By Carol Mowdy Bond
On June 10, the Hollywood production company ARI Production LLC, of Los Angeles, California, finished shooting their family-friendly film “Joey and Ella” at Blose Barn and Garden, 301 S. Richland Road, which is the historic Shedeck homestead.
Hollywood executive producer Zeus Zamani said the film is a story of adventure and friendship. Zamani said, “The film is about a kangaroo that gets separated from its movie. Through a series of events, the kangaroo gains some magical powers that enable it to grow much, much faster than naturally and also enables it to speak.”
Zamani said, “These are my fourth and fifth movies to film in Oklahoma. I’ve been here three times before.” Zamani’s first time to shoot a film in Oklahoma was in 2016. Through the years he’s seen a growing and talented crew base in Oklahoma, and in particular in the Oklahoma City area. In fact, he’s currently working with some of the same local crew that he worked with in 2016.
Zamani has produced about 30 movies and television shows in the past 15 years. He has worked on films with all kinds of content, and has also produced over 400 music videos for artists. Originally from the UK, Zamani received his education there. But he also took classes at the University of California, Los Angeles. He said he is watching the Oklahoma crew base grow, and he appreciates the support and hospitality of Oklahomans, and the Oklahoma Film and Music Office. He said the office provided many resources, and he commented on how well the office functions.
Zamani said on June 11, their crew will begin filming the movie “CIApe” in Guthrie, and
then film in Tulsa. The filming will all take place in Oklahoma, and is about a talking chimp who is a CIA agent. It’s also a family-friendly movie.
Zamani, who lives in Los Angeles, said there can be problems filming in Los Angeles. It can get hectic. There are a lot of production companies filming there.
To find a location like Blose Barn and Garden, with the barn, and the access to the property for this time period has been great, he said. Six of the crew are from Los Angeles, and the rest are from Oklahoma. The actors are from Oklahoma and Texas, plus several from Los Angeles.
Julie and Don Blose own the event venue, Blose Barn and Garden, where the filming has taken place over the past several weeks.
Don Blose said, “They saw a picture of our barn on the internet, and then contacted us. It’s unusual to find a picturesque barn like this and the property and everything else we have here.”
Julie has been on site each day of the filming, making sure the crew has everything needed. She is impressed at how polite and kind the entire crew has been.
The historic barn that sealed the deal for Zamani is the original Shedeck barn. Julie and Don own 10 acres of the original 160-acre Shedeck Homestead that belonged to Anna and Antone Shedeck, who spoke the Czech language in their home. The original Shedeck home, the barn, and various out buildings are on the 10 acres.
Julie is the event coordinator for Blose Barn and Garden, which opened three years ago, and which hosts a variety of events including weddings and birthday parties. In those three years, the venue has hosted 34 weddings. They have 25 more booked this year.
“Joey and Ella” is slated for release the second quarter of 2021, followed a few months later by the release of “CIApe.”