Media Life: Movie made in Colfax 10 years ago now on DVD

Japan calls Auburn music maker; "Deal or No Deal" casting call
By: Gus Thomson
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The long wait is over for Colfax. Hollywood came to town 10 years ago this June in the form of an independent movie with some star power. Comic actor Jerry Stiller and the cast and crew of The Independent spent two days shooting in the mountain community. But the film never made it onto the Colfax Theater screen “ despite the fact that scenes were shot inside the 1930s era movie house. The closest the movie came in its short run in 2000 was Sacramento. And until a few weeks ago, The Independent hadn't been released on DVD. Stiller plays a schlock filmmaker in a flick that heaps the satire on thick as it documents the life and times of one Morty Fineman “ director of 427 pretty horrible movies. If you were in Colfax for the filming, as Media Life was, it was a time that was hard to forget. The community's main street was transformed into the fictional Nevada desert town of Chaparral. Three hundred volunteer extras took part in Colfax Theater interior shots and Main Street parade scenes. Fineman arrives at the town's fictional High Desert Film Festival for a few moments in the spotlight. Stiller, fresh from a hugely successful run on TV's Seinfeld, was a gracious guest in Colfax, talking with locals, posing for pictures and even taking a few himself. The Placer County shoot wrapped up six weeks of filming, most of it in Los Angeles. The DVD version of The Independent has been released by Allumination FilmWorks, with Janeane Garofalo co-starring and plenty of cameos from the likes of Ron Howard, Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman and Fred Williamson. (HOPEFULLY) BIG IN JAPAN Now based out of Los Angeles, former Auburn resident Devlin Murphy is slated to head off to Japan for a tour this October that will also hit China, Singapore and Taiwan. Murphy, a Placer High School graduate, will be opening for Manabu Oshio. Known as the Ben Affleck of Japan, Oshio is an actor and lead singer of the punk rock band LIV. Murphy said the tour and other engagements should keep him in the Far East for at least six months. His current CD will start spinning on Japanese radio this week and he's linked up with Korean TV station KBS to produce a track for the summer Olympics. Murphy's also been active in the country, with two of the bassist-keyboard player's original songs showing up on the TV series Men In Trees. LET'S MAKE A DEAL Psst. Want a chance at winning $1 million “ and getting your 15 minutes of fame as part of the deal? KCRA 3 is holding a casting call for the NBC game show Deal or No Deal on March 29 in Folsom. The game show is on a search for contestants from the Sacramento area and plans are to interview candidates from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Folsom Lake Chrysler Jeep in the Folsom Automall. Applications can be found at in the Entertainment section, or at the event. True to a program that's hosted by high-energy Howie Mandel, potential contestants are being asked to display energy (there's that word again), charm and the ability to think fast on their feet. Everyone who is in line before 1 p.m. get an interview. Front-of-the-line passes are available to contestants who visit the dealership ahead of time. Contestants have a chance to win everything from a penny to $1 million if they make it onto the show. Participants are required to be 18 or older. The Chrysler Jeep dealership is located at 12530 Automall Circle. BARBECUE BEEF Linda Mason of Drooling Dog Bar BQ in Colfax wants an upgrade. KCRA-3's A-List competition has plenty of Placer County businesses to vote for but Mason is crying foul over her eatery being slotted into the Cheap Eats category. Mason said she's e-mailed the Sacto TV station to tell the powers-that-be that barbecue as we do it is not cheap. We use high-quality meat and ingredients, Mason said. Cheap doesn't win national awards for our barbecue sauces or first place at Copia's Barbecue and Zinfandel Madness or getting invited to the North Lake Tahoe Wine and Food Festival at Northstar. So far, she said her pitch for Drooling Dog Bar BQ to go under the restaurants designation has fallen on deaf ears. Media Life's Gus Thomson can be reached at or call (530) 852-0232.