Nightmares At The Mill, LLC & Forever Young Productions


INDEPENDENT TRIBUNE  - Catori Swann is getting used to creepy-crawly things while co-starring in his first feature film, “The Mill.”

The Catawba College student auditioned for the movie - currently being filmed in Salisbury and Landis  in November.   CONTINUED

“I wasn’t anticipating getting the part, or if I got the part, I didn’t anticipate getting a primary role,” he said. “It took about a week for it to sink in that this is really happening.”

Swann, 24, was part of the crew that filmed Saturday at the tower outside of First Bank on Innes Street. They later filmed in Landis at the old Parkdale Mill 24.

Swann, a senior at Catawba, plays Kyle, a star soccer player and one of eight college students who decide to go to a party at an abandoned mill.

“If you don’t like bugs and critters, I wouldn’t recommend it,” Swann said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a movie quite like this. It’s very unique in its style and plot.”

Producers chose this area to film because the movie’s screenwriter and co-producer, Harry Welch Jr., is from Salisbury.

Executive producer Maxann Crotts-Harvey said “The Mill” has a budget of less than a million dollars.

Producer Ralph Singleton, whose credits include “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Pet Sematary,” “Clear and Present Danger,” said it will be easier than some movies to keep production under budget. About 90 percent of the film is being shot at the mill.

He said he sees even more films being shot in North Carolina because of new incentives. Movie companies can receive a 15 percent return on the money they spend filming in North Carolina.

“To a movie that’s so small (such as “The Mill”) that’s critical,” Singleton said.

And more films will be shot right here in Salisbury and Landis.

Crotts-Harvey said they’ve opened a production office on Main Street in Salisbury and there are plans for two more movies to be filmed in the area.

Singleton said the movie will be perfect for the horror crowd.

“It’s not a typical slasher movie per se, it’s more of a who done it,” he said. “There’s nobody running around with a bloody knife.”

For Swann, this is his chance to learn more about the movie making business and acting.

Born in Colorado, he’s moved around a lot because of his parents, but got bit by the acting bug when he was 12 years old in Hickory. He got the role of Aladdin in a children’s stage production.

“I fell in love with it and have been doing stage work ever since,” he said.

Which is what brought him to Salisbury, where he now lives, to participate in Catawba’s theater program.

“The Mill” has been a crash course in movie-making for him, with the crew planning on wrapping their filming in 11 days.

“It’s going to be tricky,” he said. “We’re going to be working our tails off with some really late nights until 4 or 5 in the morning.”

There’s also the challenge of learning lines.

“The stressful part is the constant changes in the script because we’re rewriting the script as we go,” Swann said.

He said it will be worth it, especially when he gets to see the finished product.

“It would blow me away, it would make my year,” he said. “Because I’ve never before been able to see myself on screen.”

Plus, he has the benefit of working with actor Grainger Hines, who is directing the film.

Hines has played Chief James Burton in episodes of “CSI: Miami,” and played guest roles on “The Fall Guy,” “Simon & Simon,” “A-Team,” and others. He also wrote, produced, directed and acted in the 1994 film “The Outsider.”

Swann said he sees the benefit of working with Hines.

“He’s one of the highlights of working on this film,” Swann said. “Primarily he’s an actor and he knows how to direct actors.”

Hines smiled when he learned about the compliment the young actor payed him.

“I know what it’s like to be treated as an actor,” Hines said. “It’s intimidating for a young guy. I remember the first time I got in front of a camera I was a babbling idiot.”

Crotts-Harvey said they are looking for a distributor for “The Mill,” and hope to have a Halloween release date.

Contact Michael Knox at or 704-789-9144.



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Nightmares At The Mill, LLC & Forever Young Productions