Detroit Film Company shoots ‘Nain Rouge’ with Orion extras

By Jim Newell

Review Editor

Keep telling yourself, “It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.”

Anyone in Lake Orion on Friday afternoon may have seen the angry mob descending on Village Hall; heard the cries for help and demands for answers; and witnessed the “mayor” assure a colorful group of characters that “all their concerns would be addressed.”

Remember, it’s only a movie.

The Detroit Film Company was in town to shoot a scene for “Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge,” using local extras and locales as a backdrop for the film.

The film, based on a Detroit legend, is a horror/police thriller set in Detroit and a fictional Lake Orion.

Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh has been serving as a consultant on the film. Lead actor Jesi Jensen has trained with Narsh and members of the LOPD to bring authenticity to her role as a Lake Orion police officer.

About 50 people answered the call for extras to play angry townsfolk in the film, many of them Orion residents. The scene calls for residents to carry signs and demand answers from the mayor, played by Amy Andrews of Fox 2 News Detroit fame, after a series of grisly deaths in the fictional Lake Orion.

Tiffany Edwards and Alyson Anderson, both of Lake Orion, played two of the angry townspeople. Neither had been in a movie before but thought it would be fun to participate as extras.

“It was awesome. And I’m right by the camera, so I hope that I will be in it a lot,” Edwards said. “It was harder than I expected, to make sure that I was doing everything right and when they wanted it. I think the shoot is going to look really cool.”

“It felt different. It was interesting. I’ve never done this before,” Anderson said. “It was longer than I expected. It’ interesting to really see how much goes on behind the scenes.”

The shoot took about four hours and multiple takes to get the placement, crowd reactions and dialogue matched.

Anderson said she likes that she is going to be in a movie and thinks Lake Orion residents will like seeing other residents in the film and Orion-area locations.

Narsh, who plays Police Chief Anthony Romano, and about 13 Lake Orion police officers also appear in the film.

“I like what the filmmakers are doing. They’re committed to sharing a lot of positive things in Lake Orion,” Narsh said.

“Nain Rouge” is directed/produced by Sam Logan Khaleghi, an Emmy-nominated producer. Istvan Lettang is the film’s cinematographer.

Khaleghi was raised in Detroit and graduated from West Bloomfield High School, and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and master’s degree from Northwestern University.

In 2013, Khaleghi directed and starred in the feature length art house drama, Approaching Midnight.

The Nain Rouge, French for “red dwarf,” is a local legend about a mythical creature said to haunt the Detroit area. The Ottawa tribe originally believed it was a protector of the area; later it was feared by the inhabitants of the city as a “harbinger of doom.”

Jesi Jensen plays Billy Jean Finnick, an LOPD officer who investigates the strange occurrences. Actors Nate Kane and Ammar Nemo play undercover Lake Orion police officers who help investigate the case.

Jensen said she’s enjoyed training with LOPD and that the shoot has been going “Amazing. Everyone’s really excited. The Lake Orion Police Department has been so accommodating and welcoming. Chief Narsh has done everything in his power to make sure I’m accurate (as a police officer).

“It’s an honor to wear the uniform and I don’t want to misrepresent the LOPD. I told the chief that I want to make sure that no one thinks I’m misrepresenting the police.”

The film will continue shooting for another month or so, and is expected to be released next spring in Imagine Theaters nationwide.

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