Filmmaker Gage Hunt of Upland who grew up in Chino Hills has produced a short film called “Where We Go” about a solemn teenager who feels out of place in the world that surrounds him and is oddly connected to a closed-down military facility in town that has taken on the lore of an urban legend.
The film was shot in the Butterfield area of Chino Hills and at an unused nuclear power plant in Elma, Washington.
Mr. Hunt, 30, said he had fond memories of growing up on Aspen Court in an era where neighborhood children rode bicycles, built dirt bike jumps in nature parks, and dared each other to visit Aerojet Ordnance Co. at the top of the hill on Woodview Road.
They also challenged each other to walk in the gulley (nature park) at night where a man in long hair walked around wearing a pig mask, generating the Pigman cult lore.
“The gulley had a scary vibe at night,” he said.
Mr. Hunt said his parents divorced when he was 12 years old and things were changing in his life.
“I had an older brother just finishing high school and doing his own thing,” Mr. Hunt said. “There’s a lot that went through my head during that time. My parents were great, but divorce happens, and you feel lonely.”
Mr. Hunt attended Glenmeade Elementary, Townsend Junior High, and graduated from Chino Hills High in 2008.
The 12-minute film features “Jad” who feels an impending sense of anxiety about his family situation and wishes to connect to a world outside of himself.
“The film approaches this heavy subject by injecting an element of wonder and mystery into the teenager’s life during a tumultuous time,” he said. “My hope is that anybody who is going through anxiety or depression will be able to watch the film and see that everyone has a purpose regardless of the cards they were dealt in life.”
Jad is played by his brother-in-law Anthony Montes of Chino Hills.
Mr. Hunt’s wife Lauren is a 2007 graduate of Chino Hills High School. They have been married for two years.
The film was funded after a successful Indiegogo campaign raised more than $11,000 in 27 days, he said.
Indiegogo is a crowd-funding platform like Kickstarter where funds are raised for a project or venture with small amounts of money from many people, he said.
“It blew my mind,” he said. “It allowed us to fly out to Washington and film at a nuclear power plant that would portray the fear of a facility (Aerojet) we never stepped foot on.”
Although not a nuclear power plant, Aerojet manufactured and tested explosives and chemical warfare agents from 1954 to 1995 at the end of Woodview Road, south of Peyton Drive, under government contracts.
The site, undergoing cleanup since 1997, has long been the subject of Chino Hills “lore.”
“Where We Go” is in the post-production stage, Mr. Gage said. The production team is targeting local and global film festivals as well as large online platforms to secure a premiere and release.
“With this strategy, we hope to compete and win at these festivals, which in turn, might propel us to possibly have the film acquired by a distributor.” he said.
Once released, it will be made available on YouTube and Vimeo, he said.
For updates on the film’s progress visit moonracercre ative.com/wherewegofilm or visit Instagram @gagebhunt.