BARSTOW A Newberry Springs film writer and ranch owner plans to tell the story of a teenage boy coming to grips with the death of his mother in a made-for-television movie set in and around Barstow.

Spike Lynch, who has hosted independent and student film crews at his property, Roughout Ranch Studios, has been working on the screenplay for "A Family Derailed" for about a year, he said. The film will star Rocco Nugent rocker Ted Nugent's son as Jake, the main character, and will be set at the Harvey House, the Western American Railroad Museum and at Lynch's ranch in Newberry Springs.

"It's a character-driven story," Lynch said, adding that he is the film's producer. "The movie has a setting around trains. And Barstow has the wonderful Harvey House and Barstow houses the railroad museum. We couldn't get a better location."

Filming for the movie will be completed at the end of April, Lynch said. He expects it to be completed in July 2011. The crew will shoot film of the Harvey House at night.

The film's main character, Jake, whose mother died two years before the start of the film around Christmas, leaves home in Ludlow because he is fed up with his father, who drinks heavily during the holidays because of his wife's death. He makes his way to Barstow, where he is going to catch a train to Los Angeles. While he is waiting for the train, he meets an old black man who was once a Pullman porter. The two bond over their love of trains.

The film will be set during the present day, but will incorporate a lot of flashbacks, Lynch said. The audience will get to know Jake's mother and will also know what the retired Pullman porter's past is like.

The film will be directed by Allison Rohm, an art director and production designer for independent films. Associate producers for the film include Dawn Fields, who is working on a documentary about the Lake Dolores water park.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com