Filming for multi-media exhibits now underway

Principal photography is now underway for a series of exhibits that will be in the new visitors center now under construction north of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

“Filming has actually been going very well,” said Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond, who has been assisting researcher Steve Harding in securing local locations. Initial filming began over the weekend and is expected to wrap Wednesday.

Said Raymond: “We’ve filmed on the beach, on a golf course, on Back Bay at the Lighthouse fishing docks, at St, Michael’s Church, on the beach in west Biloxi, at the Schooner restaurant, at Beauvoir and around downtown.”

Besides the local scenery, the footage features architectural historian Gregory Free.

“The exhibits are going to tell the story of Biloxi and the Gulf Coast, so we’re looking to get a wide array of images from community events from decades ago,” said Mayor A.J. Holloway. “We’re expecting to use thousands of images — photographs and video — in multi-media presentations, and this is something that everyone should be a part of.”

Steve Harding Design, an award-winning museum design firm based in Houston, has been hired by the city to create nine exhibits and a documentary to tell the story of Biloxi and the Gulf Coast, the people who have transformed the area over the years, and vignettes about their ways of life. The exhibits will be displayed in different areas of the first floor of the center while a theater on the second level will show a seven- to eight-minute documentary.

The exhibits themselves — resarch and construction — are expected to cost as much as a million dollars. The overall visitors center, which has 25,000 square feet and two stories, is a $14 million endeavor being funded by the Mississippi Development Authority and the city.

The center, officially called Lighthouse Park and Visitors Center, is expected to be completed in Spring 2011. It will also house the Biloxi and Biloxi Bay chambers of commerce.

“This visitors center is going to bear a striking resemblance to the Dantzler House, which had stood on that very property,” Holloway said, “but the thing that will set this building apart is what’s going to be inside. It’s going to be more than a visitors center. It’s going to be an educational experience for locals and visitors alike. It’s going to be about our colorful past and our promising future, and it’s going to be first class.”

More online

—To see photos from the filming that took place today, click here.

—To see the quality of the documentaries that the Steve Harding Design Group will create for the visitors center Biloxi, see a seven-minute documentary that the team created for Rice University by clicking here.

—To see some of the firm’s other work, click here.

—To see background on the exhibits planned for the visitors center in Biloxi, click here. (File size is 7 MB.)

—To see an artist’s rendering of the visitors center and to see early construction photos, click here.