Photo courtesy Philip Scarborough
Spot On Productions and Crossroads Film Festival co-founder Philip Scarborough, 46, says that though some filmmakers may choose to leave Jackson, he would rather be a big fish in a small pond.
"If I went to Hollywood, I'd be another schmuck trying to make it," he says. "I want to do something meaningful here."
Scarborough moved to Dothan, Ala., from Jackson when he was 3. He started making films at age 11 when his father, engineer Philip Scarborough Sr., started working at the now-closed Sony plant in Dothan.
"Employees could rent equipment," Scarborough says. "He would rent a camera for the weekend. I'd film all the things I wanted to."
Scarborough says he wanted to make films after seeing HBO's "Behind The Scenes: Raiders of the Lost Ark." He would spend the week coming up with ideas and then film on the weekends. One of his early experiments were with Claymation and his character "Mr. Clay." He later became fascinated with visual storytelling.
He attended film school at the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating with a bachelor's degree in film in 1997. After graduation he moved to Jackson, following several of his friends.
In 1999, Scarborough, along with Ed Inman and Anita Modak-Truran, founded Crossroads Film Festival in Jackson after several successful Mississippi Filmmaker Showcases.
Crossroads Film Society has held the event around Jackson, including the Capri Theater in Fondren and UA Parkway Place Stadium 10 in Flowood. For the last few years, the festival has been at Malco Grandview Cinema. "We like having it at theaters," Scarborough says. "We want filmmakers to have a chance to see their films on a real screen with a real audience."
The festival celebrates Mississippi filmmakers and tell stories of the state's heritage, he says.
Scarborough and friend Tom Beck founded Spot On Productions in 2011 and have worked on several commercials and corporate videos for C Spire, documentaries such as "Rudy's Olde Hat," and music videos for local artists, including "MY CITY" by AJC, which won Audience Choice at Crossroads 2017
Commercials pay the bills, he says. "But it's also a way to showcase Mississippi. ... I've always loved Mississippi. It's a unique and diverse place," he adds. "... There's so many stories that haven't been told here. I want to be the one to tell them."