Saugus ranch doubles for Mideast

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first_img“It’s a hot-ticket item now,” said Jody Hart, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Combat Casting. “A lot of TV shows are based on reality; so are movies. … The fact we’re at war is going to create story lines for writers in both (media).” Combat Casting lives up to its name, peopling TV shows and feature films with active-duty and retired military personnel as actors and crew members. Some performed in a History Channel drama on the death of football great Pat Tillman in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan, with Blue Cloud doubling for the rugged Mideast landscape. A fleet of exploded wrecks at the ready – helicopters, jeeps, buses, cars – lend a touch of realism. “When special effect puts that little puff of smoke in the cars, you’re there,” Veluzat said. The gold mine used to be an illegal dump, literally, before Veluzat rescued it. Skeptical friends shook their heads, wondering how the former stuntman and character actor would turn a buck from his questionable investment, but fate intervened. Wildfires in 2000 burned the trash and everything else. Popular TV shows filmed at the ranch include “The Unit,” “Medium,” “JAG” and “Without a Trace.” Feature films include “The Shaggy Dog” and the sci-fi film “Serenity.” The ranch is within the so-called 30-mile zone, which saves clients money. The zone’s centerpoint is in Los Angeles, and filming within its radius cuts costs on overnight lodging and per diem crew fees. “Rene struck on something great before it actually happened,” Hart said. “He had a small town, he was a great businessman, knew what he had, what it could be used for.” Veluzat, a licensed contractor, fussed over some of the sets, enlivening them with vivid details, but when production crews balked about his choice of treatments he toned them down. The move paid off, and not only do the paying customers lend their own touches, they often leave them behind because it’s cheaper than demolishing them. Steven Bochco’s series “Over There” shot one episode at the ranch. Sam Sako served as a technical adviser on the series. Neighbors may do a double take when Sako appears with a carload of costumed extras, but Veluzat takes it in stride. Sako grew up in Baghdad and is cashing in on authenticity with his Mideast in venture. He provides translations in Arabic, Afghani and Farsi and coaches actors, creates props, signs and costumes, as well as offering valuable cultural advice. He, too, worked on the Tillman project. “We created an atmosphere that resembled the Afghan location where Tillman was killed,” he said. “Rene has the sets. I dressed up the actors and we gave the look of the North Alliance, and I also taught them how to say a few words in Pashtu.” When Al-Jazeera hit town to shoot a piece on Arabs in Hollywood, they made a beeline to Sako. History comes in all shapes and sizes. Animal expert Phil Smith has known Veluzat for three decades. His company, Piru-based Phil’s Animals Rentals, has provided horses and livestock and more than 40 styles of period and modern wagons, carriages and buggies. “He’s so easy to get along with; he understands the business and knows what you need,” Smith said. “You can use the little towns for many different uses, but mainly it’s his personality.” [email protected] (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Upscale tracts are cropping up all over Santa Clarita, but a bunch of shabby shacks in Bouquet Canyon that resemble a bombed-out Iraqi village won’t be replaced any time soon. The neighbors don’t care and the owner couldn’t be more pleased. “People don’t realize Newhally-wood is here in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Rene Veluzat, who owns the 100-acre Blue Cloud Movie Ranch. A faux gas station tapped for a Vogue cover shoot and the ’50s diner are nice, but Veluzat’s mainstays are the Iraqi and Afghanistan streetscapes and scruffy hills, burned by a fire years ago. last_img

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Lloyds shares have fallen 25% in a month. Is this a buying opportunity?

first_img Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Edward Sheldon, CFA Lloyds shares have fallen 25% in a month. Is this a buying opportunity? Enter Your Email Address I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Image source: Getty Images. center_img Edward Sheldon owns shares in Lloyds Bank. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Lloyds Banking Group. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. In recent weeks, Lloyds Bank (LSE: LLOY) shares have plummeted due to the economic uncertainty associated with the coronavirus outbreak. In the space of just a month, Lloyds’ share price has fallen from around 57p to 43p, a decline of about 25%.After such a significant share price fall, many investors are likely to be wondering whether Lloyds shares are now a bargain. With that in mind, here’s my take on the investment case for Lloyds.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Rising dividendsLet me start by saying that Lloyds is a stock I’ve been relatively bullish on over the last few years. The bank has come a long way since the dark days of the Global Financial Crisis and profits have been on the rise. Dividends have also been on the up, and the yield on offer from the FTSE stock has often been very attractive. While recent full-year results for FY2019 were a little disappointing (mainly due to the significant cost of PPI charges), with earnings per share dropping from 5.5p to 3.5p, the bank still raised its dividend by 5% to 3.37p per share. That marked five consecutive dividend increases since the bank reinstated its dividend in FY2014 – a decent achievement. The group said that it “faces the future with confidence”, and that it remains well placed to “deliver strong and sustainable returns for shareholders” going forward.It’s worth noting that City analysts currently expect earnings per share of 6.82p this year, along with a dividend payout of 3.5p per share (a yield of around 8% at the current share price), which would represent a 4% increase in the dividend.Coronavirus impactThe problem now, however, is that the implications of the coronavirus outbreak add a high level of uncertainty to the investment case.As a UK-focused bank, Lloyds is highly exposed to the fortunes of the UK economy, which in turn, is exposed to global activity. If the coronavirus results in a severe economic contraction, which it may well do, Lloyds profits are likely to take a further hit. This could impact the bank’s ability to grow its dividend and result in a further share price fall. This is a risk that shouldn’t be ignored. Many experts now believe that UK economic growth is likely to stall in the near term. For example, last week, analysts at Deutsche Bank halved their UK growth forecast for this year to just 0.5%, a post-Global Financial Crisis low, because of the outbreak.Lower interest rates (the Bank of England has today slashed its base rate from 0.75% to 0.25%) are another problem for Lloyds. This is due to the fact that rate cuts reduce banks’ net interest spread – the difference between borrowing and lending rates. Again, this is likely to impact Lloyds’ profits and potentially its dividends.Overall, the investment case for Lloyds now looks far riskier.Speculative buyThat said, the stock does now look cheap. Assuming zero earnings growth this year, the P/E ratio is 12.4. And if we plug in the consensus earnings forecast of 6.8p, the P/E ratio is just 6.4. All things considered, I see Lloyds as a more speculative buy right now. There are risks to the investment case, however, if you’re willing to hold the stock for a few years, I think there’s a chance you could be rewarded, given the stock’s low valuation. Edward Sheldon, CFA | Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 | More on: LLOY last_img

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