Jul 28, 2014
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Moorpark in the Movies

The city serves as a stand in for Texas and Oregon.

Moorpark in the Movies

Another Los Angeles filming crew has used Moorpark as its backdrop.

The independent movie Exodus Fall, produced by Gorilla Pictures and Brainstorm Productions, used the Moorpark and Somis area extensively during film production two years ago.

The film, set in 1974, tells the story of three teen siblings struggling with their abusive mother after the death of their father. When one autistic brother is sent away, the oldest of the siblings devises a plan to get their brother back. This leads them to embark on a life-changing journey across the Southwest in their deceased father’s station wagon.

According to Michael Baumgarten, one of the film’s producers, many of the scenes were shot in Moorpark or the Moorpark area. For instance, the main “Texas house” filming took place off of Grimes Canyon Road near Skyline Road, and some of the local Texas and Oregon town scenes were filmed in Moorpark.

“The diversity of Moorpark allowed the filmmakers to utilize the exterior of a church and its street to play as the Grandmother’s town in Oregon,” he said. “This is where the kids are nearing the end of their journey and use a phone near the church to call their Grandma.”

Baumgarten noted that Moorpark’s backdrop actually saved the producers considerable time and expense in their shooting schedule.

“The diverse looks, open fields, and small town feel allowed the filmmakers to stay in Los Angeles. It allowed the bulk of the Texas shooting without the cost and logistics of travel,” he said.

For co-directors Ankush Kohli and Chad Waterhouse, this is a film of firsts. It’s Kohli's first film as a director and Waterhouse's first screenplay. He found inspiration for the film from his childhood friend who suffered from autism.

The production has garnered several independent film awards including the California Film Awards Grand Jury Award and the Los Angeles Movie Awards Award of Excellence. Locally, it won the Best of Festival award at the Ventura Film Festival.

The movie is slated to premiere April 8 in Houston and in Las Vegas Saturday and Sunday. It features Rosanna Arquette, Jesse James, Devon Graye, Dee Wallace and Christopher Atkins.

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