By Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times
An industrial building in San Leandro became a sound stage last week for a movie that could become a major motion picture.
It’s all still up in the air because you can’t predict the success of a movie. But the filmmakers have screened the movie to a major studio which is interested in carrying it.
The filmmakers are from right here in town. They’re San Leandro High grads who have come home to make this movie that’s been in the back of their minds since they were teenagers.
“When we were in high school we used to sneak into the grounds of the historic Dunsmuir House in the Oakland hills at night,” said Gordon Galvan, who is one of the producers funding the movie.
Since those days, Galvan and his pals had the idea of making a scary movie. Now it’s in the works. They’ve just completed the filming at Dunsmuir House of the movie, titled Case Number 13.
Scenes were also shot at Chabot Park, on San Leandro streets, and in Los Angeles. Last week they filmed a few scenes that were recommended to be added to the film after the screenings.
The movie was also screened at the Orinda Theater to 450 people who, Galvan says, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Galvan, a former San Leandro City Councilman, went to San Leandro High along with the film’s director Johnny Martin and co-producer Paul Mangold.
Martin went to Hollywood after high school to become a stunt man, and later he became an actor and director. Galvan says it was Martin’s connections in the movie business that got their film seen by the heads of a major studio.
Most of the cast are young, up-and-coming actors from Los Angeles.
The film is being made by Martin’s production, Martini Films, in conjunction with the company Galvan formed with Mangold and Martin, H.G. Productions. They all want to see more movies made in California, and that includes San Leandro.
The script for Case Number 13 was written by Martin, along with Andy Cheng and Lisa Clemens. It’s a story about a group of young guys who are filmmakers who dare one of their gang to reach the porch of a legendary old house that’s supposed to be haunted by 13 members of a massacred family.
“It’s sort of a Stand by Me meets the Blair Witch Project,” Galvan said. “The premise is that going to this haunted house is an initiation to be in the cool club, and they’re filming it with Go-Pro cameras because they’re student filmmakers.”
Though Hollywood is known as the home of the movie industry, a lot of movies are being shot in other states that have given incentives and have lower taxes than California.
Mangold said they’re hoping California starts bringing the film industry back. Filming here has worked well with this film and they would like to film more here in the future.
Making a movie right here in San Leandro has been their dream since high school, or even before.
“Heck,” said Mangold. “We’ve had that idea since Bancroft Jr. High.”
More information on the movie, including the cast list, can be seen in the Internet Movie Data Base (imdb.com) and searching under the title Case Number 13