A movie based on the West Texas oil industry in the 1900’s premiered this weekend, and it hit close to home.
“The Iron Orchard” was produced by Lubbock native Camille Chambers and directed by Midland native, Ty Roberts.
Houston Hill and George Sledge also produced the film.
Chambers and Roberts strong family ties to the oil industry helped inspire the movie. Chambers’ family is full of engineers for the industry and Roberts father and grandfather grew up working in it.
“Making the movie was, to me, sort of a love letter back to West Texas,” said Roberts.
Roberts and Chambers filmed the entire production in West Texas, around Big Spring, as well as selected an all Texan cast. They wanted to capture the film as authentically as possible.
“We shot on rigs that were antique oil rigs. We shot on ranches that have incredible vistas,” he said. “It was my duty to tell that story in a way that is part of our culture.”
“We based everything out of where it is and we are so grateful to be brinigng it home,” said Chambers.
The movie centers around a young man put into the West Texas oilfields in 1939. He overcomes difficulties in order to establish and grow a multi-million dollar oil business. However, as he conquers the industry, his greed and desires jeopardize all that he has earned.
Despite their tight budget, many people from Texas helped create a story true to what they were trying to tell.
“We did this on a shoe string,” said Chambers.
“We made a film that people mistake for a major hollywood film. It looks like a 10 million dollar movie at least,” said Roberts.
The film will be playing in Lubbock at Premiere Cinemas through the week. It is also playing in Dallas / Fort Worth, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock, and Big Spring.
It will also premiere March 1st in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Amarillo, El Paso, Corpus Christi, McAllen, Wichita Falls, Longview, Abilene, Burleson, Bryan, Temple, New York and Los Angeles.
The trailer can be found here.