BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 522

Keith Urban Video Shoot at Silurian Dry Lake

The music video for Keith Urban's song, "For You" was shot on Silurian Dry Lake, managed by the BLM's Barstow Field Office. Urban wrote the song for "Act of Valor," an action movie starring U.S. Navy SEALs. The dry lake bed mirrored scenes from the movie itself – especially once technicians started setting off explosions behind the band.

The video shoot was an exciting event, BLM field personnel say, and executed in an impressive and professional manner. Monitors from the BLM Barstow Field Office were on hand to ensure that shooting was done in compliance with the crew's permit, and that the public lands would not be negatively impacted by the activities that took place.

Shortly after arriving on set, the BLM monitors were directed to the production manager, who presented the group's film permit. They then proceeded to the site with representatives of the California State Fire Marshall's Office and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office were also present, to ensure compliance with regulations. (text continues below)

distant view of video crew
The video crew sets up on the desert floor. Photos were prohibited, to keep details of the video confidential.

The video shoot activities were divided between areas of control center, logistics, technologies, and clean-up. A number of people were strategically stationed in established areas and directed and coordinated from a single point of control protected from the sun. 

Toy helicopters operated by remote control flew between the camerapersons and the performers, providing aerial views that included close-ups of the artists. They hovered over the Dry Lake with minimal interference from the elements as the weather was ideal for visiting the Dry Lake.

The technologies used in shooting the video meant no camera track was needed, the cameras were smaller, and costs were reduced. That also meant fewer disturbances to the area.  The set -- including instruments, amplifiers and cases -- was neat and organized, helping the technicians move quickly between filming locations.

Pyrotechnics were used which consisted of a number of explosions had very minimal impact on the surface of the lake bed. The technicians who were involved in launching them were so thorough that they even cleaned up debris as each set of ordnance was set off.

Overall, the event was an exemplary use of public land, and demonstrated a strong working relationship between business, state, county and, federal entities. 

- Aubrey Reynolds and Amy Oechsner, BLM Barstow Field Office  (February 28, 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 522 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Related sites:

"BTS on the Keith Urban 'Act of Valor' music video" (Hurlbut Visuals, 3/9/12)
Includes a "Behind the Scenes" video of the taping on Silurian Dry Lake Bed, and the resulting music video.
explosions in the desert behind band members playing
Keith Urban Facebook page – with photos from the video shoot at Silurian Dry Lake.
explosions in the desert
a man in sunglasses faces the camera with a desert backdrop

Popular filming locations on BLM California public lands

Filming Permits (BLM California)
Public Lands in California offer many unique locations for filming opportunities. Contact the local BLM Field Office or local Film Commission before submitting an application. The permitting process and items needed may vary depending on the location and the type of filming proposed. 
Inland Empire Film Commission/BLM Silurian Lake film permit application (PDF file)