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