The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 17, 2012

Neosho native to star in movie being filmed in Des Moines

JOPLIN, Mo. — "I'll tell you this, movie blood tastes worse than real blood."

Justin "Dane" Fletcher got more than a sample of movie blood a couple of weeks ago. Dressed in his role as Howard in a movie called "Murder Incorporated," he played a hit man who leads a murder-for-hire business and faces off against an enemy.

While shooting scenes for a teaser for the movie, he and others tried to portray themselves as hot and sweaty in December air. He wore makeup that showed he had just been in a rough fight, complete with bruises, swollen parts of his face and plenty of blood. He got a mouthful of the fake stuff.

"It's kind of sweet and thick, because your spit thins it out," Fletcher said. "It tastes like sweet plastic syrup. It is not good."

It's less painful than tasting real blood, however, and Fletcher knows that firsthand. He got his fill of his own blood after a career as a mixed martial arts fighter. Career detours led him to stand-up comedy, modeling and now movies.

Fletcher, a graduate of Neosho High School, is working in the starring role of the movie being shot in Iowa. Set to begin filming next year, producers already have a line on getting the movie in the legendary Cannes Film Festival.

Making Cannes, the most world-renowned film festival, isn't official yet. Held in May each year, the 2013 festival will happen two months after Fletcher and the rest of the crew start an aggressive four-week filming schedule in March.

But Fletcher said a new governor, with a mission of reviving Iowa's once-strong movie industry, is pushing hard for the picture's success and entry into Cannes. Fletcher said Gov. Terry E. Branstad's involvement should lead to an appearance in 2014.

And buzz is high not just in Des Moines, where the movie is being filmed, but all over the state, he said.

"Everyone is really excited. We have people doing the film for less pay than they would normally command," Fletcher said. "They want to be a part of it. They see something special."

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