LEFT TURN 1989

By Olivier HERMITANT

ROUTE 07 PRODUCTIONS - as PROD

Documentary - Pre-Production 2018

Since 1949, some peoples have been making a left turn in a forgotten corner of the California desert and never left. In 1989, a french wanna be rock star made the same left turn not knowing he would embarked on a crazy wild odyssey.

    • Year of production
    • 2018
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Road movie
    • Countries
    • USA, FRANCE
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH, FRENCH
    • Director(s)
    • Olivier HERMITANT
    • Writer(s)
    • Olivier HERMITANT
    • Producer(s)
    • Olivier HERMITANT (Route 07 Productions)
    • Synopsis
    • Glancing back to 1989, I considered myself something of a poor man's Jimmy Page: a shaggy French-born ‘wanna-be rock star living the dream; my small, dark $700 dollar a month apartment a short walk from The Sunset Strip.
      Ultimately burn out set in. So one afternoon I headed east, mindlessly, into the desert. Then turned left.
      I eventually came upon what seemed a ghost town. But unbeknownst to me that left turn would mark the beginning of a long and wild life odyssey.
      This page introduces a film project, reflective of that life turn; one, which took root in 1989, then began filming in earnest (using a mini DV video camera) seven years later.
      In early 2000, I left Los Angeles in a van packed with a motorcycle, a borrowed camera, various musical instruments, recording gear. In other words: all my worldly possessions.
      For a span of five months I based myself on the edge of that ghost town, in a tiny, rough and tumble cabin alongside an occasionally raving mad poet and consistent devotee of Budweiser.
      Stepping out—and over dozens of beer cans each morning—the poet’s lean-to stood in the figurative middle of nowhere. Yet everyday spent there became a literal life-affirming adventure.
      I mean, here I was, a wide-eyed Frenchman discovering a strange if undiscovered Western settlement. A real-life Twilight Zone only 110-miles from Los Angeles!
      Soon enough I became one with the locals, nearly all American Originals: wildly colorful iconoclasts, artists, outlaws, Playboy Bunnies, old cowboys, biker trash. In sum, marvelously marginal types who lived the desert way: simple if rich, savoring their big solitude and brilliant sunsets.
      Ultimately, over a ten year span I shot 150-hours of footage.
      At the same time I committed to collecting archival images, still photos and films that rendered this remarkable corner of California’s High Desert region as far back as 1949.
      During those years, a full movie soundtrack also came together. It was collaborative effort, my dear musician friends from Los Angeles joining some local strummers and twangers from nearby Joshua Tree.
      Yet for far too long I sat on this project, unable to devote either critical time or limited resources to its fulfillment.
      But the time has come to finally put a finis to my film. To that end I will begin posting a select few videos and still images, framed by their respective backstories.
      In closing, I’m poised to accept any financial or production-related assistance toward the completion of Left Turn/1989.
      I can be reached at: contact@route07productions.com
      To get more info feel free to check the Facebook page about the film project.
      https://www.facebook.com/1989leftturn/
    • Partners & financing
    • Looking for partners & Financing
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Oct 02, 1996
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