Hollywood comes to San Felipe.
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San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

I unfolded a chair near Karen's Bronco and silently observed the movie-making process. There seemed to be a lot of inactivity.

Karen Bradley catering the coffee.
Karen Bradley at work

Two men sat across from each other at a portable table near the catering truck, a chess board spread between them. Their game was made comfortable by a strategically placed umbrella jury-rigged to a lighting tripod.

Chess under a Lighting Umbrella.
Chess in the Shade
Other people moved in and out of the cluttered equipment. A few T-shirts announced their owner's past affiliations with the industry. The Mask of Zorro, one said. Another boasted R.M.S. Titanic.After a little while I became aware of a subtle tension that pervaded the surface composure of the set. Once or twice I tried to approach the front of the house, but was herded away by a man who explained a shot was being set up. No one seemed particularly urgent in their actions, yet there was a definite rise in energy and emotion as one drew nearer to the focus of the crew's attention. Everyone evidently knew their jobs, when and where they should be. It was a little like watching race horses being led to their gates, except the gates were not synchronized. The crackle of a voice on a walkie-talkie across the set was a cue to fling a gate open that launched a crew member toward an appointed task. At an invisible signal, two more briskly moved to apply themselves to their duties as the first one steps back, folds his arms and begins the interminable waiting until his next call. Electricians, carpenters, sound technicians, lighting crew, grips and others whose purpose I could not guess went through these cycles of animation and rest as the set was meticulously tweeked and adjusted until all its aspects were harmonized for the magic moment.

It was then a man's voice cried out "Silencio! Corriendo!" and the surrounding desert became respectfully still and quiet. A few minutes later, the actors having delivered their lines, life returned to the frozen statuary and the crew moved to set up the next take.
The name of the film company was
GFT Pilgrim Films, Inc. Rumor has it the the film will be called Pilgrim. I have a feeling the T-shirt collectors will grumble about that one. Ray Liotta is the star of the movie. He shares the screen with Gloria Rueben, who plays the obligatory love-interest. Armand Meuller Stahl also spends time in front of the camera.The film crew will be six weeks here in San Felipe. Several locations in and around the area have been marked for filming. Shooting has already completed at the Valle de los Gigantes, the forest of giant Cardon cactii about ten miles south of town.
A local fish market has been temporarily changed into the
Gasolinero, the movie's cantina-slash-disco. I arrived after shooting had completed but was able to get a few shots of the crew loading equipment back into the trucks. One side of the road across from the cantina was lined with large, luxurious motor homes, replete with air conditioners and tinted windows.

View of La Capilla
At the Gasolinero.

One would presume the actors and higher eschalon film executives were inside doing whatever needed to be done before their starting gates were again flung open the following day.

If you would like to make a film in the Baja, click HERE for information on permits, production facilities, even upcoming Film Festivals.