Dearborn could stand in for Skidmore in movie production

It is still too early to tell, but Dearborn could play a role in a movie production.

Image from Google Earth Downtown Dearborn’s Midwestern small town feel attracted producer.

Image from Google Earth
Downtown Dearborn’s Midwestern small town feel attracted producer.

During the board of aldermen meeting held on Monday, Oct. 8, Johnny Eastlund from Sundance Movie Channel spoke about the possibility of the town being the host for a movie filmed on the murder of Ken McElroy. On July 10, 1981, the Skidmore, Mo. ‘town bully’ was shot twice sitting in his truck in the middle of the day. Despite a location full of people at the bar that McElroy left, no witnesses stepped forward and no charges were ever filed.

Eastlund has been hired by a Los Angeles production to pursue a true-crime documentary about the murder and interviews have been conducted prior to the filming of the re-enactment. He is a noted location manager on several big films such as ‘Bad Moms,’ ‘Fantastic Four,’ ‘Terminator Genisys’ and was assistant location manager for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Iron Man 3.’

The interest in Dearborn stems from its small town feel with older building being connected near Third Street and Main Street, according to Eastlund, a Kansas City resident and UMKC graduate.

“We are looking for towns like Skidmore, at least to the general audience,” Eastlund said. “You won’t see Dearborn and say, ‘that isn’t Skidmore.’ They will just see a small, midwestern town. I’m given a set of creative parameters and I sit down and do some research. The first I did was look at Skidmore and it was very spaced out, but a few buildings on Main Street. The general TV audience thinks of small towns more of what you have here with interconnected old buildings. I wanted something as small as Dearborn, but old buildings on Main Street. It is a visual thing.”

The town of Skidmore didn’t want it filmed there, according to Eastlund. 

The filming would be four days, though the dates aren’t finalized, he said the options could be Oct. 16-19 or Oct. 21-23.

He told the board he liked the size of the city and the visual appeal, but the final decision ultimately will come down to the director. Eastlund said Dearborn is among a ‘couple’ towns being considered later this week, but said ‘I have a pretty good feeling he will settle on Dearborn.’

Eastlund noted reenactments would be filmed and blanks will be shot to give the sounds and sight of a real shooting. The shooting scenes would be done during the day, while some night scenes will also be filmed, which could result in the Platte County Sheriff’s Office doing some traffic control to close off roads temporarily. Eastlund noted that citizens could watch some of the filming.

In other news from the meeting, a discussion was held about the vacant board spot that belonged to Bob Bryan, who died in June.

Mayor Jamie Morey noted in previous meetings he wasn’t in a rush to fill the spot by appointment. Alderman Steve Wilson brought it up and noted in the ordinance it says ‘you shall’ and city attorney Dan Fowler noted that the phrase means it is a must.

Discussion followed that the last vacancies like that in the past had a problem getting filled.

The city message board again continue to get some discussion and an event by a New Market church was approved to be added to the scroll. Further postings, which are needed two weeks in advance, will still be taken on a case-by-case basis. Board members talked about the importance of posting events from towns such as Camden Point, New Market and Edgerton due to the ties the towns have with the school district based in Dearborn.

News and Notes

  • David Park, a Democrat running for the Platte County Presiding Commissioner spot, was at the meeting after spending the day canvassing the northern portion of the county.

  • The Dearborn community center will be closed from Jan 1-13.

  • The board approved a three-year extension with Redgate Disposal, from Edgerton, for trash service.

  • In department reports, vandalism to the basketball goal and shelter was reported. It was discussed to add security cameras to the park to catch the repeated acts.

  • The city will look into getting a new email host as a number of emails are taking a long time to arrive or in some cases, bounce back due to server issues with Centurylink. Morey noted that he recently received an email at 2:30 a.m., arriving much later than originally sent.

  • The board went into closed sessions. The results of any votes taken during that session won’t be available for 72 hours.