Written by Christian Jean
Hey, let’s shoot a film in the desert! What could go wrong? Due to some setbacks, we were three hours late arriving in Baker, California for dinner the night before our first day of shooting. As a result, three of us who were camping on the dunes with our grip truck and gear, as opposed to staying in the motel 45 minutes south in town, arrived after dark instead of during late afternoon.
And after dark out here might as well be the bottom of the sea. It was so dark, we couldn’t see more than two feet, even with flashlights. We couldn’t find the mobile bathrooms that had been delivered hours earlier. And we didn’t see the rogue sand drift in which our grip truck sank.
The only thing we could see, because they reflected so much moonlight, were the massive RVs parked right in front of our painstakingly scouted and carefully- blocked location, with several dune buggies in tow. Did I mention we were shooting on public land? So much for mid-week privacy. We decided to shoot 100 yards to the north (sand dunes are sand dunes, right?) and solve our other problems in the morning.
Things almost felt normal as we settled into tents for the evening, next to our stranded grip truck, when winds straight out of Alien’s LV-426 kicked up, pummeling and freezing us until morning like flotsam adrift in the Southern Ocean. We woke up haggard and cold but exhilarated. The winds were gone. We saw the bathrooms on the horizon. And our cast and crew, including a horse and two trainers, would be here in an hour. Now, about that grip truck…
“We ain’t never gonna make it out of here” –Marcus, Mojave Junction
Mojave Junction played 26 events, including the Oscar and BAFTA-qualifying LA Shorts Fest and Cannes, where it sold to DIRECTV. On demand now at ShortsTV and Streamlette. Winner of the top prize for horror at Dragon-Con and the Gold Remi for westerns at Woldfest Houston. Directed by Christian Jean and starring Ed Marinaro.