‘Westworld’ seeks extras for local shoot

Three film projects come to the Indian Wells Valley during month of December

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

‘Westworld’ seeks extras for local shoot“Ready for your close-up? If you’ve always wanted to appear on television, now might be your chance!”

So reads the casting call from HBO’s popular series “Westworld,” which will be filming in Ridgecrest during the month of December and is looking for hundreds of extras to help fill the frame for the 1890s period thriller.

Producers are looking for actors of all ethnicities and phenotypes, though applicants must be 18 or older. There is also a specific need for Native American performers.

“In order to get an idea of the looks of the period, interested individuals should Google the 1890s for images of appropriate grooming,” cites the press release, which also notes that authentic-looking (or no) facial hair for men, and natural hair color for women, is preferred.

An applicant can e-mail a natural photo — no glamour shots — to slimsrevengeridgecrest@gmail.

com. The applicant must also include a name, phone number and complete size information (height, weight, jacket, shirt, pant and shoe for men; height, weight, dress, bust, waist, hips and shoe for women).

“Westworld” fuses elements of science fiction and western genres in a futuristic amusement park that caters to the super rich. Patrons can live out their wildest dreams — ostensibly without consequence — through an artificial consciousness.

The current series is based loosely on the concept of Michael Chrichton’s 1973 book of the same name and follows the short-lived 1980 series called “Beyond Westworld.” The show features a star-studded cast including Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris.

In addition to the prestigious opportunity for professional, amateur and would-be actors, the project is also “a welcome boost to the local economy,” according to the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

About 150 crew members, along with 20 cast members, are expected to be staying in Ridgecrest for 10 days.

According to an insider of the local hospitality industry, that estimated 1,700 room nights (assuming each visitor fills up one room for the duration of the project) yields about $165,750 in revenue for local hotels.

That does not include the tens of thousands of dollars more that feed into local tax streams.

Market multipliers suggest that industrial projects generate nearly $5 in other markets for each $1 spent on lodging — bringing the cumulative disposable income close to $1 million for this project alone.

Visitors eat in our restaurants, buy fuel, shop in local stores — to say nothing of the services they use from sanitation to health care to transportation and more.

RACVB noted that two more film projects are coming to Ridgecrest this month.

“Alien Runner,” a 30-minute cinematic pilot from Abstract Digital Cinema, will bring a crew of 29 to Ridgecrest for four days.

Extreme Ventures LLC will stage a photo shoot for SUV-Pickup Truck of the Year, using a crew of 11 for two days.

— Pictured: Anthony Hopkins, as Dr. Robert Ford, portrays one of the co-creators of Westworld — an amusement park populated with artificial intelligence that serves the whims of rich patrons. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2017-12-01