Lake County hosted a professional television film crew in late August for a week of filming for a new show in development based on the various outdoor adventures of three friends.

The as-of-yet untitled pilot episode known simply as “Untitled Erathr3 Project” is being produced for the Outdoor Channel, with no set timetable on when or if it will reach the public airwaves. Spirits were high amongst the cast and crew while filming at Thunder Ranch north of Lakeview, filming portions of an urban rifle training class for a segment of the show.

The show focuses on Sterling Becklin, Sheri Johnson and Jason Hulst, three friends from Grants Pass who formed a company, Erathr3, in pursuit of all things that make them happy — from guns to knives to hot rods and more. Lake County was chosen as one of several sites to film across Oregon for the initial pilot episode because of its inherent beautiful scenery and the close relationship the friends have with Clint and Heidi Smith, proprietors of Thunder Ranch. Primary filming in Lake County involved a weapons class sponsored and coordinated by Erathr3, taught by Clint Smith.

“We love coming to Lake County whenever possible as it gives a great backdrop to the outdoor authenticity we are looking for in our program,” said Chris Baker, head of production for Engine7 Media, based out of Denver, Colo. “It was an amazing experience, Clint Smith’s all-inclusive class provided everything, the participants just had to show up. Weapons, ammunition, training, hotels, food, it was all provided for. The locals are fantastic and always welcoming.”

The shoot in Lake County went well,” said Ray Iddings, the program’s showrunner based out of Nashville, Tenn., who has extensive experience in outdoors shows. “It wasn’t without incident though. Wind gusts blew an aerial drone we used for overhead shots into a large concrete building on the Thunder Ranch site, resulting in a broken blade. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the crash and the crew reported a very positive overall experience.”

With the pilot episode still in development it is unknown if further filming will be done around Lakeview or other areas of Lake County, but Baker certainly hopes that additional shoots can be held here while the Erathr3 team undertakes various adventures across Oregon. Pilots are test episodes of proposed television programs being considered, creating an initial fully-produced episode for the networks to view before deciding if they will add it to their regular programming.

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