Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane said the state has momentum in its effort to advance movie making projects and to develop the infrastructure needed to support them.
On this week's edition of Talk Business, Crane said the early reviews of “Mud,” written and directed by Little Rock filmmaker Jeff Nichols, has boosted the state's profile in the right circles.
“This [Mud] truly puts us on the map to really have a resurgence of filmmaking in this state,” Crane said.
The movie stars A-list actors Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey. “Mud” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last week and received high critical praise.
Crane touted a new public-private initiative launched last week by the state and business leaders in central and northwest Arkansas. The project includes a web site – ArkansasProduction.com – to host databases of crew talent for film and digital projects as well as location sites for potential production shoots.
If someone does a search on say “an 1845 church,” the new web site shares that search with the film commission office allowing for a dialogue on the project to initiate.
“It gives us the ability to reach out and touch some people that otherwise we might not have been able to,” said Crane.
He also complimented the rapid growth of the Little Rock Film Festival, which just wrapped its sixth year on Sunday. Crane said the festival had to turn away submissions this year because of capacity and that the national and international appeal of the event helps his cause.
“Every single filmmaker is accessible,” said Crane, who said he had meetings throughout the week with writers and directors interested in Arkansas for future projects.
“The pipeline is very active,” he said “I think we have positioned ourselves to become a filmmaking ground in the United States.”
You can watch his full interview in the link below.