Corsicana becomes popular spot for movie filming

A small Texas town has become popular a popular set for movies among Hollywood directors.

Three films have been shot in Corsicana in the past year, and a fourth will begin filming soon.

One of the main reasons that Corsicana is so popular in the movie industry is its Chief of Police, Robert Johnson, who doubles as an actor and producer.

Johnson arrived late to the movie industry. The Fairfield native spent 20 years as police chief for Methodist Hospital System in Dallas, before becoming chief in Corsicana last July. Johnson's movie career started in 2010, when he auditioned for a movie part. Johnson's audition was unsuccessful, but it led to other roles.

"I play strong characters, strong military, police, cowboys, those type of characters," Johnson said.

Johnson, or Bobby J as he's known in Hollywood, has appeared in 75 movies, commercials and print ads.

Los Angeles director/producer Will Wallace first cast Johnson in a movie called Red Wing.

"Bobby came in and was such a wonderful personality that I had to cast him and we became fast friends," Wallace said.

Wallace says that Johnson's experience in police makes the acting job easier for him.

"He comes with a great deal of real life experience with police work," Wallace said. "He doesn't need to act. He just needs to be Bobby and it's wonderful."

A horror comedy called FAZ has been filming in Corsicana in June. Professionals involved with FAZ have expressed their enjoyment of filming in Corsicana.

"We kind of tore the town upside down and threw zombies everywhere and car wrecks and kind of took over for a while. But everybody was so great," actress Kristen Renton said.

What makes Corsicana special as a movie set is its versatility.

"Corsicana has this beautiful downtown area that can pass for upstate New York, it can pass as Colorado mountains. Depends on how you art direct it," Johnson said. "I mean, we have everything. We have lakes, we have fields, we have cattle."

Being a set for movies also offers benefits for Corsicana.

"It brings money into our local economy. Last year we brought in almost half a million," Johnson said.

Don't expect "Hollycana" to slow down any time soon. Two more directors have committed to filming in Corsicana, one in September and one as early as November.

"If I get the chance to do another film here I'll be back in a heartbeat," FAZ director George Bennett said.