Hollywood movie "65" shot in Vernon Parish, Adam Driver stars in the sci-fi thriller

Micah Pickering
Beauregard Daily News
The press conference hosted by the Vernon Parish Tourism and Recreation Commission revealed information about the upcoming film "65" from Sony Pictures, which was shot on location in Kisatchie National Forest.

A press conference was held on Friday where representatives from Sony Pictures spoke to those in attendance about the movie that was recently shot in Vernon Parish in Kisatchie National Forest. The title of the movie is 65, and not much has been revealed about the plot.

Hollywood star Adam Driver plays the lead role in the upcoming movie "65" from Sony Pictures

Described as a "sci-fi thriller," the film stars Hollywood star Adam Driver, who is known for playing the villainous Kylo Ren in the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy. Driver's co-star Ariana Greenblatt is a bright young child star who has starred in films such as Avengers: Infinity War, Love and Monsters, and The One and Only Ivan. 

The press conference on Friday was a chance for representatives from Sony Pictures alongside local officials to discuss the film and its impact on the local community. 

The Site Manager for the film was David Thornsberry who revealed how Kisatchie National Forest was selected for the project. Thornsberry revealed that the studio opened up the scouting process to the entire state of Louisiana, and suggested Kisatchie as a potential filming site. 

David Thornsberry , of Sony Pictures, was instrumental in choosing Kisatchie National Forest as a shooting location.

Thornsberry then reached out to the Kisatchie National Forest where Public Relations Officer Jim Caldwell gave him an in depth tour of what Kisatchie had to offer.  

Thornsberry said: "We needed landscapes with some different topography. We were looking for hills, and thick forests."

He noted that in a lot of productions many studios have a small "thirty-mile zone" for shooting locations. However, the studio felt that Kisatchie offered some unique visuals and sent Thornsberry to check out the park.  Thornsberry expressed how much he enjoyed working and visiting with local residents.

He said: "Everybody was great, from the Sheriff's to the people that live nearby. They were  really nice. Also the forest service was really helpful. It was the most helpful National Forest Service that I have dealt with in my whole career, which spans 30 years."

Jim Caldwell also looks back on the experience of working with Sony Pictures fondly. Caldwell stated that he enjoyed spending time helping find shooting locations that the studio was looking for. He also expressed what a great opportunity this was to get a major motion picture shot in Kisatchie National Forest, and that when the opportunity first presented itself he knew he couldn't let it pass by.

Caldwell said: "We received some information that the site manager from Sony Pictures was looking for sites to film the movie in Central Louisiana, and that they wanted to look at Kisatchie National Forest. As we found out the sites they were looking for, I began taking them around to look at the different sites."

The National Forest Service worked alongside the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office helped the production by helping them get access to the sites they needed to use for filming. 

"We looked at the road access with the Sheriff's Department, to give them [Sony Pictures] access to the sites they needed to go into. They used a drone, forklift, cranes, and all kinds of equipment to help film this. They even brought out a rock wall that was build in New Orleans to be set up out in the forest. What a great partnership this was for us with Sony Pictures."

Caldwell spoke throughout the press conference, and really emphasized all of the things that Kisatchie National Forest offers residents. 

Caldwell said: "I've always wondered what if you had a National Forest in your backyard?  A park where you could ride horses, camp, ride horses, hunt, fish, shoot movies, and even conduct military training. That is what you have at Kisatchie National Forest. This is truly the land of multiple uses, and Vernon Parish is truly a wonderful place."

Also speaking on behalf of the studio was Jeanmarie Murphy from Sony Pictures Public Relations. Murphy spoke about the economic impact the film on the area. She noted that  the studio spent a lot of money in the local community to tend to the needs the film crew of approximately 300 people.

The crew ate meals locally, snacks and beverages were all purchased locally, and they were lodged at local hotels. Additionally Murphy noted that construction materials used in the production were all purchased locally, as well as materials used for props.

"It's almost like a torrential rainstorm," Murphy said. "There is a lot of money that was spent in this area in a short amount of time." 

Murphy also commented on some of the reasons studios love to shoot movies in Louisiana. She praised Governor John Bel Edwards for continuing the tax credit program, and maintaining the infrastructure needed to shoot movies in the Bayou State. She also expressed how places like Leesville have a deep respect for historic places buildings.

Jeanmarie Murphy discussed the impact that shooting "65" had on the local community. She also discussed why studios shoot in Louisiana and in places like Kisatchie National Forest.

Murphy said: "Keeping your buildings and respecting your history is very important, because there are very few places, states, or cities that do that. The ones that do, are the ones where filmmakers are going to go."

There were many state and local officials at the press conference including State Senator Mike Reese, Representative Charles Owen, Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft, Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, and Rosepine Mayor Donna Duvall.

"65" is written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who are famously known for their 2018 film A Quiet Place. No release date has been given for "65 at this time. 

Sony Pictures shot it's upcoming film "65" on location in Kisatchie National Forest