Director River Roubaix and a 40- to 45-member film crew converged on the Revelation Ranch off Route 23 just west of Pemberville to shoot scenes for the independent film “Whitehorse Revelations.”
The ranch is owned by the family of former Press Newspapers distribution director Michelle Proch, who is opening an equestrian boarding operation that offers horse-riding lessons. Performing stunts in the film is Press sales department assistant Abbey Schell.
Roubaix had been advertising on Craig’s List for a location to film his movie when Proch contacted him.
The setting is made to look like a 19th Century period-dated horse track.
Roubaix’s company, Roubaix Pictures, began filming at the ranch July 11. The film is a western version of 19:11 in the Book of Revelations, but set during the period around 1865. All actors and actresses were wearing custom reproductions of 1865 clothing.
Roubaix, a Marblehead native who graduated from Bowling Green High School, plans to enter the film at the Sundance Film Festival and other festivals worldwide.
Scenes include authentic period props from major motion pictures, including a period dated shovel being custom made in the United Kingdom. Roubaix says once editing is completed he hopes to show his “short” trailer of 25 to 30 minutes of screen time at the Pemberville Opera House, plus he is planning other local showings to be held after the film festival competitions.
The screenplay was written and directed by Roubaix. Roubaix is the co-producer alongside Eric T. Miller, plus Roubaix also stars in the production alongside actors and actresses who arrived from throughout the nation. The producers are seeking financial backing to produce the feature in Santa Rosa, California.
The film includes horses that have been in major motion pictures, including a two-time “Sire of the Year” Andalusian White horse named “Santiago.” Roubaix and the horse’s owner built a special stable for Santiago, and other horses that were used in the filming include El Sama Arabians owned by Proch, who is involved with the Arabian Rescue Midwest organization.
Roubaix has promised Proch that her ranch and horses will receive film credits, as will Schell, a Clay High School graduate, for her participation in driving a wagon during certain scenes. Schell, who lives in downtown Toledo, recently took a six-month leave of absence from The Press to work at a ranch in Montana. Proch complimented Schell for her handling of the role driving the wagon.
A competitive barrel racing horse, “Silkie,” is the main actor’s cattle horse. There are also scenes including an experienced team of standard bred horses that Roubaix owns for the covered wagon Schell drove. Another Arabian horse, “Rose,” which Proch rescued, was also used along with a horse named “Layla.”
“Silkie was the leading lady — that’s his (Roubaix’s) horse,” Proch said. “and Layla was his second leading lady who was the pack horse, and Rose was the duffer horse.”
Roubaix said he has been doing everything he can while at Proch’s ranch to realize the life his character would lead. To get the feel of his main character role, Roubaix slept with the horses by a campfire during filming.
“Actually, I am living my character (Colt) by working on the ranch, mending fences, building stables, riding and shooting firearms off a horse,” Roubaix said.
There were also wranglers and fire arm specialists on the set during filming. Roubaix says black powder firearms of the mid-1800s were used.
Roubaix said editing has begun. He has plans to establish a website soon to track the production and success of his film.