farm. The seclusion ends when a stranger forces them to confront the dangers of their new reality.

Edina Mayor David Strickler Jr. agreed that the small Knox County seat fit the need for a town with a notable population decline. Knox County’s population peaked in the 1890s at about 13,500. Today, fewer than 4,200 people live in the county.

“That’s not only true of Edina,” Strickler said. “That’s true of every small town that’s not on a four-lane highway in the Midwest.”

Grega shot for two days in Edina in March 2012. Strickler allowed use of City Hall as a dressing room. More than a dozen Truman State University students were transformed into zombie extras who haunted the town streets.

Residents who see the film will recognize downtown Edina as the film’s hero encounters zombies in an alley midway through the film.

The entire film took 32 days to shoot. Most of it was shot in the St. Louis area. Grega had never visited Edina before; a friend of an acquaintance grew up there and recommended it.

Grega said arranging the shoot was simple.

“In the Midwest, it’s a lot easier than shooting on either coast,” Grega said. “You don’t need a permit for every place, and people are just excited.”

Strickler confessed to having little interest in zombies. Still, he hopes to see the film eventually.

“This has made zombies a lot more interesting to me,” the mayor said. “But I doubt it will come to Edina since we don’t have a theater for it.”

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