first indication that something different was about to
happen in town was the appearance of a huge white catering
truck with a large trailer in tow parked in front of the
NET's front door. Two days of activity in and around the
vehicles added credence to the rumors that Hollywood was
coming to San Felipe. They were going to film a motion
picture in our little town.
This information, true or not, had a
profound influence on the local population. People began
to exhibit strange behavior. Their personal appearance
changed. They suddenly visited public places, local watering
holes, paraded themselves along the town's Malecón.
They even walked differently. Obvious evidence of self-preening
and primping were brandished like resumes along sidewalks
and everyone was careful, when spotting a stranger looking
their way, to throw their faces into slendid profile against
the blue sky.
It was like watching a kind of Klondike
Gold Fever. The town was staking its claim, digging like
marmets into every possible place of discovery, hoping
some keen-eyed director or producer would become riveted
by their latent screen presence and manifest genius.
A little while after the catering trucks
were provisioned and readied, the rumor took on a more
concrete expression. A convoy of equipment trucks rumbled
into town, followed by several luxurious motor homes.
The local grapevine whispered about a house that had been
rented by the film company. Then someone knew someone
who was a friend of the person whose boat and truck had
been rented for a scene in the movie. A lady near Los
Penguinos spoke about her neighbor's children, who had
been profitably recruited as background garnish.
Strangely enough, most of the rumors
turned out to be true, which ought to make you think twice
about Greek mythology. The house had indeed been rented
and the film company had beseiged it with equipment, technicians
and movie-makers. I thought it would be a good idea to
chronicle some of the activity, and so early one Monday
morning, digital camera in hand, I made the drive out
to El Dorado's Saltidas Road, north
From a distance, Jonne and Leo Jacob's
red hay-bale house near the Rock 14 turn-in looked like
a busy truck-stop cafe. Huge trailers and trucks, their
loading ramps lolling like dry tongues on the sand, lined
the side of the road.
Preparing a scene. |
were languidly standing at ease. Some huddled together
in the back of a truck, talking quietly. A few were
throwing a baseball back and forth. Most of their
work had already been done earlier that morning.
I made my way toward the house,
which bristled with a forest of aluminum and steel
lighting stands, camera bases, screen supports,
umbrellas and tripods. The catering trucks were
deployed nearby, their canopies shading away the
sun like baseball caps. Baja
Java owner Karen
Bradley was there, her espresso machine and blender
arrayed on the tailgate of her Bronco. She had been
invited by the film company to supply them with
her menu of rich espressos, lattes, capaccinos,
frappes and other assorted exotic caffeinations.
The film crew's tradesmen
had rigged her machines with electricity and a pump for
the filtered water.