Amazon Ranch hosts movie, T.V. producers
Special guests were invited June 8 from various movie production organizations to visit Amazon Ranch, owned by Tara Clark, to see the potential scenery and possibilities for future movie shoot locations.
Movie and television producers, directors, location scouts, art directors and set designers journeyed through our rural Nevada on a two-hour guided tour of off-map trails and special locations such as Condor Canyon, and offered a view of Clark’s 50-acre full-service movie shoot ranch.
“The open house was in planning for several months and now we can also celebrate the passage of the new tax incentive package to attract film and entertainment production to Nevada,” said Clark.
Another perk, Clark added, was that all the shoot locations viewed were on private land, thus reducing the need for permitting during shoots.
The Talisman Farm Dressage Quadrille Team came from Las Vegas to perform a carefully choreographed dance routine on horseback to the tune of Marilyn Monroe’s, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” The group consisted of four riders.
Later, the duet team performed a musical freestyle Prix Caprilli with dressage and jumps that were choreographed to Blackmore Night’s, “Shadow of the Moon.”
The six riders and their horses were coached and directed by Esther Hillner, owner of Talisman Farm and her assistant coach, Ann Marie Corey. Talisman Farm is the only European classical riding center in Las Vegas.
Scott Shepard, from Frontier Rider Productions, demonstrated how shooting blanks would sound and look for the cameras. Riding around beams with balloons fixed to them, he and rider Kelly Lucht made a few laps and took shots at the balloons for the audience. Shepard explained that the blanks he was firing consisted of gunpowder and wads. He also said that the horses used during shoot scenes have special ear plugs they use that is hidden from the camera’s view. Although, some horses, he noted, would still act a little skittish around blanks.
Lucht said she had practiced about three days prior to the shoot, making laps around the arena and learning where her horse would end up.
A special animal actor guest, Dexter, was a big hit at the event. Dexter is a Capuchin monkey not unlike the Dexter many will remember from the movie, Night at the Museum, but just as cute, if not more, in person. Dexter was brought from Moapa by Susan Pulsipher, long-time friend of Clark, and is a trained helper monkey. Dexter even has manners, as he displayed using his straw to drink out of soda cans and cups.
A petting zoo was available from the Claiborne family, full with alpacas, Grimmy the billy goat, and a feisty miniature pony.
The grand finale of the day featured the Lincoln County High Drama Club dressed up for a “zombie apocalypse” scene, directed by Michael Gloeckner. As Clark was thanking the guests for attending, the ranch was invaded by the zombie actors. Special riders Dan Brundy, Kelly Lucht and Dakota Whidden rode Scout, Vegas and Flash as they saved the day by shooting the zombies down.
Among the attendants was Charles Geocaris, director, and Ed Harrin, assistant director, from the Nevada Film Office; Barbara Grant, President of the Nevada Chapter Screen Actors Guild, and many film industry representatives from the Reno area, California and Canada.
Afterwards, Clark reported, “we have booked a documentary on getting inner-city kids out of the city to film Aug. 1–4, and there are four more potential projects that are in discussion: a drug cartel movie, a modern wester, a film on the American Mustang and an historic big-budget period piece that would sport a cowboy and Indian scene and feature 75 horses and riders.”
Attendants were impressed by the local thespians for the zombie invasion, who all gave resumes and pictures to the filmmakers after the raid.
Geocaris and Harrn, from the Nevada Film Office, are scheduled to return with the Nevada State Locations Director at the end of the month.
Pro film studio, WIZSONIX Films filmed the entire event and it will be available to view on GoIndietv.com next month. Randy Prince and Jon Fondy have been working with Clark on many projects, including a brief commercial for the event.