Film Industry Proposal for Harrison County Skate Park
What’s next for the old Harrison County Skate Park? The county is in the process of looking at proposals. With the school board in on the decision, one of the proposals is to make the site a place for education, equipping people with skills they can use in the movie business.
“Southern Fury,” “Precious Cargo,” the beauty of the Gulf Coast is hitting the big screen. Local production company owner Francisco Gonzalez would like to see more local talent roll through the credits. “Our locals are not getting hired in the movies. It’s shame because those producers are getting their incentives by getting people from out of state, getting equipment out of state.”
When the Harrison County Board of Supervisors opened the bid deciding what the old county skate park facility could become, Gonzalez made a proposal. After decades in the film industry and teaching others how to get there, his idea is to make the facility into a place where locals can learn the tricks of the trade. “There’s so many people here ready to go work in the film industry and to be given an opportunity to work in the film industry,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez belongs to Mississippi Gulf Coast Film and Television Professionals, a group of more than a thousand members. He says the goal of helping get qualified workers on films is one many people in the industry stand behind. Local film director Ric Okoniewski said, “This is a perfect place. It’s a great climate, perfect place for the industry to build. Right now, we need more people.”
Gonzalez says he knows this facility has been host to other film companies in the past. He says the last thing he wants to do is be a mirror image of that company and the first thing he wants to do is take lights, camera, action with a plan. “The minute they tell me go, I will have a curriculum of classes people can sign up,” said Gonzalez.
The board of supervisors and the county school board tell News 25 they hope to come to a decision in the next few months. “We can all come together and lend a hand to make a product that is ours, genuinely ours,” said Gonzalez.