A film crew on Friday blew up several abandoned buildings in San Jacinto, and the city hopes it's a sign of things to come. The city is hoping to attract more Hollywood-style film production as a way to help turn around the economy. Tony Shin reports from San Jacinto for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 29, 2013.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department had a message for residents of San Jacinto and beyond: do not be alarmed by the sound of explosions.
A film crew used so-called "giant firecrackers" to detonate buildings in an abandoned neighborhood Friday near the intersection of Kuhns Drive and State Street.
"Depending on atmospheric conditions, the sounds of explosions may be amplified and heard up to 2 miles away," according to the sheriff's department.
The explosions were for a series of short Internet movies produced by Angel Valley Media.
The production company's owner, Matt Lewis, described the shoot as a win-win for his company and the city of San Jacinto.
"San Jacinto, these guys have been so cool to us. The city here is very friendly to film making. We've had nothing but excellent cooperation from everybody, from the top down since we started to shoot here," he said.
Lewis said the city was planning to demolish the neighborhood anyway.
"They invited us to come down and said, 'Hey if you guys want to blow it up for us, we'd be more than happy to let you.' And we're more than happy to oblige them," Lewis said.
Filming on Friday was destined for a short with the working title "POV," showing law enforcement on the hunt for a mad bomber.
City Council member Crystal Ruiz came up with the idea of luring film production companies to San Jacinto to create more revenue and more jobs.
"It benefits the vendors, it benefits the trades, it's just a good deal package all around," said her husband and aide, Chuck Ruiz.
The production company hired a local caterer to provide food.
"It really helps when big companies come into town and help out the small businesses," said Scott Troupe of Goodfellas Tacos.
Still, at least one local resident isn't sure if any new jobs will be created.
"If they bring people from outside then what’s the point?" asked Aaron Rodriguez.
Anyone with questions about the shoot was asked to call the San Jacinto Police Department at 9519-654-2702.