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Lights, cameras and bears, oh my!

November 30, 2010

One of two trained bears makes its way across Whitney Portal Road outside of Lone Pine in the path of two actors on skateboards, with its trainer looking on, during a recent commercial shoot for Ford. Citroen was reportedly also in the area filming the same week. Photo courtesy Inyo Film Commission

Southern Inyo’s flurry of filming projects continues, with Ford Motor Company shooting yet another commercial in the Alabama Hills and Lone Pine recently.
According to Inyo Film Commissioner Chris Langley, the star of the Nov. 14-15 shoot was not the three new Ford prototypes that could not be photographed, but rather two trained bears.
“The shots were meant to be taken right in town on Post Street not far from the Alabama Hills Café, but too many unleashed dogs were in the area,” Langley said. “The location manager, director and bear trainer decided for everyone’s sake a move just out of town was indicated.”
According to Langley, a spot just west of Brewery on Whitney Portal Road was selected. Traffic was controlled by local California Highway Patrol, and a Humane Society monitor was on site to make sure the work was safe for man and beast.
“Each of the bears was trained for specific acts,” Langley said. “The first walked across the street as two skateboarders approached and took pictures from a distance. The second sat in the road as the prototypes stopped.”
The commercial worked at several locations and then went on to the north to do additional filming, according to Langley.
It was also reported that Citroen was in Southern Inyo on Nov. 11 filming “giant soap bubbles” at various locations including the PPG Plant, Alabama Hills and the Fossil Falls Cinder Cone, as time and schedule permitted. The bubbles were for a new national promotion.

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