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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
In the meantime, we’ll give Heat in the West more buzz than an angry tarantula hawk. See what we did there?
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.
The Abby Singer Shot – The 2nd to last shot (named after an Assistant Director Abby Singer).
The Marcia Marcia Marcia Shot – The 3rd to last shot, a reference to Jan Brady’s catchphrase from The Brady Bunch.
A Martini Shotis a Hollywood term that describes the final shot set-up of the day. Bottoms up! Also referred to as the Window Shot.
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.”