Update: Chris Leavell, supervising producer at Indigo Films, responded to this story this morning, and he's not very happy with Patch. In fairness, I tried emailing him last night at 9 p.m., and left a phone message around 8 a.m., not much of response window, a point which I tried to make in my story; I never accused the company of being non-responsive; my apologies if it came off that way.
My friend Hope Savage was having a bad day on Wednesday – life was being life and things weren’t going that well. Around 4 p.m. she noticed through the glass doors of her Foster Street home some people bunched up in the corner outside, so she opened the door to see what was going on.
And that’s when her day went from bad to much, much worse.
“When I stepped out on my porch, a very large man at the bottom of my stairs was holding a gun in a crouching position,” Savage said. “He swung around and pointed the gun at me, at my head. I ran back inside and slammed the door. I thought he was going to shoot me through the door.”
She ran through the backyard to close and lock the gate, when she noticed the cameras and other crew.
“They said, ‘it’s just a movie, ma’am.’ I went ballistic,” Savage said. “They said ‘we have a permit to do this,’ and I said ‘you do not have a permit to point a gun at me.’”
Supervising producer Chris Leavell said no such incident occured. He offered to show Patch the video playback of the scene.
"There were neighbors and families and children there watching the whole thing transpire," Leavell said. "We had our monitor in place. There was a crew on one end and a monitor on the other. We are in constant contact with the police department, and they know our locations."
Indigo Films was in town shooting a documentary for Investigations Discovery. They have shot in various locations around town, he said, including Luigi's Deli and Smokey D's BBQ.
"We have a very good relationship with the city," he said.
“This crew obtained the proper permits to film in the city and on the permit were special requirements when scenes involving guns were being filmed,” said Capt. Eric Ghisletta of the Martinez police. “The crew was to have monitors and signs out when they were filming those type of scenes, but they failed to do so. As a result, their permit was revoked and all filming was halted immediately.”
“On the film permit, it is noted that while filming scenes involving weapons there must be visible signs posted where they are filming such scenes,” said Lt. Aaron Roth of Martinez PD. “They must also have personnel assigned to monitor the perimeter of the area where the filming is taking place. This is so people are not surprised by the activities and so that any visiting law enforcement officer coming into town for court or to do a jail drop off can clearly see it is the filming of a scene rather than a real incident unfolding. There is also a notation on the permit indicating that any residence or business within a 200 foot radius of the filming must be notified 24 hours in advance by the film company. None of those conditions were being met at the time the permit was revoked in the afternoon. As far as I am aware, these conditions were met earlier in the day, so I am unsure why they were not being met in the afternoon.”
Meanwhile, Savage doesn’t feel very warm and fuzzy toward the company.
“The producer seemed clueless as to why this would be a problem for me,” she said. “He kept saying, ‘it’s just a movie.’ But not to me. Someone pointed a gun in my face. Had I been some other kind of person, I might have gone back inside my house, grabbed a gun and come back out shooting. I don’t want people pointing guns at me, whether they’re fake or real.”