Local Filmakers Begin Fayetteville Movie Project

Tree house

It’s a story that takes you from Hollywood, to Northwest Arkansas, and up into a tree house for a deeper understanding of what’s really important in life.

It involves a Hollywood based film company shooting a movie in Fayetteville.

The film is called “Gordon Family Tree.”

It’s a film about a middle-aged architect with loftier dreams. He makes decent money, but to get a new job building tree houses, he’d cash it all in.

Ryan Schwartzman, an actor and writer for the movie, says, “Gordon Family Tree is a film about the child of a very successful family. He feels the pressure of social celebrity.”

Schwartzman grew up in Fayetteville. He’s been a struggling actor in Hollywood for ten years, but he also works with his hands to help pay bills.

The similarities between the movie and his life story are hard to ignore.

“It’s based on actual facts and we did use actual events. The main character actually comes to Fayetteville and his name is Perry, which is actually my father’s middle name. I tried to pay homage to him,” says Schwartzman.

From the actors, to the extras, and even the guy in building the tree house, the LA based film company used local talent.

Josh Hart of Natural State Treehouses quit his corporate job a year ago to pursue his woodworking dreams.

“It was an amazing coincidence. Ryan is a friend of mine and he was telling me about a film he was writing about a guy who quit his job to build treehouses. It seemed like it was meant to be. I’m really excited to be working on this project.”

U of A grad Cassie Self is also involved with the project as a producer and actor in the film.

For the leader of the locally based ”Offshoot Film Festival” it just doesn’t get any better than this.

“It makes my heart smile. Ryan and Jennica could have brought in more LA actors, but they’ve done a wonderful job of recognizing the work and talents of people in this area.”

The locals did more than just cut it, they actually made the film better.

Most of the shoots were finished in late September, and now editing is underway.


Ryan’s wife, Jennica, is also a writer and actor in the film.

“We have been overwhelmed with the stellar talent that we found here.  We had auditions and were blown away with how fantastic they were. We rewrote characters around some people. We were happy to fill every single spot we could with them.”

Embracing who you really are is what truly matters.

That’s the main theme of the film.

The movie is set to release in 2015, and there will be a Fayetteville premiere.

Corbin Bernsen from “LA Law” and Richard Karn from “Home Improvement” will have roles in the film to help get it sold and shown at film festivals across the country.

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