Advertisement

The Secret's Out: Locally Shot Film Leads to More in Future

Bookmark this
September 25, 2020 By Jocelyn Murphy

SkipStone Pictures out of California began its relationship with Northwest Arkansas when the production team chose this corner of the Natural State for production on the family-friendly film "F.R.E.D.I." The community was so supportive of the project and of the studio, the decision was an easy one when it came time to choose the location of the studio's next project.

"Max Winslow and the House of Secrets" was filmed in and around Bentonville last year and is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as a few streaming services, following a successful theatrical run and tour of the festival circuit -- successful in the age of a pandemic, anyway.

Despite many theaters during the film's release only hovering around 30% capacity due to the virus, "Max" still received impressive support, reveals Johnny Remo, the film's producer and owner and CEO of SkipStone Pictures.

According to a recent conversation he had with the manager of Bentonville's Skylight Cinema, when "Max" was still showing there in early September, it was outperforming new releases "Bill & Ted Face the Music" and Marvel Entertainment's "The New Mutants."

"That just shows you that when people know something was shot here, they really come out in droves to support that," Remo says.

But, of course, it wasn't just the positive reception to the finished films that bolstered him. Remo has been awed by the outpouring of community backing and aid during the production processes that made the films possible.

Local restaurants provided food; Sam's Furniture supplied pieces for the set; McLarty Daniel loaned vehicles during production; Visit Bentonville's Kalene Griffith assisted with the permit process to aid relations with police and fire and the logistical details surrounding access. Remo has even met with Gov. Asa Hutchinson multiple times to discuss the film industry's benefit to the state as a whole.

All these pieces would be nearly impossible in his home state of California, much less so eagerly provided, Remo says. That, ultimately, is why he brought his whole production company to Bentonville.

"I wanted to show the community how thankful and grateful I am for what they do, and I thought the best way of doing that was to move here and become a part of the community, not just personally, but in business," Remo reflects. "I am now a business owner in Northwest Arkansas. So they are supporting a local business instead of supporting business that's from out of state. I wanted to show them that since they accepted me into their community that I wanted to become part of the community."

And he's wasted no time in securing opportunities for the local infrastructure to get to work. In spite of the shutdown of projects across the industry, people are ready to -- cautiously, safely -- get back to work, Remo says. And SkipStone Pictures has three projects, with rigorous safety measures in place, coming down the pike.

Barring any other major complications, the first begins filming next month and will bring an A-list actress to Bentonville for the production. The second will commence in January, and the third, a live-animation project Remo is both producing and directing, gets under way early next year.

"I still have to bring a certain percentage of crew people in because they're just not here yet, but it's getting better. They're getting more experience, and they're getting to move from one position to another," Remo says. "I'm hoping within the next year or two, we don't have to bring anybody in, which would be great."

SkipStone's commitment to the community is cemented, Remo says.

"Couldn't do it" in California, he asserts. "Wouldn't want to do it, but just couldn't do it. We're here to stay and we're here to make good, clean family entertainment."

 

Go Online!

‘Max Winslow and the House of Secrets’ is available on Blu-ray and DVD at Walmart, streaming on Amazon, and soon coming to more streaming services. Visit maxwinslowmovie.com for more information.


Advertisement

Recent Articles

Hunt family donates $5 million to Fayetteville Public Library expansion project

Hunt family donates $5 million to Fayetteville Public Library expansion project

in Community News

The largest single donation in the Fayetteville Public Library's history came at an opportune time, its executive director said Tuesday.

October 7, 2020 By Stacy Ryburn

Walmart: Hiring 20,000 for Holidays

Walmart: Hiring 20,000 for Holidays

in Community News

The Bentonville-based retailer said in a news release Tuesday that it made the decision after noting the increase in online shopping over the past six months. Walmart said it expects the trend to continue as people shop for holiday gifts.

September 23, 2020 By Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Walmart to test drones in Northwest Arkansas

Walmart to test drones in Northwest Arkansas

in Community News

The retailer said Monday it will work with drone delivery firm Zipline to deliver select health and wellness products from a Walmart store near its Bentonville headquarters.

September 14, 2020 By Serenah McKay

Stream Hollywood Classics at Home

Stream Hollywood Classics at Home

in Entertainment News

While Hollywood may not be delivering its usual batch of blockbusters in theaters, there are still ways for movie fans to get their fix at home.

September 13, 2020 By Best of Northwest Arkansas

Advertisement

Must Read Articles More News

2019 Best of Northwest Arkansas Winners Magazine

2019 Best of Northwest Arkansas Winners Magazine

in Best of NWA

Check out our 2019 Best of Northwest Arkansas Winners Magazine.

August 6, 2020 By Best of Northwest Arkansas

Travel Smart in a COVID-19 World

Travel Smart in a COVID-19 World

Many Americans’ summer vacation plans have been delayed or canceled due to safety concerns. However, making time for a mental break is important as individuals attempt to manage ongoing stress related to COVID-19.

August 11, 2020 By Best of Northwest Arkansas

Rethink Ingredients to Refresh Family Meals This Fall

Rethink Ingredients to Refresh Family Meals This Fall

If you’re looking to spice up your mealtime routines, especially during those busy school nights, you may find your solution in versatile ingredients that work for a multitude of dishes.

September 11, 2020 By Best of Northwest Arkansas

5 Ways to Save Big on Everyday Essentials

5 Ways to Save Big on Everyday Essentials

With many Americans spending more time at home, they are also using more common household items such as cleaning supplies, pantry items and snacks, among other things.

August 4, 2020 By Best of Northwest Arkansas