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Native comes home to shoot movie

Updated: Jun 28, 2019

"LANCASTER - In about nine months or so, Fairfield County should hit the big screen.

That's because city native Rebecca Harrell Tickell shot "Heartland" throughout the county, including several city locations.

The movie is about healing, specifically from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and centers around the 2016 pipeline protest near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota.

The movie features William Mapother, David Arquette, Mariel Hemmingway, Frances Fisher and Amy Smart.

Mapother, who was on "Lost" for several seasons, portrays the lead character who has a PTSD episode when he goes to the Standing Rock protest.

"He ends up getting taken in by some Native American elders and goes into a sweat lodge and he has a spiritual transformation," Harrell Tickell said. 

Harrell Tickell and her husband, Josh, are making the film through their Big Picture Ranch company.

"We've been called the two-headed dragon," Harrell Tickell said. "At one point when Mariel Hemmingway was here I'd go in and give her one direction and Josh would go in and give her another direction. She'd go, 'I don't know.' So, hopefully, we've dialed that in a little."

While they have made documentaries, including the Sundance Audience Award winning, environmentally-themed movie, "Fuel," "Heartland" is their first scripted movie. "Heartland" will also feature numerous local people as extras.

Shooting locales include Harrell Tickell's father's property in Rushville, Trader's Cafe on Columbus Street and at the corner of Columbus and West Chestnut streets, among many others.

"It started with my dad saying you guys should come and make a "Castaway" movie here," Harrell Tickell said. "Well, there's no water in Lancaster so I wasn't sure how that was going to work out. But he planted the seed in our heads. He had purchased two buildings, the old Risch's drugstore on Main Street and the building next to that. So we were thinking maybe that's where we could go and set up camp."

Harrell Tickell also said a 30 percent tax credit to shoot the movie in Ohio was also a factor in shooting here.

"That actually made it work," she said. "It's a lot different than filming in California (where she now lives). And I also just know this community. I know how helpful everyone is, like the people that I grew up with and my family and friends here. I just knew it would be a great place to come and bring our family. I just knew that our community would embrace this, and they have."

Arquette would probably agree, as he said he was enjoying his time in Lancaster.

"It's a beautiful town," he said. "It's really exciting to see her (Harrell Tickell) come back to her hometown and brag. It's sort of a dream for people to return home and do something creative."

By Jeff Barron, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

Actor David Arquette talks to Rebecca Harrell Tickell during a break in shooting of the movie "Heartland" at the corner of South Columbus and West Chestnut streets in downtown Lancaster.


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