Movie scenes shot at Sand Mountain dunes

Director Julian Francis chose the rolling dunes of Sand Mountain and a recently closed brothel as the locale of a film.

Director Justin Francis grew up in Reno and thought of the off-roading playground about 30 miles east of Fallon when he received a grant from Court TV's "Choices and Consequences" initiative, a program the cable network says is geared toward "sensitizing young people to the risks of aggressive behavior."

A commercial and music video director, Francis is working on his master's degree at New York University's film school, through which he received the grant to film "The Way Down," a film about the slips in life that lead to crashes.

About 25 cast and crew members set up their equipment on the side of a dune Tuesday, staging an off-roading accident while a sandstorm stirred on the playa about five miles away. They got it in four takes.

Ben Bowman, a film editor and director on "The Way Down" production team, said Francis is planning on expanding the short into a feature-length film. The filmmakers hope the Court TV-funded short will draw more financing, Bowman said.

Shooting is scheduled for another day or two at Sand Mountain and scen es will be filmed at the former brothel Salt Wells Villa later this week.


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