Quiet on the set,” followed by the clapping of the clapperboard with the number of the scene and set,  and the word “Action” were a few things heard again and again Saturday morning on “Day 5 of 5” of the filming of “Porterville” – a police drama about a murderer roaming the streets of Porterville, directed by David M. Parks. 

Parks is a documentarian, writer, director, editor and producer who also was instrumental in forming Lux Angeles Studios in Burbank, a full-service production company that provides cinematography, lighting, grip, postproduction and production services to a wide range of industry clients including Lions Gate, Netflix, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Apple TV, Roku, Grindstone, Glam Hive and Urban Outfitters.

There’s a murder in town and a small-town Sheriff has to stop him,” Parks said and went on and talked about the actual plot of the movie. “We’ll be shooting two angles here.”

Parks said the scene wouldn’t be on Main Street.

This is where we do our movie magic,” Parks said after shooting the scene outside of the barbershop. “It will not be Main Street but a secondary street.”

Parks also said it was Executive Producer Christopher Young who picked the location for the movie.

Chris had shot a small documentary out here so he hired us from Los Angeles to come and shoot this,” Parks said. “We are submitting it to three places I can’t mention and we’ll see what happens.”

Later, at a second location, Young talked about his first visit to Porterville two years prior for the documentary and of how he thought of the town when he was writing the script for the current production, where he portrays an ex-cop from New York who’s shaken up by a murder and comes to Porterville where he becomes the Sheriff of the small town.

I’m a hard a--, cowboy sheriff reflecting on what he went through in New York,” said Young, executive producer, writer and lead role of the production. “I think it’s going to work here. Porterville is ideal. It has good people, has great scenic value. It’s quiet. The production value of Porterville is perfect. There are wide roads and the people are nice. There’s agriculture. There’s horses. It is Spanish and English diversified.”

And when he needed to find a priest to play Father Michael in the story, he instantly knew who he wanted – the young man who introduced him to Porterville – Homer Aguilar.

He’s Hispanic. He’s young, and would be perfect for the part,” Young said.

Aguilar said he was thrilled to get the opportunity to act in his hometown where his family live.

But even before the crew arrived to the first location, J.R. Flores, owner of JR’s Barber Shop, was busy Saturday morning making sure the white of his barber chairs glistened, the chrome sparkled and his wood floors shined. It’s something he does daily, he said, but on Saturday, there was an additional reason it had to be perfect – the Burbank movie crew would be shooting a couple of scenes at JR’s Barber Shop.

They contacted me two months ago. They came in and asked me if I was interested. I had not ever seen them before that day,” Flores said. “They were scouting places and they liked this (barbershop) on Main Street. I said ‘Sure.’ The second time they contacted me was a month later. Then an email arrived two weeks after that explaining everything and wanting me to sign a contract.”

That’s when it hit me and I thought, ‘This is for real,’” Flores said. “Then a week later, a lady showed up with three other people. They started looking around to see where they might shoot.”

The scene is a simple one, he said. The priest in the movie will be getting a haircut when he sees something outside and immediately gets up and walks out.

I talked to them again yesterday and they said they would be here this morning,” Flores said. “I think it’s pretty cool. It’s neat. There’s a lot of barber shops in town and they picked here. I was blown away.”

Flores said Young was going to submit the pilot to several large production companies and film festivals to see who would pick it up.

It’s pretty cool. Pretty neat. They also asked me to put up a few Christmas things. I told him I always have a tree and I went ahead and put it up. I guess the movie takes time during Christmas.”

Flores said they really liked his barber chairs.

He liked the chairs. Everybody that comes in always tells me how great they look,” Flores said. “And it’s on Main Street in Porterville.”

And as far as he could tell, he would be the barber cutting the priest’s hair.

Flores’ friend, and long-time customer, Elias Ramirez arrived early to watch.

It’s pretty cool to actually have Hollywood producers coming to where I usually get my haircut. I’ve been coming here for years,” Ramirez said. “When I heard they would be in the shop, I thought I’d pass by and even be here to get the chance to see it.”

And just like Flores said, Parks and his camera crew arrived and the scenes were shot, with Flores cutting the hair of Porterville’s own actor Homer Aguilar.

From there, the crew moved over to Location 2, which also served as BaseCamp.

While we’re shooting this,” Parks said of Location 1, they are over there setting everything up and getting things ready.”

And across town, near Henderson Avenue and Villa Street, the second location bubbled with activity as Stephanie Bates, 1st Assistant Director, Production Coordinator and Business Affairs Coordinator, could be seen walking around, giving instructions and informing people they  were ready for “a take.”

It’s my sister’s home. I asked her first and then offered it as a basecamp,” said Homer Aguilar. “I was also able to get her a small speaking part in the film.”

His sister, Elizabeth Aguilar, had to remove her personal belongings from the top of the nightside tables and bureau and the room was transformed into Sheriff Jake’s bedroom.

Scenes are also shot in the kitchen, back yard and the exterior street.

In the dining room, sound equipment and an array of microphones sat on the dining table. Near a set of sliding glass doors offering plenty of natural light, leading to the patio, a table filled with makeup sat next to a foldable, professional makeup artist chair. A rack of clothing was also in the area, as were numerous spotlights and other large moving tripods with filming equipment.

Out on the patio was a table with a spread of cheeses, fruits, crackers and meats, along with an array of other snacks, water bottles, drinks and hot coffee.

And sitting quietly on the sofa was 13-year-old, Burton Middle School student, Maydeline Aguilar, who has a small, but significant part in the pilot.

It’s exciting,” Maydeline said. “I’ve only done little parts in plays. This is very exciting.”

Homer Aguilar also said he was able to obtain three Porterville College media students as production assistants, Leslie Ochoa, Florentino Linas and Erika Coon.

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