In a press conference this morning at Galaxy Furniture in North Little Rock’s Argenta District, Gov. Hutchinson congratulated filmmakers Graham Gordy and Daniel Campbell, as well as Executive Producer Gary Newton on the start-up’s first feature film, “Antiquities,” saying the following:
“When a film or television production is in a community, it benefits everything from the local hotel to the hardware store. For many decades Arkansas has had a significant impact on Hollywood, both through films and television shows shot here and the talented actors, directors and producers that call Arkansas home. We are proud Mortuus Pater Pictures has chosen to locate and create their content here in Arkansas and look forward to the impact this will have on our economy.”
Surrounded floor-to-ceiling by ancient ashtrays, scarved mannequins, vintage lampshades, cameras and ladders, Newton elaborated on his reasons for creating the company with Gordy and Campbell, and his desire to create reasons for talented filmmakers to make their homes and careers here in the state. “We knew if we continued to wait on others to bring production to Arkansas, the state’s industry would remain transient at best and nonexistent at worst,” said Newton. “So, we chose to start-up, retain and expand a homegrown production company to make Arkansas an exporter of created content, instead of an exporter of content creators.” Two-thirds of the cast and three-quarters of the production crew are made up of Arkansans, as well as 18 interns from Southern Arkansas University’s Tech Production program, who are working on the film full-time for a grade.
“Antiquities” is in the final week of an ambitious 22-day production schedule, and stars Andrew J. West (“The Walking Dead”), Ashley Greene (“Twilight” series), Michaela Watkins (“Casual”), Michael Gladis (“Mad Men”), Troy Hogan (“Friday Night Lights”), Ingrid Haas (“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”), as well as a cameo from Arkansas’s own Academy Award-winner, Mary Steenburgen.
“Antiquities” is scheduled to complete post-production in the spring of 2017, and is to be followed immediately by development of another Mortuus Pater Pictures production, not yet named.