Promised land behind-the-scenes


WORTHINGTON, Pa — A fictional movie about the shale industry is about to hit the big screen.

It is the movie, “Promised Land” and it features Matt Damon, who is playing Steve Butler, a landman for a gas company.

Promised Land the movie is set in a small farming town. The story line is that Butler is sent to the rural town of “McKinley” with his sales partner, Sue Thomason. Thomason is played by Frances McDormand.

In what was supposed to be an easy assignment for the sales team ends up being a challenging course for them as environmental impacts are brought up about fracking and how farms are impacted in the film. And what was supposed to be an easy task of getting property owners to sign leases turns out not to be.

The movie has popped in the newsroom conversation several times, but it wasn’t until I got a phone call from someone involved in the movie that I started to pay attention.

I have to come to find out that some scenes were filmed right here in our reading area! They were filmed at a farm just past Butler, Pa. in Worthington, Pa.

Don Claypoole said it was hard for his family to take in all that happened on Slatelick Road, just off of Route 422 earlier this spring. He said a location manager for the motion picture company asked the family if they could look around the farm.

Claypoole said he really felt that would be the end of it, but he was told by the location manager that he would be back. The location manager returned to take additional pictures and eventually returned with more people.

The other people, as they introduced themselves, were the director — Gus Van Saint and the assistant director, the head camera man, and a van full of additional camera operators.

It was hard to think that a home built by the former doctor, Dr John K. Maxwell, one of the founders of the town of Mont Lorenzo, would end up being in such a major film. The farm is now owned by the Claypoole family.

A second home on the farm was also used, the former Arthur and Olive Claypoole home that was built at the time of the Civil War.

Check this clip out to see the Claypoole farm in the movie trailer:


Don Claypoole also got picked to portray one of the town`s people in the movie. Claypoole said a lot of local people worked on the production of the film as well.

The film will be out nationwide Jan. 4.

No matter what you feel about the story line of the movie, it is good to see that a national movie company thought the Pennsylvania town of Worthington could be turned into the fictional town of McKinley and local people benefited from the filming.

Read more about shale gas topics on our new shale gas blog.

Here’s a few pictures:

Read more Utica Shale news.

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
View all posts by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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