FOREST CITY - Scott Thompson of My Town Pictures produced four films in Forest City and three in Lake Mills with local talent and now he is hoping to add another film to the list.
The movie producer wants to follow the same formula as in the past, but with one twist. He wants to bring in national film and television stars.
A meeting for potential investors and others interested in the film was held on Jan. 23 in Forest City
“This would generate more interest and people would say ‘did you hear so and so was in Forest City.’” Thompson said. “People are captivated by celebrities.”
If enough funds are raised, Thompson hopes to bring in actors Daniel Roebuck (Matlock, The Fugitive, Lost, Glee) Gary Kroeger (Saturday Night Live), Eileen Fulton (As the World Turns), Ellen Dolan (As the World Turns) and others for a contemporary comedy/drama called “After Life.”
Local actors would also be featured in the film. The leading character would be Lake Mills graduate Gretchen Skellenger with supporting roles played by Forest City actors Jim Brockhohn and Matt Eastvold.
Casting is ongoing, Thompson said and they are always looking for extras in scenes.
Thompson hopes to start filming in March or April with shooting taking place in areas in and around Lake Mills and Forest City.
An informational meeting about the film, potential investment opportunities and cast and crew requirements was held at the Titonka Savings Bank Community room. Larry Rieffer and Maria Anderson, who appeared in other My Town Pictures productions “Out to Pasture” and “Out to Vegas,” attended the meeting.
“After being in the last two movies you get the bug and are interested in it,” Rieffer said. “I find all aspects of the movie-making process interesting.”
Anderson enjoyed her movie experience with My Town Pictures in the past and wants to help out with the new production.
“Whatever they need I will do what I can,” she said. “Scott is awesome and is very supportive.”
Budget for the film will be roughly $80,000. At the meeting, Thompson said the main focus in the coming weeks will be raising a budget big enough to start shooting.
“The budget is less than a third of what this same film would cost to make in larger areas,” Thompson said. “This feature film provides communities with an opportunity to both promote their town to audiences and the national stars who participate.”
Thompson points to a movie shoot in Tama County as an example of what a production can do for a community.
“They took local ownership in the film,” he said. “It’s an indication of what community movies can do for you.”
During the Forest City meeting, Brockhohn noted that shooting a film in the area contributes money to the local economy. Crews buy materials, eat out at restaurants and shop at local grocery stores.
The film in Tama County had a $200,000 budget and attracted stories by the Waterloo and Des Moines Newspapers, area TV coverage and radio.
If the budget is raised, the movie in Forest City and Lake Mills will follow a story about a cynical young woman named Mara whose father is a television celebrity leading people to believe he can speak to their deceased loved ones. Mara begins using the same methods to mislead a man into thinking she can communicate with his missing wife. It starts a moral dilemma that will change many lives.
An informational meeting was held in Lake Mills the same night as the Forest City meeting.