“Nobody EVER Comes Out Here”

In Notes From the Set by Rod Santiano2 Comments

Saturday, we were shooting on a road out in the boonies that the producer found where we could shoot a scene that was a bit more complicated than any other scene in the movie. He told us that “nobody EVER comes out here.” Well, maybe on any day except this one. Hahaha. It still makes me laugh as I’m writing this. To his defense, there’s no way he could’ve known—at least in the timetable we had to find a location and shoot.

So after finally finding the location, we did a quick scout of the road. Three or four trucks drove by in our two minutes out on the road. As the rest of the crew showed up, we figured all would be well—a couple of passers by we could deal with. While we’re setting up the camera rig on the pickup truck, a couple of random cars came by into the parking lot we had setup as base camp (it was an old military camp cemetery). Okay, no big deal. We think, “Nobody ever comes out here, huh?”  Little chuckles.

Suddenly, we heard the loud rumble of a motorcycle stampede in the near distance. I was in the RV at the time. I looked out the window and saw fifty Harley-Davidson bikers riding into the parking lot. It was pretty funny. We talked with them for a little bit. They said they were just making a stop on their ride at this place and that they were waiting for the other group of fifty riders. A short time later, another fifty riders showed up. They left just as we are about to start shooting, so I guess it was perfect timing. Oh, and I forgot to mention: During the riders’ visit, a small reenactment battalion stopped by and did some kind of ceremony at the graveyard and shot off a few rounds. I think we just needed the circus to come by and set up a tent to make the scene complete. That would have been so awesome.

We finally head out to start shooting. We go to the end of the road and start shooting our lead actor riding her bike, heading down to the other end of the road. We get about halfway down and start hearing a lot of tire screeching.  It turns out that there is a auto drifting event going on.  Ha!  So throughout the day we ended up having to work around the sound of cars screeching across a track every few seconds. It was pretty cool watching them do it. It made me want to drift my minivan on the track ;P

Fortunately, most of our dialogue for the day is inside a car so the sound wasn’t too problematic until we had to do a few lines on the side of the road which was towards the end of the day.  Then we had to time our shots out in between all the drifters’ trailers which had started coming back to pick up all the cars and drivers.

It really wasn’t as problematic as I might be making it out to be, given the material we were shooting that day; but it was all just really funny because of the producer’s statement at the beginning of the shoot.  It could have been worse, that’s for sure.

Here are frame grabs from the shoot:

For the shot above, we needed the rising sun to blind the drivers. Timing this with the actual sun and the proper road orientation was going to be impossible so we planned on just shining one of our HMIs into the cab and hope it would work.  It worked out perfectly and we didn’t even have to be actually towing the car since the glare was enough to hide any detail out the windows.

Just a shot of my shadow waving back at me.


  1. This is my favorite quote of the shoot…I’m still giggling how crazy all of that was! :)

  2. Who knows, maybe the bikers would have added to the movie!

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