Here's what the Iverson Movie Ranch obsession is all about ...

For an introduction to this blog and to the obsession a growing number of vintage film and TV fans have with the Iverson Movie Ranch — the most widely filmed outdoor location in movie and TV history — please read the site's introductory post, found here.
• Your feedback is appreciated — please leave comments on any of the posts.
• To find specific rock features or look up movie titles, TV shows, actors and production people, see the "LABELS" section — the long alphabetical listing on the right side of the page, below.
• To join the MAILING LIST, send me an email at iversonmovieranch@gmail.com and let me know you'd like to sign up.
• I've also begun a YouTube channel for Iverson Movie Ranch clips and other movie location videos, which you can get to by clicking here.
• Here's a link to Garden of the Gods, the best-known section of the Iverson Movie Ranch (featured in the movie "Stagecoach," the "Lone Ranger" TV show and hundreds of other productions).
• To go right to the great Iverson cinematographers, click here.
• Readers can email the webmaster at iversonmovieranch@gmail.com.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Daybreak" in Chatsworth: They're still making movies at the Iverson Ranch

Planter in front of the rec room at the Indian Hills Mobile Home Park

The Iverson Movie Ranch hasn't existed for a few decades now — at least not as a working movie ranch. But the land is still there, all 500 acres of it. And most of the trademark rocks remain, even if in many cases they're hidden behind condos and mobile homes — or used as decorative elements in planters, as in the case of End Rock, said to be the large, flat rock in the photo above.

"Secret Service in Darkest Africa" (1943)

Back in Hollywood's Golden Age, End Rock was a more natural landmark, and appeared in countless movies, serials and early TV shows, proudly marking the entry point for a widely filmed chase road. That's End Rock directly behind the horse in the above shot from the Republic serial "Secret Service in Darkest Africa." At least a version of End Rock is still being showcased, in a way — even if it is in the planter outside the community room of the Indian Hills Mobile Home Village.

A shot from the 2012 production "Daybreak" shows the same planter seen at the top 
of this blog entry — including a small slice of what passes for End Rock these days. 

It may come as a surprise that they're still shooting at Iverson, and in fact they're still shooting at Indian Hills. Most of the action nowadays is for TV shows, with the popular comedy series "The Big Bang Theory" and the police procedural "CSI" among those reportedly shooting in the mobile home park in recent years. Lately some of the production is shifting to Web series, a newer format that has also discovered the appeal of the former Iverson Ranch. Whether the crews even realize the place was once a thriving movie facility, who knows? But Hollywood continues to come out to Chatsworth to make movie magic.

"Daybreak" (2012)

The Web series "Daybreak" filmed at Indian Hills in early 2012 and began "airing" on an ATT website last May. To be sure, these modern shoots bear little resemblance to the productions of Iverson's glory days. These days the property is used for what it became when it was no longer a working film location, and in the case of "Daybreak" that means a mobile home park. Other productions in recent years have made use of the estates that now occupy the former Upper Iverson, and on occasion someone will still even shoot the rocks.

The chase is on — a motorcycle chase through the mobile home park, covering the same turf that once featured horse chases on a regular basis. The basic idea is still the same, but the cowboys and Indians have given way to tech nerds and mysterious government agents.

One of the two Ryans who star in "Daybreak" — Ryan Eggold or Ryan McPartlin. (I can't tell them apart.) I got a kick out of seeing the "Indian Hills" sign at the entrance to the mobile home park — if nothing else, it proves where the scene was shot.

The "Daybreak" crew also aimed their cameras across Topanga Canyon Boulevard for a few seconds of footage, catching two of the busy street's main features: Stoney Point, partially visible at the right, and the ubiquitous traffic. This shot was taken from just outside the mobile home park.

Here's a better look at Stoney Point from "Daybreak" — it's one of Chatsworth's most distinctive landmarks and shows up in the background in a lot of old movies, but it's rarely filmed from this close.

Sarah Roemer

Besides the Ryans, the main cast of "Daybreak" consists of Sarah Roemer, Eugene Byrd and Shannon Lucio. One of the show's creators is Tim Kring, who was behind NBC's "Heroes" — which also shot a few scenes at Iverson, back in 2008. Kring is currently an executive producer on Fox's Kiefer Sutherland series "Touch."

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