Locals Cast in Sci-Fi Film ‘The Shift’

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Luverne native Michael Wyrosdick, owner of Extras Casting Birmingham, recently cast two locals for the movie “The Shift,” a contemporary sci-fi drama filmed in Birmingham and Bessemer. 

The movie, inspired by the biblical story of Job, was influenced by films like “Inception,” “Interstellar,” and “Gattaca” and was produced through the crowd-sourced production company Angel Studios, known for its production of “The Chosen.”. The film was written and directed by Brock Heasley and is set for worldwide release in January 2024. 

Wyrosdick auditioned hundreds of hopefuls and chose Luverne natives Marika Thompson Searight and Presley Bowlan to join the cast. 

Presley Bowlan, the daughter of Samuel and Kamelia Bowlan, answered a casting call for a 5- to 6-year-old female, with dark hair, who could look as young as 4. Wyrosdick, who sought for a child with distinctive cheekbones similar to the mother character, Liz Tabish, said  Presley’s photos revealed she can easily and adeptly express various emotions through her facial expressions. 

“I searched for weeks and went through hundreds of child actors looking for the right person,” Wyrosdick said. “Once I saw the pictures Presley’s mother sent me, it was an immediate ‘yes’ and I booked her right away. Presley is a star in the making. She came to the movie set and owned it and I’m glad Kamelia enjoyed taking part as an extra in the movie as well.”

Presley plays a pivotal role as the daughter of the main characters, Kevin and Molly. According to Kamelia, this was an invaluable learning experience, one that granted Presley firsthand experience within the movie’s powerful Christian message and provided both Presley and Kamelia the opportunity to meet and interact with other people of faith while hearing a wide variety of enthusiastically shared testimonies. 

“The Shift being a faith-based film helped us confirm the decision to allow Presley to take this opportunity,” Kamelia Bowlan said. ‘Being on set with people who weren’t afraid to speak about Jesus, God, and their own personal experiences, was one of the best things to ever happen.” 

Presley Bowlan played multiple versions of a little girl and is pictured here with award-winning filmmaker and first-time director Brock Heasley.


Searight said she always knew that she wanted to be an actress. So, when she received notification about an extras casting call, she applied for the opportunity without hesitation and was soon accepted to be a part of the production.

“I remember telling one of my high school teachers that I was going to be an actress,” Searight said. “The rush that I got being on set was everything I ever dreamed of and although I know it is not as easy as it looks, this is my calling. I plan on taking acting classes, and I’m so thankful to be a part of this incredibly touching film. I can’t wait to see what other doors it opens for me.”

Marika Thompson Searight played a homeless woman, business woman, and restaurant patron in the multiverse movie “The Shift”.

Wyrosdick described the process as more than finding the right actors for the right roles. Doors have been opened for him and he tries to pass along blessings when he can. 

“My main goal is to create a positive and memorable experience for each one of my background actors,” Wyrosdick said. “I’ve known [Marika] since I was a child and we both grew up in Luverne. So, it was only natural for me to bring her on. A door was opened for me, and I like to pay it forward when I can and I’m looking forward to having even more Crenshaw County locals in future films.”