LA Desert Ranch Owners Mark The End Of A Successful First Year With New Saloon Stage
LA Desert Ranch is a 5 acre property in Lake Los Angeles, CA. Just one hour out of LA, the open air film and photo location features unique installations like the Desert Saloon Set, Desert Graveyard, and Dark Stage, but this wasn’t always the case. Before Marq Robinson and John Tudhope acquired the land, it was nothing more than a bare lot in the desert. One year later, however, after trekking, mannequins, reclaimed wood, concrete, and heart shaped set pieces to the Antelope Valley from Los Angeles, the lot has been transformed into something more. By their account, the desert space has already seen good use, but this is just the beginning.
When asked about the difficulties they faced getting this project off the ground, Marq replied “one thing we realized early on was that it’s really easy for the set pieces to just look like random objects in the desert, if they aren’t framed with some sort of barrier elements. This forced us to go back to the drawing board with how we designed the installations. Now we have plans to further develop our current sets with more more depth and interactive elements for our clients. The new Saloon Stage is just phase one of that.” Measuring a little over 196 square feet, the stage frame, deck, and back rail are all almost entirely made of reclaimed wood. That’s something they’re very intentional about.
John noted that in fact “most of everything out here has been upcycled in some way. We got the vintage doors from a restorer in West Adams. Our hearts and dark stage pieces came from EcoSet, and a lot of the rest was sourced from Craigslist and yard sales.” He continued, “it’s great for us because it helps out the cost but it’s also a good feeling to know that we are putting this together as sustainably as possible.”
The two also have soft plans to add new installations and productions gear on site to make it easier for client and to attract new narratives. It will be a grind, but they are optimistic about the coming year and each one after that.