House on Rodeo Gulch

a film by William Scherer

Uprooted from her childhood home in Texas by her father's new job, sixteen-year-old Shani Peterson (Megan Jay Simrell) moves to California with her new step-mom, Denise (Chanel Ryan). Having lived together only two months, the two women clash at every turn. Their new home, located deep in the redwoods of Central California is a dream come true... until it's not. With an over friendly Reverend and his alcoholic assistant as their only neighbors, Shani and Denise must unearth the haunting mysteries of the house and its history, before they lose their home and possibly their lives.

An old fashioned psychological thriller… that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
— Jon Donnis
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Director's Notes

House on Rodeo Gulch was created from a true story. While in my late twenties I bought a small three unit apartment building with one of the units vacant. I put in a nice new cream colored carpet in the living room and rented it out to a young couple. A week later I found out the boyfriend had driven his Harley Davidson motorcycle into the living room and had taken the engine apart. Grease and oil was everywhere.  Furious, I had no grounds to have them arrested, only give them a Thirty Day Notice to leave. After thirty long days they still hadn't left and thus became my tenants from hell. Between dealing with their harassment and meetings with my lawyer,I secretly toyed with the fantasy of spooking them out of the apartment so that they would leave on their own and my nightmare would be over. 

Later I read about a prominent church Reverend who was taking advantage of his position and his congregation.  Willing to do most anything to keep his jet and fancy homes while avoiding the IRS, his path twisted ever downward.

I’m glad to be part of the growing community casting women in lead roles. Having two daughters myself, I’ve taught them to be confident and how to “kick ass” if needed.

And thus I created-- House on Rodeo Gulch.


After setting two more World Speed records at Bonneville and with computer and camera equipment coming down in price, Bill took to his next challenge: “Can a person who has never gone to film school write, direct, produce, edit and color a Hollywood caliber movie on a limited budget?”

Shooting “House on Rodeo Gulch”, a feature-length movie, was a major milestone. Prior to that, writing the script, searching for cast & crew in a small town and getting up to speed on the technology was a major challenge. Once filming was completed, this psychological drama labored through post-production. Bill stresses “labored” because post-production took longer and was much more agonizing then actually shooting the movie. Editing was a pain staking process and not just for story flow. Color, light and sound editing were equally crucial as were the special effects done in post-production. If not for the help of friends and a never quit mind-set, these mega jobs would yet languish on his to-do list. Numerous “learning” mistakes were made in the making of “House on Rodeo Gulch” but the film came in on budget and has received good reviews. This film afforded Bill an outstanding learning experience and qualifies him as a complete filmmaker. Now that it is completed, Bill has two more exciting scripts in his pipeline. Read More


William Scherer

Director of Photography

Chen Dubrin

Original Score

Austin Lawrence