Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

Film company could bring Hollywood to Fairfield

By NICOLE HESTER-WILLIAMS | Aug 15, 2014

Award winning screenwriter and director Scott Thompson, who wrote and directed two local movies including “Sister Patchouli” in 2008, may decide to set-up shop in Fairfield.

Thompson, owner of My Town Pictures, said he’ll make a decision soon about where to establish a home base for the company. Thompson said he intends to cast local talent alongside that of celebrities, such as Melissa Gilbert, known for her role as Laura on “Little House on the Prarie” and Paul Sorvino, who played Paulie Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film, “Goodfellas.”

My Town Productions has never been housed in a brick-and-mortar location. However, Thompson said that the company is seeing growth and would benefit from a permanent site.

“We just need a physical hub,” Thompson said, “There’s a lot we would like to do to grow the film industry from the inside out.”

Thompson has received various awards including recognition from the Iowa Motion Picture Association. He said his focus continues to be in the Midwest, but especially in Iowa.

“There’s a belief out there that only good movies come from Hollywood or New York,” he said. “They come from anywhere now. If you have those elements to produce them, there’s no reason why you can’t do it anywhere else.”

HBO has proven that a small medium can actually be better for actors who have good roles, than those in movies.”

In the past, My Town Pictures made smaller budgeted films, but its scope has changed, broadening to produce fully-professional larger-budgeted films where regional talent work alongside more well-known actors.

“We pride ourselves in giving people a chance,” Thompson said. “We have found some very talented people. Some of them are in a movie on Netflix.”

Emily Schweitz Martlin, who was raised in Fairfield, has performed in various roles such as NBC’s hit medical drama “E.R.,” FX’s “Starved” and TNT’s “Raising the Bar.” Martlin plays the lead role in Thompson’s Netflix movie, “Molly’s Girl,” where she plays Mercedes, an attorney and gay marriage activist.

Martlin currently lives in Fairfield and is the daughter of actress Elaine Bankston, who performed and directed locally for years.

“People understand good story-telling,” Thompson said. “The day has passed where it has to come from Hollywood.”

He added that he’s looking at several different places, but Fairfield offers a unique opportunity due to its talent pool, as well as David Lynch’s Film program at Maharishi University of Management and the fact that many of Fairfield’s residents are accustomed to seeing celebrities from time to time help Fairfield’s chances.

“People who are really interested in film and television don’t really have a lot of places to go,” Thompson said. “That’s one of the things that will help us make a decision. How much is the entertainment embedded in the town.”

Jay Mattsson, casting director with Hedquist Productions said that if My Town Pictures decided to move to Fairfield, it would offer more opportunities for local talent.

“Most of the voiceover actors we use are in other cities, but there are over 130 Fairfield-based actors who would have great opportunities to work with experienced Hollywood actors if Fairfield became a production hub for My Town Pictures,” Mattsson said.

“Many former Fairfield actors have been pulled away to New York City and LA, so it would be nice if there were lots of acting opportunities for them with My Town Pictures right here in Fairfield.”

Mattsson added that Hedquist Productions would also benefit from having experienced actors living within a 20-mile radius of its studio.

Mattsson worked with Thompson on the production of “Sister Patchouli.”

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy said he also approves of Thomas’s company planting its roots here.

“There are several communities that they are considering but they recognize that Fairfield is uniquely positioned to provide a good hub for film production,” Mayor Malloy said.

“We welcome opening a dialog with Scott and My Town Pictures and we will see what it is that they are trying to develop here and assist them in anyway we can.”

For more information, visit www. mytownpictures.com.

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