After writing six inspirational books, the Rev. Joseph Curry decided his next project would be a film.
“I wanted to make it relevant, that you can turn your dreams into reality, that you can do it,” he said “My wife said young people today are a ‘sight and sound’ generation. My purpose is to encourage.”
Thus, “Locker Room” was born. The movie, which he wrote and is directing, is currently in production. The planned release date is Aug. 17, 2018.
Curry, who lives in O’Fallon, wanted to also address loss, change, bullying and atheism.
He decided to focus on a young basketball player who loses his father, and then loses interest in basketball, and has trouble adapting to a new life and new school. He becomes a very rebellious teen.
“I got the idea when I was driving to pick up my daughter from school. I started the script in 2015, and it grew from there,” he said.
He thinks the message is universal.
“It’s about changing your attitude from anger to helpful,” he said. “It’s a great message.”
Curry auditioned people in the area, and the large cast — more than 25 characters — has bonded well.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “It’s very encouraging. I’ve gotten really good feedback, about how powerful it is.”
The film has also become a family project. His wife, Shamika, is assistant first director, and a son and daughter are in the cast.
One thing he has learned, as a novice, is patience. “A lot of patience,” he said, laughing.
Things don’t always go as planned, and then there are such outside factors as the weather.
“We’re halfway done,” he said.
They have shot scenes in local parks and interior locations.
“In November, we had nice weather, and got great shots, but we have more to do. My cast is great. They say, ‘We don’t care about the cold.’ They have wowed me,” he said.
The project fits in with his ministry and mentorship. He is the pastor of World Harvest Faith Church, which was recently located in Fairview Heights, but now they are moving to Belleville, he said.
Curry grew up in East St. Louis and is a graduate of Lincoln High School. He moved away to Jacksonville, Florida, for a time, but returned to the area.
“I definitely want to do more film,” he said.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a Facebook page, and a film website is currently under construction. His church website is www.worldharvestfaith.org.