Filming of the thriller ‘Ghost of the Ozarks’ is now underway after approval from Arkansas State Officials and SAG-AFTRA.

Local News

TRUMANN, Ark. (News release) – HCT Media and Devil Tub Productions announced today that filming has begun on the upcoming gothic thriller, GHOSTS OF THE OZARKS. The Arkansas-set production is one of the first independent films greenlit by local officials to resume production in the wake of COVID-19. Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long (SQUIRREL) are directing and the screenplay was written by Long, Tara Perry and Sean Anthony Davis. Tim Blake Nelson (HBO’s Watchmen) and David Arquette will both star and produce the film. Other producers include XTR’s Christina McLarty Arquette and Michael May. Set in a post-Civil War Arkansas circa 1886, the film follows a young black doctor who is summoned by his uncle to a remote town in the Ozarks only to discover upon his arrival that the utopian paradise is not all that it seems to be.

The production began filming on June 15 with the support of SAG AFTRA and has hired a Safety Task Coordinator in order to ensure that all social distancing guidelines and precautions will be enforced on set. The cast and crew will receive regular COVID-19 testing, temperature screenings, and symptom monitoring. The production team has also worked with local and state government officials including Trumann Mayor Barbara Luellen, Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and the members of the Arkansas Department of Health to approve day-to-day regulations in order to begin filming.

The COVID-19 Safety Plan created through the state and local partnership provides guidance that addresses travel into Arkansas and transportation within the state as well as social distancing measures in production spaces including makeup, wardrobe, catering and lodging.

“I am pleased to welcome HCT Media back to Arkansas for the production of GHOSTS OF THE OZARKS,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This is one of the first films approved to resume production in Arkansas since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency. I appreciate the dedicated efforts of the state and community partners who made this possible by creating a comprehensive action plan designed to prioritize the health and safety of the cast and crew. Today’s announcement demonstrates once again that Arkansas is open and ready for business.”

“It’s great to have another opportunity to work with such a professional production team as they return to Arkansas for their second feature film in the state,” Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Commerce Mike Preston said.

“As independent filmmakers we know that we have to find a safe way back to filming in this new normal that will be here for years,” HCT Media added, “this is a scary time, not only the state of the world, but financially for so many of our team who are freelancers and we want to support them as best we can. It’s the least we can do when they’ve had our backs for years. Our team is like family to us and our number one priority is keeping them safe and employed in these strange times.”

HCT Media had previously begun construction on the film’s ‘Ozark Town’ ‘set in the fall of 2019 before the worldwide entertainment shutdown as a result of COVID-19. A small crew was able to continue pre-production work through the Spring of 2020 while maintaining social distancing in compliance with state laws. Various set pieces were assembled remotely by production designers working from their homes.

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