Heat in the West: Mojave Movie Making

A little bit of Hollywood glamour came to Roy Rogers Ranch in Oro Grande, California, when an uproarious low-budget indie movie called “Heat in the West” filmed in August 2016.   We were honored to be a part of the action on the set for a couple of days during the movie, which shot on location for two weeks.

 

It was hellishly hot, sweltering and downright blazing!   It was just a summer day in the Mojave Desert.  The real heat in the real west. The triple digits flavored all the things a good western exemplifies.   Man against nature.   Man against man.   Women against men.   Horses against…  Wait, I think I spotted a running theme.  

 

Intrigue, drama and laughter.   Yes, plenty of laughter.

 

Hussain Ahmed, Executive Director, Producer, Writer and Actor. Photo Courtesy IMDb

 

Set in the western world of the 19th Century, two Arab cowboys,  played by real-life brothers Hussain Ahmed and Shamal Ahmed, come to America in search of gold and go through a hilarious journey in the process.  Actors Anna Marie Bogi-Jones and Joe Chesney also have leading roles. 

 

Steven Robert Alexander of Capulin Productions. Executive Producer, Screenwriter, Author and Actor. Photo courtesy: Capulin Productions.

Hosts Jim and Deena Heffel graciously opened up their ranch, formerly owned by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, to the film crew and cast.  Jim and his ranch hands even built a faux old west town on the property for background.  

 

Many thanks to Jim and Deena Heffel, owners of Roy Rogers Ranch in Oro Grande, California. Photo courtesy: Jim Heffel
Director Hussain Ahmed offers actors pointers as cinematographers Marilyn Brindis and Carlo Tavio Rubio readies for the next exciting scene. Their faithful pooch, Martini, was the set mascot.

We met many interesting people from all walks in life on the set, and made many new friends.   Some of them even had four legs. 

 

Jaylyn enjoyed Angelica Padilla‘s make-up magic.
The lovely and engaging Deena Heffel played “Sally.”
Executive Producer Kenneth P. Murphy wrote and sang the movie’s catchy theme song.

With rippling muscles, flared nostrils and their shiny coats glistening under a relentless sky, their feet pounded the dust with every calculated stride.  Oh, we almost forgot to mention the horses were pretty awesome too.

 

John cleans up right nicely for a city slicker.

Although this was not our first rodeo as extras on a movie set,  it is still exciting to get a look behind-the-scenes of a production. 

 

The Roy Rogers Ranch has an Old West town just right for movie sets and other venues.

We have been holding on to our experiences while we waited for the movie to see sunshine.  Alas, the much anticipated Heat in the West is still in post-production.

 

Jim Heffel, Owner of Roy Rogers Ranch. Jim plays “Rodney.” Photo courtesty of IMBd.
Every Old West town has its own resident gambler. I wonder what Matt Pereira has up his sleeve.
All dolled up with Artie DeVries and Lia Lada DiTulio.
Jaylyn on the set photographing David Laughing Horse Robinson building tipi’s.
A lot of the people that were in the movie Heat in the West — with David Laughing Horse Robinson, Running Bear Burlando, Joe Chesney, Jim Heffel, Deena Heffel, Kate Robinson, Robert Lambert, Timothy Dawson and Kolton Miller (at Whiskey Flat Encampment).  Photo courtesy: The Heffels

Therefore we will giving you a sneak peek and announce later when the movie is released. We can’t wait to see the finished product!  Will it be making its rounds at film festivals?

Who knows.

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.
Executive Producer Steven Alexander and visiting Director Michael Preece on the set discuss film making together.
Wardrobe Department with Eva Juzwiak of Saunders Costumes.
Andy Mace, Yazmin Meza, Juana Martinez,  David Laughing Horse Robinson, Shamal Ahmed, Didar Siamand Pallani, Kendra Robertson Marke, Kate Robinson and Running Bear Burlando.
Jaylyn rehearsing her lines. Funny thing is, she didn’t have any.
Hang ’em high. Lead Actor Joe Chesney, Jim Heffel and Frenchy Martel-Preacher. Photo courtesy: Jim Heffel

In the meantime, we’ll give Heat in the West more buzz than an angry tarantula hawk.  See what we did there?

 

Jim Heffel, Joe Chesney and Hussain Ahmed look on while the set readies for the next scene.
Jaylyn gets a smoky eye, Mojave style.
Burro wrangler and chief bottle washer.

