Hollywood Comes to the Arkansas Delta

grace of jake kim cropdusterA few weeks ago, I blogged about Forrest City native Chris Hicky and his determination to make a movie in St. Francis and Lee Counties. Chris decided to bypass Hollywood for the financing and take his cause to social media via Kickstarter. As of today, the project has raised nearly $105,000 of the $125,000 goal. July 18 is the deadline to meet the target goal. Below is the original blog with background info on Chris and his project, The Grace of Jake.

Forrest City native Chris Hicky may have moved to Los Angeles and become angrace of jake cotton large award-winning director, but he’s never forgot the place he calls home. Hicky has directed videos for Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Lady Antebellum, to name a few.

As Hicky made plans for his cinematic directorial debut, he knew where he wanted to film it – in the Arkansas Delta that he loves. He also knew that it might be a “hard sell” to Hollywood, so he chose a different path to get the project funded, using Kickstarter, a grassroots option that has been used to fund creative projects, big and small, since 2009. Through Kickstarter, Chris would also keep grace of jake motorcyclefull creative control over the movie he wants to make, entitled The Grace of Jake. It’s the story of a wayward musician, Jake Hayes, who travels from California to the Arkansas Delta to confront a father he has never met and, along the way, finds life, love and a career in the Arkansas Delta.

The Kickstarter page for The Grace of Jake went live on June 10 and has raised nearly $50,000 of the $125,000 goal in 15 days. Hicky admits that this is the type of film that would never get made in Hollywood. That’s why he went the Kickstarter route and began a social media blitz to get the project funded. The movie will be filmed in and around Palestine and Forrest City in St. Francis County and Marianna in Lee County. Chris is asking family, friends, movie lovers, native Arkansas Delta residents and basically anyone interested to donate and help get his dream project made.

Chris Hicky, it seems, is showing his love of his native Arkansas Delta the besthelena_004_l way he knows how…featuring the picturesque majesty and the cultural soul of the region in his full-length directorial debut. Home is where the heart is, and Chris plans to make it known to millions, through this film, that his heart has and will always be in the Arkansas Delta.

To find out more about The Grace of Jake, check out the movie’s Kickstarter page here. The page will accept donations for the project through July 18.


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Posted in Arkansas Delta, Film, Performing Arts, Travel Arkansas
2 comments on “Hollywood Comes to the Arkansas Delta
  1. Stephanie Dixon says:


    Kudos to you on this project. I knew your dad. He was a couple of years younger than I was. Preston was a good guy. I’m the former Stephanie Johnson from Marianna, and I knew your dad, your Uncle Bill, and both your Hickey grandparents.

    I was a videographer and had a production business before I retired, and I talked with Preston once about your career. He was so proud of you.

    Being retired, I can’t afford to contribute to your project but I wish you well. I can offer a little suggestion. This video about the project is a good idea for fund-raising. The cinematography is terrific and it seems to have a good plot and characters. However, the sound on the interview is really poor. I see no mics hung on anyone so I must assume that you all just used the mics off the cameras. Big mistake. It’s hard to hear you all clearly and it’s apt to turn off some investors due to the amateurish sound. Hang a wireless mic on one of you and do the interview again. Recut it with the better sound and wait for the money to roll in.

    I wish you well.


  2. Stephanie Dixon says:

    I wrote Bliss as Bliss. It came up as Bill for some reason.

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