"Tarantino shooting film in Santa Ynez Valley"
By Neil Nisperos/Staff WriterÃ¢â‚¬Å“
"Pulp FictionÃ¢â‚¬? director Quentin Tarantino was busy in Buellton Wednesday filming a violent chase sequence for his new film Ã¢â‚¬Å“Death Proof,Ã¢â‚¬? the first (or second) half of a double feature called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Grindhouse.Ã¢â‚¬?Most of this week’s filming took place on a short stretch of Highway 246 just west of Buellton. The road remained open but motorists were warned by electronic signs cautioning them to stop for road work ahead.CHP patrol cars ferried traffic through the on-location set and stops lasted five to 10 minutes. Filming on the stretch of road took place from Monday through Wednesday. Road delays are no longer expected as most of the filming has moved to rural areas, said a production spokesman.The film’s star, Kurt Russell, who has been seen by Solvang residents relaxing at a local pub, plays the part of a serial killer named Stuntman Mike who kills young women. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Clerks IIÃ¢â‚¬? star Rosario Dawson is a female lead in the film.Online sources say Ã¢â‚¬Å“Death ProofÃ¢â‚¬? will be set around a fictional movie shoot with female cast and crew being stalked by Russell’s psychopath character. A movie still released to Entertainment Weekly magazine this week features an intense looking Russell driving a muscle car down what appears to be a two-lane country road.At the shoot Wednesday, two versions of the same beat-up black early '70s muscle car were parked near a production base camp near a Buellton ranch near the short stretch of Highway 246 where the chase sequence was filmed.A stuntman on set said the car is driven by Russell in the film and online pictures confirm the connection.Much of the filming in the area concerned chase sequences, said location manager Kyle Kaufman, with an elaborate jump sequence having been staged near the 101 over the weekend and another chase, part of the same sequence, shot on the windy Figueroa Mountain Road above Los Olivos.Ã¢â‚¬Å“We just did a jump on a road that was right next to the 101; two cars jumped off a kicker ramp, went right across the 101,Ã¢â‚¬? Kaufman said.A drive-in theater marquee prop, reading Ã¢â‚¬Å“Scary Movie 4Ã¢â‚¬? and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wolf Creek,Ã¢â‚¬? was placed on the shoulder of the 246 eastbound lane Wednesday, near a large crane attached to a professional motion picture camera. A large production crew quickly crossed the highway on foot before CHP officers temporarily closed the road for filmmakers to get some shots at around 1 p.m.Ã¢â‚¬Å“They were doing some chase scenes on 246 and one of the scenes involves Kurt’s car being bumped off the side of the road,Ã¢â‚¬? Kaufman said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He’s still driving and he looks up and sees the marquee’s been smashed through.Ã¢â‚¬?Production closes Friday for the winter holiday and begins again after the New Year holiday, shooting in local rural areas through mid-January, said a production spokesman.Kaufman described why the production ended up shooting in the Santa Ynez Valley after having shot primary scenes in Austin, Texas.Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was Tarantino’s decision (to shoot here),Ã¢â‚¬? Kaufman said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“And so we scouted many areas around the southern half of California and when he saw the pictures from here, he really embraced the terrain and feel of the roads. That was what brought us here.Ã¢â‚¬?The location manager said the experience of shooting in the area has been Ã¢â‚¬Å“fabulous.Ã¢â‚¬?Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everybody here has been very welcoming,Ã¢â‚¬? Kaufman said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“All the residents have been open to filming and are very friendly. We’re able to work with all the people here. It’s been a nice experience in terms of the valley and the people.Ã¢â‚¬?Ã¢â‚¬Å“GrindhouseÃ¢â‚¬? will also include director Robert Rodriguez’s slasher film Ã¢â‚¬Å“Planet Terror.Ã¢â‚¬? The movie, a sort of double feature, is set for release in 2007."