Drama, family and superpowers. Those are the ingredients of a new movie filmed in York County.
Crowders Creek Elementary student Lauren Haag, 10, of Clover stars in the upcoming movie “A Small Problem.” It’s her first time acting.
“It was pretty fun. I got to meet a lot of nice people,” she said. “I like the character. She is a girl who finds a crystal that has magical powers with it. She tries to help people with it.”
Tabitha McCleod of Rock Hill, executive producer and creator of the independent film, said she discovered Haag in a karate class.
“Lauren was very spunky,” McCleod said. “When I tell you she can take those boys down, she takes them down.”
Haag has practiced karate for three years and has won numerous competitions and state championships, said her mother Angela Haag.
“She is the main focus of this whole movie,” McCleod said.
The synopsis posted to the film’s Facebook page reads:
“K.C. is a ten-year-old white girl that has been taking karate since she was 5 years old. Her parents are tragically ripped away from her in a fatal car accident. She is sent to live with her African American godparents that she adores. Her maternal grandparents are prejudice and try using their wealth and influence to fight for their granddaughter, K.C. When that is not possible they use other tactics to get custody of her. Meanwhile, K.C. finds a crystal that gives her powers. As she is learning to use her newfound powers, her godmother is killed in a home invasion. Never one to give up, K.C. uses her karate abilities with her new power to go after her godmother’s killers.”
“A Small Problem” explores how biases form, McCleod said.
“I wanted to show how racism was born,” she said. “It comes from somewhere.”
McCleod said the movie’s main message is about love.
“It addresses racism but the whole movie is not about racism,” she said. “It’s about love, family, protection, superpowers. I think people will take away what they want to take away from it.”
The movie is set in Clover, McCleod said. Scenes were filmed in Clover, Rock Hill and other areas of York County.
The film’s crew in April were spotted filming scenes on Rock Hill’s Main Street. Perfect Images Entertainment Group, which McCleod opened in 2015, is producing the film.
Haag is joined in the film by Alannah Crockett, 10, a fourth-grade student at Northside Elementary School of the Arts in Rock Hill. She plays the role of M.J., K.C.’s godsister. Crockett is McCleod’s real-life goddaughter.
“Me and her go fight crime and try to stop the people who are trying to kill my family,” Crockett said of the duo’s characters.
Crockett has been acting since she was five, filming and editing videos for her YouTube channel, McCleod said. She hopes to be a producer one day.
“I haven’t posted on it in a long time because I’ve just been so busy,” Crockett said.
Crockett said her friends are excited to see her in a movie.
“Every time I tell them, they are just like ‘oh, you’re in a movie’ and they’re like ‘you’re a star, oh my God, what is the movie called?” she said. “I just get those questions asked every day and I told them already.”
“A Small Problem” highlights the importance of family, said Marquise Byrd of Charlotte, N.C., who plays K.C.’s godfather, Kevin.
“(The movie) addresses real-life situations that a lot of people are afraid to talk about,” Byrd said. But, he said, “it’s not just about racism. It’s about love.
“Kevin is a great father. He does what I would hope that any man with a family would do,” Byrd said.
Melody Reid, also of Charlotte, plays K.C.’s godmother Katrina.
“My best friend dies and I take care of her daughter,” Reid said of Katrina.
She said Katrina’s death is the catalyst for K.C.’s powers.
“It kind of jump starts her powers,” Reid said.
McCleod said K.C. is able to freeze and levitate people.
Reid said the movie has drama and superhero special effects.
“There’s action in it. It also has a good message in it. It’s local. We’re doing something in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which gives us a lot of pride,” Reid said. “This movie is going to be awesome.”
McCleod is planning a premiere event when the movie is released, expected in June 2020. McCleod said the hope is to distribute the film to theaters nationally.