Mississippi actor to appear in Tyler Perry film

Published 9:55 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Brookhaven actor Melvin Pittman has appeared in close to 30 films. His work includes Travis Mills’ “Blood Country” (2017); “The System” (2022), with Terrence Howard and Tyrese Gibson; and the 2022 Bruce Willis film “A Day to Die.”

Pittman is also a writer, director and producer, taking his turn behind the camera for three projects since 2020 — “Christmas” in the section titled “A Christmas Arrest;” “Catnado” in “The Catburglar” segment; and “Where’s God?”

The latter is being filmed in Brookhaven, Monticello and Wesson.

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Pittman’s latest filmmaking project is with another Hollywood giant — Tyler Perry.

“I was very excited to be a part of it,” Pittman said of the as-yet-untitled movie.

“He’s using his character Uncle Joe, who is picking up his grandson for college, and they’re getting into different situations,” the actor said. “That’s pretty much all they would tell us.”

When Pittman heard about the Perry opportunity to be filmed in the Mississippi Delta, he submitted his audition, sample reels and a headshot. He was promptly contacted and asked to meet the crew in Clarksdale. That first date had to be rescheduled due to rough winter weather, however, and when they were able to film, snow and ice still covered the ground.

“It was good to see how they do their business, and how they put people in character by facial type, and body size,” Pittman said. “It was interesting how everybody fit.”

The tall, athletic-built man — who works full-time as a maintenance supervisor at King’s Daughters Medical Center, is co-pastor of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Brookhaven, and father to three daughters — spent just two days on the Delta set, including the famous Ground Zero Blues Club. But the time was well-spent, and Pittman enjoyed every bit of it.

“Just to be on set with Tyler Perry, and see how he knew the camera angles off the top of his head, and how he conducted his business … I’m in a scene where the camera is just on me. And he gave me instruction,” Pittman said. “I was just glad I had that opportunity to do that. I enjoyed the whole thing.”

He was scheduled to shoot an additional day in Memphis, but that had to be postponed due to ice and snow, as well.

“We’ll do that later.”

“Once you have been involved in a Tyler Perry production, they keep you in their database, so they can contact you to do other things,” he said. “I’m very thankful to be in that database now.”

Pittman loves the movie-making process, and has some lofty goals for 2024.

“It’s the networking of the producer, the actor, the many different types of people — getting to know them more, and just to be out there and see how movies come about,” he said. “And it gives you ideas about how you want your movie to be. I love the experience of being on set with different characters that bring the movie alive.”

His goal is to have a total of 50 films in the can by the end of the year. His production company, Team 3Cs Productions, is working to get 10 completed. He wants to finish “Where’s God?” especially.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead, writing, filming,” Pittman said.

And he wants to be in front of the camera with other actors on 15 more.

“Since the movie production is coming back to Mississippi now, there are more movies to be involved in, like on the Coast, and in Natchez,” Pittman said.

But films are definitely not the only things on his schedule.

“It seems like I stay busy,” he said. “I still referee basketball, volleyball and football. I do motivational speaking all over Mississippi. I try to make time for my girls, my family, and prioritize everything in my schedule.”

As for anything beyond, he simply says, “Stay tuned.”