INTERVIEW: "Iron Orchard" movie goes for authentic West Texas
"The Iron Orchard" is a new movie about a West Texas oil tycoon, and the filmmakers wanted to present the region realistically. Producer Camille Scioli Chambers explains how they did it.
WATCH: Interview with "The Iron Orchard" Producer Camille Scioli Chambers
"The Iron Orchard" is a new movie based on the 1966 novel by Tom Pendelton about a West Texas oil tycoon, and the filmmakers wanted to present the region realistically. Producer Camille Scioli Chambers, of Lubbock, says that meant shooting on location in Big Spring among other spots in the area where the story takes place.
"It was about the authenticity," Chambers said.
To further legitimize was was being depicted on screen, Chambers said the production was heavily researched and technical advisers were on set.
The cast is also made up primarily of Texas natives telling the story of Jim McNeely (Lane Garrison), a roughneck circa 1939 who makes a name for himself in the oil industry only to let his ambition cloud his business judgment and his marriage to Lee Montgomery (Ali Cobrin). It's the familiar American story of the perilous pursuit of power and riches.
It was a passion project for Director Ty Roberts, who hails from Midland and whose father was in the oil business. He said it's a story that could only be filmed in West Texas.
The cast and crew were set up in the newly refurbished Hotel Settles during filming, and Chambers said there was ample community support for getting this independent feature off the ground.
"The Iron Orchard" opened in limited theatrical release in Lubbock, Big Spring, Midland, Odessa, Forth Worth and Dallas last weekend. Rudy Leal, the manager of Premiere Cinemas in Lubbock, said the movie had sold out screenings all weekend.
According to box office figures, the strong support from moviegoers boosted "The Iron Orchard" to the second-highest per-screen average with $6,156 - behind only "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" ($13,038), which was the biggest new wide release of the weekend.
"The Iron Orchard" (rated R) is playing only at Premiere Cinemas in Lubbock. It expands to bigger markets including New York and Los Angeles Friday.