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Film projects finding what they need in Inyo

December 8, 2011

One of the recent productions filmed in the Owens Valley was a Department of Defense training video near Cerro Gordo Mine. According to Langley, there was some permitting trouble due to the use of live ammo, but a private property owner stepped up to solve those problems. Photo courtesy Inyo County Film Commission

Film and television commercial producers continue to pump money into the local economy thanks to Inyo County’s unique and not-so-unique surroundings.
During his quarterly report to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, Film Commissioner Chris Langley said three local film projects recently wrapped up shoots in the area. These included a Dodge Truck commercial that wanted to capture the unique beauty of the Eastern Sierra, a Department of Defense training video that wanted a setting that resembled Afghanistan and a film that has parts of the county standing in for a remote location in Idaho.
Langley said there was also a major Hollywood production shooting in the valley this week that brought two Oscar winners to the area, but he could not share any more details due to a non-disclosure agreement.
Though Langley was unable to discuss the current productions, he said the director, who is “fairly well known, has been very gregarious,” and willing to accommodate fans who have seen him around town.
A look at some Southern Inyo residents’ Facebook pages reveal a number of photos of residents with director Quentin Tarantino (“Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2,” “Inglorious Basterds,” “Pulp Fiction”).
According to the Internet Movie Database (, Tarantino is currently filming a spaghetti Western titled “Django Unchained,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Kurt Russell.
Without discussing any specifics or naming anyone involved in the shoot, Langley said a major production planned to film in Independence for the remainder of the week before heading to Mammoth Lakes for another week of shooting.
“This production is bringing 150 people to the county to film all week,” Langley said. “This is a very nice production that is bringing and leaving a lot of money.”
Looking ahead, Langley said he is hoping to get three new productions shooting in the Owens Valley by Christmas, including a film entitled “Campo” about the Chavez Gang, which allegedly conducted a couple heists in the Little Lake area in its hey day.


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