Photo by Matthew Mahon
A feature-length film – The Substitution – will start production in North Platte on Sept. 12, Director Bob Byington told the Bulletin.The movie will be about a substitute high school teacher who is having a bad day, Byington said.
This report was first published Aug. 29 on the Bulletin's website and print paper. For updated information, including a look at fliming in the Lincoln County jail, see the Bulletin's Sept. 20 print edition. Print subscriptions are just $35 a year in Lincoln County.
Filming will take place through Sept. 30, shot entirely in North Platte.
Byington scouted North Platte as a location two months ago and liked what he saw. He is looking for extra actors as he prepares for the shoot.
Byington has 16 films to his credit. He grew up in Lincoln and is excited to be filming in North Platte.
“We needed a small town for the story,” he said. “I’ve made five films in Austin and I’ve been ready to make a movie in Nebraska for awhile now. I scouted North Platte in June and it was great. People have been very helpful.”
The male lead will be portrayed by Keith Poulson, 34, who has impressive credentials. He was named the best performer in any 2016 film by New Yorker magazine, ahead of Tom Hanks in Sully.
Poulson starred in the 2016 dark comedy, Little Sister, about two sibling young adults who return home – he from the war and she from the convent. Little Sister was picked as the best movie of the year by the New Yorker.
Byington has not yet decided if the setting of The Substitution will be specifically North Platte, or a generic small town.
He said he looks at Nebraska with the perspectives of both an insider and an outsider, which makes this project exciting for him.
The script was written by Scott King.
When complete, the film will be shown at festivals and eventually on Netflix or Amazon, Byington said.
North Platte Chamber of Commerce Director Gary Person said it’s good that the filmmaker is looking for local talent, and this exposure and experience will be good for film prospects in the future.
“Any community exposure is a good thing,” Person said. “It will potentially reap additional benefits down the road. Any time it can be proven to be done here, it will lead to future experiences. We’ve had excellent cooperation – law enforcement is fully supportive of the efforts.”