Goldfield Ghost Town, 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Road, played host to a film crew on March 3. The crew was filming for a pilot of an upcoming series, under the working title “Saddle Up.”
Jeff Dykhuizen, the director of the show, said he chose Goldfield because it epitomized what he was seeing when he was writing the show.
“Seeing Goldfield kind of connected with me and connected with the other producers,” Mr. Dykhuizen said. “The fact that it’s a classic Western town along with it being right next to the Superstition Mountains.”
Depending on which network picks up the show, will determine where future episodes are filmed Mr. Dykhuizen said.
“We’ll shop it,” James Simmons, a producer on the show, said. “We have a couple sales reps interested in shopping it for us.”
“If it were to continue to be in Arizona, I would definitely want Goldfield to be involved in some shape or form,” Mr. Dykhuizen said.
The show, according to Mr. Dykhuizen, is about a city girl who goes to live with her aunt and uncle who own and operate a Western town.
“As much as she is able to learn from them, these old traditional family values,” he said. “She is also able to bring them up to speed.”
One of those things she teaches them is social media, because the town doesn’t have a platform, according to Mr. Dyhuizen.
“It’s about family values,” Mr. Dyhuizen said. “It’s a clean show about respectable parents. Positive life lessons.”
Mr. Dykhuizen said the first time he saw Goldfield was about six months ago.
“There was another film over at Bearfruit, that pushed this one back a bit and so we had scouted this beforehand,” he said. “This is kind of more of a personal passion project for us. Other projects are going to come and go, but we definitely know this is happening at some point.”
The crew had two days of shooting in Arizona; the first was up in the Cave Creek area, according to Mr. Dykhuizen. There will be an additional day of filming on an undetermined day.
“As of right now our entire cast is from Arizona, Mr. Dykhuizen said. “We worked with local actors and local crew entirely.”
Mr. Dykhuizen said that he chose to film the show in Arizona because the state has so much to offer but a lot of the big projects go to other states that offer tax incentives.
“I think it gets overlooked,” he said. “There is fantastic crew here, our crew was unbelievable. And we had an amazing cast, there are fantastic agencies in the state with all this talent.”
Mr. Dykhuizen said there were many good things about pulling from Arizona for this project.
“One of our leads, Aunt Angela, actually happens to be John Wayne’s granddaughter.”
Goldfield is approached five to eight times a year to be used in various commercial projects.
“We got one coming out here the day after tomorrow for some photos for Mercedes-Benz that are going in a magazine,” Mayor Bob Schoose, owner of Goldfield, said. “They are just using the ambience of the town, the old buildings.”
To use Goldfield in a commercial project is very easy, he said.
“They just have to supply us with a certificate of insurance and pay our location fees, we charge,” he said. “That fee depends on how long they’re going to be here.”
Mr. Schoose said he has been in several projects that have pertained to the history of the area.
One of those was “Legends of the Superstitions.”
“The two seasons after that show (visitors) went way up,” Mr. Schoose said. “Everyone I talked to along the Apache Trail here, the museum, Tortilla Flats, Mining Camp Restaurant, our business here. It was a fantastic boost to business in the area.”
News Services Assistant Arianna Grainey can be reached at 623-445-2717, via e-mail at email@example.com or on twitter at ariannagrainey