The newly remodeled Foxhound building on Lake Drive in Crestline.
The Foxhound sound studio in use.
The lobby entrance of Foxhound Productions.
(Photos courtesy of Foxhound Productions)
Production studio comes to Crestline
By Mike Brewer
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
There is a new show in town! A really big show as these folks make shows and have selected the Crestline community to be their home base. Not in recent memory have we benefited from a movie production company moving from Malibu to the mountains.
The company name is Foxhound Productions. Its founder, Jonathan Thompson, hails from Seattle, Wash., and was raised in a forest similar to ours. He was a star athlete in high school, playing multiple sports including football and baseball. His talent could have easily taken him to a professional level, but sports is not what sparked his joy.
Following a brief look into studying law, Thompson made a rather spontaneous decision to attend film school at Chapman University in Orange, with an eye toward becoming a movie director. It was a hobby of making films with his high school buddies and seeing the beauty of the local mountains that transported him to his proverbial inner child and roots in the forest.
“I feel totally at home here and the people are strikingly friendly everywhere you go,” he said. “The feeling of community is intense.
“There have been days when locals just come to the door to say hello only to discover they have talents we need. A production design man walked in and we later hired him,” Thompson said.
“We have spent a mint entertaining at local establishments, and the ease of networking is simply amazing. One day while dining at Toni’s, I said we were looking for helicopter man for one of productions and Miguel, the manager, said, ‘We got your man!’”
Foxhound launched 10 years ago with a primary focus on branding and visual stories that advance the mission of corporate entities. Thompson is currently working with a few men from Rim of the World Veterans to produce a commercial for winter camouflage gear. They will be compensated and transported to Mammoth Lake to produce the commercial.
After being domiciled briefly in Big Bear, Thompson’s mother stumbled on the old Crestline theater building that had been sitting vacant since 2012. It was the community theater for decades with family movie showings in the 80s and 90s. It was the movie museum for the Rim of the World Historical Museum before moving to their current location in Lake Arrowhead. And the Lake Arrowhead Repertory Theater used the facility for performances for many seasons.
How poetic that this prime location in the heart of Crestline now has an owner devoted to the passion of film and audiovisual arts.
The renovation of this historic site has been underway for the past year with intense attention to its history and nostalgic artifacts, many of which are being restored and will soon adorn the interior walls. Completion is slated for late 2023 or early 2024.
“Our intention is to be good stewards in the community,” Thompson said. He has already given feet to this notion by collaborating with Jared Powell, the TV and Video Production teacher at Rim High School, offering ongoing affiliation with the students and his production team. Thompson will also be hosting field trips to his studios and providing instruction on how to act on camera and work with a director.
“We are here to brainstorm ideas with these students,” Thompson said.
“While our income stream is primarily in the arena of branding and commercial promotions, we intend to offer a myriad of community activities on our multiple stages that will be open for private and public use. This may include a haunted house event, an escape room, a St. Patrick’s Day cultural event, dancers and all.
“I think the community would enjoy a black box theater with just the skill of the actors on stage,” Thompson said.