The OA in Point Reyes

David Briggs
A Los Angeles film crew shot scenes for a supernatural Netflix series, called The OA, at Point Reyes Books and a nearby ranch on Monday, taping off parking around the block. The location manager would not say much about the scenes, other than that “one character gets a lead to go a small town.” Read more about it on page 10.  

Point Reyes Books put up a new sign that read “Calendula Country Books” on Monday, and closed its doors to the public. Outside, a production crew set up camp, blocking off parking spaces and periodically stopping pedestrians after the call, “Rolling!” It was the last day of filming in California for The OA, a television series that will release its second season on Netflix in December. The show’s star role is played by the co-producer, Brit Marling, who lingered in front of the Bovine, chatting with colleagues and hiding behind a large straw hat. It’s her character who mysteriously calls herself “the OA” after returning home from a seven-year, supernatural journey that features an obsessed scientist who holds her captive, a love affair that buds between glass walls, the discovery of dance as liberation and adventures into new dimensions of life and death. (To spell out the acronym of her preferred name, The OA, would spoil the first season.) The character, originally named Prairie Johnson and blind, returns to her adopted family in the Midwest after her long disappearance with her sight restored and an entirely new understanding of the world. Revealing her tale in increments, she collects a group of unsuspecting neighborhood kids to help with an urgent mission. Filming for the second season has primarily taken place in San Francisco, but location manager Jonathan Jansen said he considered both Point Reyes Station and Bolinas for the scene filmed on Monday. The look of Point Reyes was perfect, he said—Bolinas was too “crusty”—and he thanked the bookstore owners for their hospitality. Filming also took place earlier Monday at the Gallagher Ranch. (Jillian Giacomini, a Point Reyes native who now lives in L.A., is the show’s script supervisor and helped coordinate.) A tenant at the ranch, Chris Lawrence, said he watched the actors from his window as they danced together in the grass. He mused that it took nearly 100 people to set up—they had mowed part of a field just to make space for all of their cars—for just six dancers in a field. The crew did not spend the night in town, Mr. Jansen said, since they couldn’t find anything that wasn’t booked up already, but they enjoyed the good food and beauty of Point Reyes for the day.