As people headed to work on Del Paso Boulevard on Wednesday morning, a film crew could be spotted at Acoma Street near the entrance to Highway 160. Crew was in their first day of work on the feature film “No Address.” They could be seen from the road holding up lighting reflectors. Sacramento Police officers also stood nearby to provide security. Cast member, William Baldwin — one of the famous Baldwin brothers — sat in a BMW SUV while cameras rolled. Veteran character actor Xander Berkeley, known for his work in films like “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Air Force One” could be seen dipping in and out of an alleyway entrance of a building along the boulevard, where crew were administering COVID-19 tests, per Screen Actors Guild regulations.
“Because this is Day 1 of filming, everything’s a little crazy,” said Nikki Vogt, an associate producer with Rocklin-based Robert Craig Films, the film’s lead producer, as she stood outside a secured building. It’s the latest chapter of efforts driven in large part by a local man.
DETAILS ABOUT THE FILM
Executive producer and Meadow Vista resident Robert Lenney, who professionally goes by Robert Craig, spoke to The Bee on Wednesday morning in a 20-minute phone interview. Craig said he and his cast and crew are motivated to do something about homelessness and are trying to make a social impact film. “We just thought it would be poignant and it’s a good time to do this,” said Craig, 59, who invented Gutterglove gutter guards that sell through Home Depot and elsewhere and was executive producer for a locally-made 2008 independent film, “Sounds.” In a December news release from Craig, director Julia Verdin said she wrote the screenplay in tribute to people who wound up on the streets and “never thought it would happen to them.” The release noted that the screenplay for the film had been accepted in more than 100 film festivals.
Some elements of production have come together quickly. Verdin recently called Baldwin to join the cast. He arrived late last week. During a visit to a homeless encampment on Saturday, Craig said that Baldwin spent time speaking with people living at the site. Baldwin obliged a man who asked for his autograph and gave him a hug. He was visibly moved by that experience. “I didn’t realize how compassionate he was about this,” Craig said.
Berkeley, who plays a character named Harris, spoke briefly to The Bee on Wednesday morning but wasn’t available for interview. Craig said Berkeley is also a painter and is planning to paint portraits of some cast members. All proceeds will go to nonprofits and the homeless. “He has a deep passion for wanting to help the poor and the homeless,” Craig said. The cast also includes Grammy Award-winning singer Ashanti, who plays a character named “Violet” and who will contribute a song for the soundtrack.
A spokesperson for the film, Heather Atherton said that veteran actress Beverly D’Angelo — whose credits include the “Vacation” films and “American History X” — is in the cast as well. Craig said he and his family are involved in homeless ministry through their church, Bayside Church of Granite Bay. He said that “No Address” wasn’t a Christian movie but that “there are some faith-based elements in it.”
The first morning of production for “No Address” occurred as people went about their lives in the area, which is near the Woodlake neighborhood and the American River Parkway. Suzanne Gibson, the practice manager for Del Paso Veterinary Clinic said that when she arrived at work, she thought that the amount of police meant there’d been an accident. She’s enthused about the production and heard through a production assistant that stopped by over the weekend that stand-ins could be needed. “It’s exciting, definitely,” Gibson said. “Because it’s going to draw more people, more attention.” The stretch of Del Paso Boulevard near where filming is occurring has struggled, with multiple vacant lots and buildings. “I am glad they’re doing it here, this little area here, because I’m from here, I’m 52, and I’ve seen it come down a little bit but now it’s building up,” said a man named Jeff Harris, who is not the former Sacramento City Council member, as he waited for a light rail train at the Globe Avenue Station, across from production.
Del Paso Grooming co-owner Don Kizzia said there’d been no complaints from his customers Wednesday morning. Asked if he thought his neighborhood was ready for the Hollywood treatment, he said no. “We still need a lot more cleanup,” Kizzia said. This part of Sacramento is somewhat remote, not quick to reach from any of the interstate highways and often bypassed by people heading elsewhere. “Unless you’re going to the freeway, you’re not going to catch us,” Gibson said.