In 2015, Andre and Lucrisa Hillard brought their film production company to the Killeen area when Andre Hillard was assigned to Fort Hood.
Hillard is currently a staff sergeant, with 12 years in the Reserves and the past 10 on active duty.
With their film company, Cinemahill Productions, they are looking to shoot their first film in the area and will host a casting call next month.
“We’re trying to get the Texas Film Commission and people to realize Killeen does have talent here,” Andre Hillard said.
The Hillards previously had a photography company in Georgia, known as Hillabarnd, that focused on entertainment photography of actors and singers.
As Andre Hillard worked toward his master’s degree in entertainment business, he completed internships at a radio station and television station in Georgia from 2008 to 2013.
“With that master’s degree, I’ve learned all of the steps to implement the things that we’re doing today — getting a business plan and being a producer and how to do contracts to get us to where we need to be,” he said.
The transition to film started in 2013.
They soon became active with the Southeast Region Film Society in Georgia.
When Hillard became stationed at Fort Hood, the couple started their film company in January of 2015 and joined the Austin Film Society.
“We started realizing nothing was going on Killeen, and decided to get things started locally, which brought us to the point of where we are today,” he said.
Hillard spent about three years writing “1040 Not so EZ.” The inspiration comes from when he helped veterans and soldiers at an on-post tax center.
“The process was very interesting to me,” he said. “So I took a bit of it and a twist on it and added some other stories and things that I came across in my career of being in the military and put a bunch of stories and made it kind of urbanized.”
It is touted as a “satire focusing on the experience of four lovedones and friends, as the attempt to outsmart the public to strike it rich … until receiving vengeance.”
A casting call will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 20 at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Height Public Library at 400 Indian Trail.
They’ve made negotiations for a film crew to come from Houston and have applied with the Screen Actors Guild for the seven main roles in the film because they will work on a 12-day budget.
“We have to have those seasoned actors to be able to knock the script out because we’re on that time crunch,” Hillard said. However, there’s an additional 22 speaking roles and roles for extras, he said.
“That’s where we’re building up that file of having those types of individuals who we can call upon,” Hillard said. “We’re hoping that the people of Killeen, Lampasas, Temple and in the closer vicinity come out.”
Future film plans
They intend to film everything locally and present the film at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.
As they shoot Part 1 of the film, Hillard said he is currently writing Part 2.
The goal would be to shoot a production each year, he said.
The long-term goal is to start a campaign called “Killeen to big screen,” in which they work with local colleges, the Texas Film Commission, and SCORE — a small business mentorship association that helped the Hillards during the past year — to bring Killeen to a “film-friendly status,” Hillard said.
“Film friendly is saying that production companies will be able go the Texas Film Commission and have a list of locations and people and companies in the city of Killeen so we can bring that film money here to Killeen,” he said.
For character biographies for the March 20 casting call, go to www.cinemahillproductions.com.
Scripts will be provided. Headshots are preferred, though a camera will be available.