Filming begins for movie in downtown Rock Island

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An old Rock Island, Illinois church is the backdrop for a dramatic feature film about a lawless post-Apocalyptic society. 

“To Survive” is the working title of the film for which shooting began at the downtown Rock Island church in July.

Burt Culver, who plays the main character in the film, spent days walking nearly 200 miles from Gary, Indiana to Davenport, Iowa to get into character for the film.  He walked 25 to 32 miles each day, carrying everything he needed to survive the duration of the trip.  

“The walk, the miles wasn’t bad. That much time just  you and the road in front of you…it’s hard,” Culver said.

Filming began for the movie Sunday, August 5 and is expected to wrap August 20. 

Employees at some downtown businesses were notified that they might hear blank weapons being fired during filming. 

The film’s director, Stephen Folker, is from the Quad Cities.  Folker said the long-empty church at 15th Street and 3rd Avenue, built in the 1860s, was just what he wanted as a set.

“Everything is falling apart, the paint is coming off the wall, the woodwork has been ripped out, there is trash everywhere. It just paints the picture, ‘hey, this place has been empty for a long time.’ It makes the story more believable,” Folker said.