Santa Paula Times

Amtrak arrives at Depot for new Internet game commercial

September 15, 1999
Santa Paula News
Backyard Productions of Venice wound up in Santa Paula’s backyard and brought along with it an Amtrak train to film a commercial in the Depot area for a new Internet game. Set-up and filming took place over four days last week, according to John Keisler, community services director, who was wearing his film liaison hat for the shoot.“The commercial will be broadcast on television and refer potential players to the Internet Web site,” said Keisler.The game,, sounds fun if the filming is any indication: “The commercial dealt with a bunch of bouncing red balls,” and plenty of suited train commuters, he added.Filming did cause some intermittent delays on 10th Street/Highway 150, Keisler said, for which the “filming company and city apologizes. . .”Fillmore & Western Railway tracks were utilized for the Amtrak engine and three cars, said Bruce Heard, Amtrak filming coordinator.Backyard Productions oversaw the construction of two commuter station shelters on both sides of the railroad tracks.
“I think it will be a great commercial,” said Heard, who oversees up to 50 shoots in three western states each year for Amtrak. “It was a pleasure to work with Backyard Productions. . .I can’t remember the last time I worked with such professional people. And it was a real treat to work with Fillmore & Western Railway,” as well as Keisler.Backyard Productions location manager Kevin Sharpton said the commercial - which needed a cast and crew of about 130 people - should air in about four weeks.He found Santa Paula a “Quiet little town that we enjoyed very much, a very pleasant town. John Keisler helped us facilitate all our needs and it turned out to be a pretty decent commercial.”