Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reflections on Lone Pine Film Fest 2007 (at the Tall T)

I was at the annual festival last weekend in Lone Pine. I had a great time and was exhausted by the time it was over. Too many events and too little time. The first thing I noticed when I got out of my truck at Olancha to get gas was how cold the wind was. I was not looking forward to sleeping that night out in the Alabama Hills. The motels are all booked a year in advance. To sleep outside seemed like a good idea back in April, but then 38 degree weather did not show until last week.

I was constantly going to each event they had and you never can do everything because of schedule conflicts. My few days went like this:

Anchor Ranch tour, watched Loren James stuntman clips, the Bad Day at Black Rock tour, Company of Heroes panel (John Wayne Tribute), and the 3 Godfathers tribute. I then went to sleep at The Tall T location. The following picture is actually next to the Gunga Din bridge in the movie:
In the movie they make it look like the elephant crossing is way off the ground, but it was only a few feet up. There are some remains of the foundations to the bridge there. Here is what I call The Tall T rock formation because it was used almost exclusively in the last half of the movie:
Those pictures were done at around 6:30 am that morning.
I took a shower at a local RV park. Then it was the Top 10 Singing Cowboys with Dave Matuszak, then a panel called Stories from the Movie Business (Louis Gossett jr. was there), I went to another panel after that, then the South bus tour, I caught Harry Carey Jr. for a book signing right as they were taking him away, another panel on movie history, Petrine Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's daughter) signed her book on horses for me, and then watched Tycoon. I could not keep my eyes open so I took off for my favorite location again.

I slept a little better on Saturday night. Got some good morning shots of Whitney and then did the shower again. I met with Chris Langley (who is the director of the festival) to have him sign his new book on Lone Pine. He was helpful in telling me where one of the locations is that I have had a hard time trying to figure out. I then went on the Audie Murphy tour which was fun. I took off for the Eastern Sierra museum in Independence because they have the Gulag exhibit going for a few more weeks. I had a few other reasons to go there. I then ate pizza at my favorite place in Lone Pine and took off home.

Anyways, I had a good time. I have to admit that the theme on Singing Cowboys was probably not one that would bring in lots of people. It did not seem as many people were here this year. Still I learned some about the singing cowboy craze and why people liked it during the depression era. It had its importance for that time period.