AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Sharpened Iron Studios hosted its Amarillo premiere for the film “What Remains” at the Performing Arts Center on Thursday, bringing some cast and crew members back to the filming location.
“What Remains” is Sharpened Iron Studios’ first feature film and the first feature-length film shot in Amarillo since 1963.
The film stars the late Anne Heche, in her final feature film project, as well as Kellan Lutz and Cress Williams.
In the film, Williams plays a pastor whose wife was murdered five years prior. The convict, played by Lutz, whom he forgave then returns and the relationship causes issues between the pastor and his son.
For writer and director Nathan Scoggins, who is also the son of a pastor, it was important to explore faith while telling a story centered around a family theme.
“There’s a scene in the movie between a father and son, where the the son asks the father, ‘Whose side are you on?’ And and when I wrote that scene, I went, ‘Now I have to make this movie, because this is a movie about me,'” Scoggins said prior to the premiere. “It’s about the questions that I’m asking—What would I do if I were a father put into the situation? What’s the right thing to do? And I’m also interested in the cost of doing the right thing. You know, what does it mean to do the right thing, as well as the cost of forgiveness? And also the cost of unforgiveness?”
The story also resonated with Lutz and Williams, who are both fathers.
“Really how the character changes me or changed, me it just re-solidified my belief system and it helped strengthen my faith and sort of see who else I need to forgive, right?” said Lutz. “Like forgiveness is such a release and unforgiveness is a poison to your own soul. So when you’re able to adapt, and double down on your forgiveness lifestyle it really is freedom at the end of the day.”
“I was really drawn to the fatherly aspect of this character. I have kids myself, a teenager and when I read it, it was that everything that the character did, in these really tough situations, I felt like I would do,” Williams said. “And then ultimately, the ending leaves you unsettled and I love that because it just, that’s something that after the movie, maybe the next day, maybe even dinner afterwards, people will have these conversations. I think that’s what art should do.”
Scoggins, Lutz, and Williams said Amarillo was the perfect filming location, not only for the views but also for the people.
“We shot widescreen intentionally, because I was just I loved the the landscapes, the wideness the bigness of Texas, and so be able to have the topography as well as the generosity, it just made it a experience that it was incredibly easy to say yes to Amarillo,” said Scoggins. “There’s just such a hospitality to people in Amarillo, a warmth and excitement, a generosity of spirit that that we were moved by. I mean, we were just kind of blown away at how excited people were to be a part of the project and to let us into their homes and let us into their lives and to support us.”
Before the screening, Lutz said, “When you work, a lot of times you don’t get to work in LA or New York, you just see the big premieres there. But when you get to work somewhere like Amarillo, [it’s a] slower pace, more real people, more people who are just there to open up and share and have good conversations. And then you come back for a premiere, which I haven’t ever done a premiere where I shot I don’t think, it’s just really cool to see people again. Because a lot of the crew, a lot of the cast, they’re all here tonight, which is really, really fun. And then we’re in this big theater with a huge turnout.”
Williams said originally in 2019, the movie was going to be filmed in Temecula, California. However, once they arrived in Amarillo, he said he knew it was the right location.
“Here, everybody’s nice and everybody’s welcoming and giving of themselves. And so all of that, first of all, it just felt good to work in, because we’re doing some really tough material,” Williams added. “But then, also just the landscape is when I look at it, I’m like, ‘This is what the script is like,’ It couldn’t be shot anywhere else.”
Following the film screening, the cast and crew stayed for a Q&A session.
“What Remains” is also showing at Cinemark Hollywood 16 and will be available on Apple iTunes.