Hollywood Comes to Region 8! - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Forrest City -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Hollywood Comes to Region 8!

July 28, 2004 -- Posted at 4:40 p.m. CDT

FORREST CITY -- You typically think of Hollywood as where movie magic happens.... but that's not always the case. Region 8 is suddenly becoming a hot bed for movie making. Part of a major motion picture is being filmed right here in Region 8.

They're turning back the clock in Forrest City.

"They're busy here today, as you can see changing this motel around to make it look as if it is in the 60's time period. Which they don't have to do a whole lot," said Bobby May of the Forrest City Chamber of Commerce.

The motel is going to be a small part of the set in the movie "Walking the Line," a film about the life of Johnny Cash.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash. The project is expected to cost $28 million dollars and officials in Forrest City say they're just happy to be a part of it.

"It's helping the economy. When you have this many people working here obviously money is being spent here, and the movie industry is a terrific industry for our community," said May.

The cameras started rolling at 6p.m. Wednesday evening and won't stop until 5 a.m. Thursday morning. The crew plans to shoot every night for the next three days.  And what's a movie without special effects?  Fake limbs will be blown off of a tree with controlled explosives in order to recreate a scene when Cash actually blew up a tree.

"The scene that they're going to be shooting here is a scene where Johnny and June come to town in their bus and they're staying here at this motel," said May, gesturing to the set.

But why choose to make a movie in Forrest City?

Joe Glass of the Arkansas Film Office says we can expect to see more movies shot in the Natural State.  "It's good for a variety of locations. I think that's the big thing there is. There is a tremendous variety of things you can shoot in Arkansas," said Glass.

And don't think that Forrest City isn't turning on the southern charm....

"We are actively pursuing the movie industry for our area," said May.

"If they remember you and think you were great, they'll come back," said Glass.

But for now, Forrest City is just happy to see its name when the credits roll.

"If you look close at the end of the movie it will state, it will give all the credits for locations, locals and what have you. We'll have Forrest City, Arkansas right there in the credit," laughed May.

K8 news learned today that Paramount Pictures will be in the area soon filming a Cameron Crowe project, produced by Tom Cruise and starring Orlando Bloom.

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