I once had a client ask me if I knew any great sand dunes near Los Angeles. The answer is yes, there are several, there is Pismo Beach, the Imperial Sand Dunes and Dumont Dunes. My favorite sand dunes is Dumont Dunes, which is thirty miles north of Baker or four hours from Los Angles. One could stay in Baker, which has adequate lodging or one could stay in Pahrump, Nevada, an hour north/east of Dumont. Pahrump is considered the fire works capital of the world, it has several casino's, grocery store and plenty of places to eat, this is not Vegas, but if one has a production that last more than two days, one will appreciate the resources Pahrump has, including a dump station for RVs and other vehicles that need dumping.
Fortunately for my client I had a folder full of pictures from Big Dumont and Little Dumont Dunes to show her. Needless to say my client was blown away about this location, I had her talk to Sherri Davis from the Inland Film Commission regarding film permits and other concerns. I also put her in touch with Willie On and Off Road Center (760 257 3734); Willie, who I admit is a good friend of mine, knows the Dumont's better than anyone, and he has the resume to prove it. Willie has the Dune Buggies and the drivers one will need to navigate the dunes, which is no easy feat.
Dumont is a great place to shoot, the vistas are stunning, the weather is consistent "sunny and hot" except during winter. The sand turns a golden brown in late afternoon. In addition, Dumont is less than an hour from Death Valley, an added bonus if one needs a variety of locales to shoot at. Just bring plenty of water and sunscreen with you.
Death Valley I will discuss in a future Blog.