On Oct. 30, Idyllwild was inundated with trucks, equipment, and a film crew taking over the center of town for the filming of the FX television pilot of “The Old Man” starring Jeff Bridges. While the consensus was positive, some businesses suffered financially during the filming.
“They closed the roads down and we didn’t get any business,” said Pedro Guillen from Mountain Footwear. “They did compensate us for their inconvenience, but we didn’t get any business. Same with the businesses upstairs.” Guillen also stated that the compensation wasn’t comparable to the sales that were missed.
Merkaba had a different experience with the film crew being here in town. Overall they felt it was good for the community because some of the crew members and workers never knew Idyllwild even existed.
“Business-wise it technically didn’t affect anything because we are normally closed Wednesdays,” said Merkaba owner Ron Campbell. “They offered us compensation of $150 for just coming in and turning on the lights. Everybody was friendly and nice.”
On the cusp of everything else that the town has endured with the road closures and repaving of the center of town, Candy Cupboard owner Jennifer McKee said, “It impacted us for sure because all their wardrobe and restroom trucks were parked in front so you couldn’t even see the shop. We got a little bit of business, but it put a damper on the day because the regular tourists that are coming up avoided us because of all the stuff.” When asked if they received compensation, “They didn’t compensate us at all. It’s great for the lodging and town to have all the people, but for us as a merchant, it was different.”
For years, Idyllwild has been a destination spot for the filming of movies, commercials and television shows. Being only a couple of hours from Hollywood, the mountain is a magnet for talent and creative minds.