The Jonesy  is the first shot of the day (named after Sarah Jones).  The Jonesy is a tribute to a camera assistant who was killed in a train collision on the set of Midnight Rider.  It is meant to be a reminder for crews to make sure they have taken all safety precautions before beginning their filming day.

Joe Mendoza, Michael Preece and Steven Alexander. Mr. Preece has directed nearly 300 episodes of dozens of award-winning television series, ranging from “The Streets of San Francisco”, “Walker-Texas Ranger,” “Dallas” and “Seventh Heaven”.
Jaylyn and Executive Producer Steven Alexander, who has written over 20 novels and has 12 scripts registered with Writers Guild of America.
Kolton Miller, Abi Hartjen and Jayminkumar Pamar.
John visits with the cast and crew.

The Abby Singer Shot – The 2nd to last shot (named after an Assistant Director Abby Singer).

Jaylyn looks for photo ops between scenes but became one instead. Stars Shamal and Hussain Ahmed stands to the left and Anna Bogi-Jones is on the right.
Ranch Foreman Frenchy Martel-Preacher, John Juzwiak and Jayminkumar Parmar catch up between takes.
Matt Pereira waits at the coach stop.
Joe Mendoza looks on as an actress readies for the next scene.
L. to R.: Andree Pineda, Rick Shaibani, Marilyn Brindis and Carlo Tavio Rubio.

The Marcia Marcia Marcia Shot – The 3rd to last shot, a reference to Jan Brady’s catchphrase from The Brady Bunch.

We liked our costumes so much we bought them! Thank you, Saunders Costumes.
Joe Chesney (R.) played one of the male leads, Gene.
Eva and John Juzwiak of Saunders Costumes.
Behind the scenes. Even Roy dropped in.
Jaylyn and Joe Mendoza.
Executive Producer Kenneth Murphy says Heat in the West is number one! We agree, Ken.

A Martini Shot is a Hollywood term that describes the final shot set-up of the day.  Bottoms up!  Also referred to as the Window Shot.

John, in character. A gunfight is about to ensue in the next scene.
Hugs!
Jaylyn in her Sunday finery.

The Bertuzzi Shot – The shot after the Martini or Window shot.  Named after the Bertuzzi-Moore incident, because “it’s the shot you don’t see coming.”

“Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.” (Josie Wales)

See you on the red carpet!

Heat in the West

 

Heat in the West

 

 

Director

Hussain Ahmed

 

 

Screenplay

Hussain Ahmed

 

 

 

Producers

 

Steven Robert Alexander……Executive Producer

Kenneth P. Murphy……Executive Director

Jayminkumar Parmar……Executive Producer

Marilyn Brindis……Producer

Carlo Tavio Rubio……Producer

Andree Pineda……Assistant Producer

 

 

 

Cast

 

Hussain Ahmed……Omar

Anna Marie Bogi-Jones……Cindy

Deena Heffel……Sally

Joe Chesney…….Gene

Andy Mace…….One Shoe

Jim Heffel…….Rodney

Mikaiil Ahmed……Chief

Jayminkumar Parmar…….(various)

Nathan Eddy……Pete

Shamal Ahmed……Jabar

 

 

Cinematography

Marilyn Brindis

Carlo Tavio Rubio

 

 

Costume Design

Eva Saunders Juzwiak

 

 

Make-up and Special Effects Make-up

Julie deWit

 

 

Second Unit Director

Jayminkumar Parmar

 

 

Sound Mixer

Andree Pineda

 

 

Key Grip

Frederick Shaibani

 

 

Wardrobe Provided by

Saunders Costumes

 

 

 IMDb Citations

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5622408/

Jaylyn

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comments
  • Anna Marie Bogi-jones

    July 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    I loved doing the movie I had the BEST time !!
    I met lots of awesome people with whom I remained friends till this day. I have to say it was also a family affair. All my siblings were in the movie…

  • Anna, thanks so much for your comments. We agree, what a great group of folks, many who remained our friends too. We are very much looking forward to the movie’s release! Very nice to have met you on set! Best wishes for continuing success.

  • Terrific write-up! Can’t wait to see the finished film 🙂

  • Had a great time with alot of new good friends and it was a great experience to act for the first time!

  • I had a great time working with the cast and crew. I made great friends and colleagues. Def., a learning experience. Can’t wait to see the premiere. Great job to all of us.

  • So when is the release..

  • Kolton miller the barstow kid

    July 21, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    it was a really fun experience with good people i made allot of good friends that i have done more reenactments with cannot wait to see the finished movie and can not wait to see to see yall at the reenactments and other good party’s

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