'The Girl Who Saved Dan Landis': Instructor screens first film

Apr 13, 2017

PANTHER 2017 mims film screening

Mass Comm instructor Joshua Mims held the film screening April 2 in the GKT auditorium. (Panther photo by Audrey Anchirinah)

Claflin University Department of Mass Communications instructor Joshua Mims did not let the obstacles stop him from pursuing his filmmaking passion.

On April 2, he held a film screening event for his short film, "The Girl who Saved Dan Landis." The event took place at the Grace T. Kennedy auditorium and included a Q&A with the director and some members of the cast.

“This story itself was inspired by the comic book about the boy who collected Spiderman and I loved that story as a kid as a huge comic book fun," Mims said. "So I wanted to do a story of where a kid would hire a detective."

Mims, a graduate of Regent University film school in Virginia, came up with the character Dan Landis when he was working on his final thesis.

“I came up with the character as my graduating thesis; about an author who was harassed by imaginary characters. Everyone seemed to respond well with the character of Dan Landis,” Mims said. “So I stuck with it and in 2011, I released my first book, 'The Five Santas,' and it just snowballed.”

This is his first film since graduating from film school eight years ago.

“As a professor, there was just no time to make films. And it’s so draining and so much work involved,” Mims said.  “The department was very supportive so I decided I needed to do it.”

Though Mims did not win the South Carolina Independent Film grant, he was still determined to go ahead with the project.

Filming took place in November 2016 after casting and finding a film crew. “It’s so difficult because number 1, I am working with professional actors and crew, so I had to work around their schedule,” Mims said.

 “Number 2 was money because any time you talk about filmmaking, budget is the hardest part and having money solves so many problems," Mims said. "I had a fundraiser, did a crowdsource funding. We raised about $1500 and I operated within that budget.”

Mims however had a string of luck when it came to finding locations as South Carolina allows film shoots in public spaces without a permit. “One major challenge was when a location fell through, thankfully we had a backup location,” Mims said.

Mims hopes to be able build projects involving students. “I love making movies. It is where my heart and passion is."

He plans a new project to be shot in Orangeburg.

Members of the crew for Mims' film were:

  • Writer/producer/director Alan M. Brooks. He is a Claflin alum and currently is a production assistant to renowned filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry. He worked as the script supervisor.
  • Actress/singer Tierney Breedlove. She is a Zumba instructor as well as a theater instructor. She played the role of a doctor in the short film.
  • Actress/activist Maryline Robles. A native of Puerto Rico, she is an Army wife as well as a proud mother of four while serving as an actress and activist. She played the role of a shop attendant in the short film.
  • Makeup artist Avis Douglas. She was in charge of makeup for the whole cast.
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