Chris Lognion films lead protagonist, director and writer Jace Douglas Johnson and co-star Meghan Penn Sunday at the Lake Charles Civic Center seawall. The scene is for Johnson's latest movie ''Charles Claiborne: Sojourn in Lake Charles.'' Penn, who plays Olivia — the film’s love interest — is from Ville Platte. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Marine Division Sgt. Ron Johnson instructs lead protagonist, director and writer Jace Douglas Johnson on Sunday before filming on Johnson's latest movie ''Charles Claiborne: Sojourn in Lake Charles.'' (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:23 PM
Three gunshots were fired at 3:53 p.m. Sunday at Luna Bar and Grill — part of a scene for a movie in which an international fugitive is being chased by hired assassins.
“Charles Claiborne: Sojourn in Lake Charles” has been filming at various locations in Lake Charles for the past three days. Production on Jace Douglas Johnson’s latest film continued Sunday with a love scene at the Lake Charles seawall and later moved downtown to Luna, which served as a set for a restaurant scene.
Johnson plays lead protagonist Charles Claiborne, and he is also the director and writer of the movie. Prior to this movie, he filmed “Little Chenier: A Cajun Story” in Lake Charles. Many of his extras are from the Lake Area and those in lead roles live in Louisiana.
“I found myself being in Los Angeles wanting nothing but to be back in Louisiana — all the things I really enjoy are here,” Johnson said on set Sunday. “After 19 years of being there, I decided that I would start making movies here.”
He said the local landscape provides the necessary backdrop for the film, with everything from swamp terrain to a city feel.
“We can get an urban setting downtown,” Johnson said. “Southwest Louisiana has everything we need. We can even cheat jungle shots in Allen Parish, as well as a variety of other possibilities.”
Johnson said his expectations for the film are a theatrical release just as his last film did.
Meghan Penn, who plays Olivia — the film’s love interest — is from Ville Platte.
Penn, a nursing student at McNeese State University, said this is her first film. Dressed in a Luna waitress outfit, 20-year-old Penn worked on her nursing homework between takes.
She said she heard about the casting call through Facebook and decided to give it a try.
“This is the first time I’ve tried something like this,” Penn said. “It has been fun and exciting so far.”
Penn said she has a Cajun accent to go along with the backdrop.
Brandon Cordon, who plays an assassin in the film, is from Virginia Beach but is making a living as an actor in Baton Rouge and also works for Google.
Cordon said tax incentives have really played a major role in cultivating the film industry in Louisiana.
“The script is phenomenal,” Cordon said. “I’ve read a lot of scripts and I also produce films, so when I got it I knew this not only has potential but its a great investment. Should be easy to find funding. The story line is really good.”
The movie will be made in three parts, which will be shot at different times. Johnson has said the film sequences will be used to create teasers to generate interest and capital for the film to finish shooting in the spring.