Several streets and businesses in Morganton are once again being transformed into a movie set and being used in the production of a local faith-based feature film by a Burke County native.

The feature-length film by BCM Productions, entitled " Sacred ," has been described as a romantic drama with an undertone of boxing.

Production wise, the film is 70 percent complete, set to be approximately 75-minutes-long and expected to have a summer release, said Director Brigham McNeely.

"Sacred" is a novel film about a young man's battle with love and loss, and his struggle to find peace in a seemingly forsaken world, said information from McNeely.

He not only directs, but is executive producer and one of the lead actors in the production, which started filming almost two weeks ago.

“I wanted to create a film that everyone can relate to,” he said.

There is romance, drama, action and many different Biblical messages infused in the film, which McNeely says believers and non-believers alike can relate to, he said.

“I wanted to create a film that does have Biblical messages, but does not come across preachy to people who may be on the opposing side of that,” McNeely said. “It has a lot of forgiveness and love and this is the type of movie that I know people will go watch and (afterwards) probably pick up their phone and go apologize to somebody that they have done wrong.”

The movie also touches on interracial conflict, which he believes can be relevant in this day and age.

“We are geared towards creating quality dramatic entertainment with a powerful heart - pricking message to further the kingdom of God,” McNeely said of his production company. “I am called to create the films that nobody wants to mess with, I am called to touch the topics that no one wants to touch.

"My last film was about one of the most controversial topics today and that was homosexuality and we executed that with nothing but love.”

He says it has been difficult taking on the responsibilities of director, producer and actor because he wants to be able to bring his character to life as well as run the show and answer any questions that his crew may have.

“Our first day was at Root & Vine (restaurant) and we brought in about 20 extras and shot a few scenes up there,” McNeely said.

Bone Breaker Gym in Morganton was also a big part of the production in helping Brigham complete three months of training in boxing for his character’s part in the film.

“I made a complete physical transformation for this character, so that was exhausting,” he said. “The guys (at Bone Breaker Gym) eat, sleep and breathe boxing and it has been a pleasure being under their training.”

The gym was also one of the locations where parts of the movie were filmed along with Forest Hill Cemetery and Morganton City Hall, McNeely said.

"Sacred" has plans to be released in theaters in more than just Morganton. It is also looking to be available on Netflix, Hulu and other video - on - demand services when production is complete, he said.

McNeely says he has learned many lessons from his time creating the film.

“Even though I planned this film to the tee, things are not always going to get done in our timing (because) it is about God’s timing,” McNeely said. “I just had to step back and look at the big picture and realize that God is in control.”

The production of the movie, so far, would not have been possible if not for all the support from his cast and crew of approximately 50 people, the City of Morganton, Morganton Department of Public Safety and local businesses.

The films stars McNeely, Kristen Danielle, Danny M. Gray, Justin Livingston, Johnathan Perry and Delaney Ortiz.

“It has been such an honor and a privilege to be able to produce a film like this on such a high level and do it locally,” he said.

To keep up to date with the movie production, visit “BCM Productions” on Facebook at http://bit.ly/2k4YA9K.

Staff Writer Jonelle Bobak can be reached at jbobak@morganton.com or828-432-8907.

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