Saturday, July 04, 2015

Whatever Happened to Him? (The Alabama Hills Series)

Happy July 4th for my fellow Americans, and if you are not American then I still wish you a happy July 4th for different reasons!

Today I thought I would release an updated video of something I did some years back:

Some notes on this video:

1)I would have liked to have had this video up about the time James Best died (April 6, 2015), but I had too much going on. Although coincidentally, this video and blog was the next one I truly intended to do after the last one in February. James Best was best known to more middle-aged audiences as the Sheriff in The Dukes of Hazzard tv show. He had a lot of roles in westerns. I seem to remember him co-starring with Audie Murphy in at least one western, but he tended to get the antagonistic roles in tv and movies that I remember him most in. In any case, RIP James Best.

2)One geeky tech issue this video has comes with the advances in technology that changes things around for me a little. When I got my new computer almost a year ago I was finally able to edit video I had taken at 60 FPS and actually show it to you at 60FPS on Youtube as well. If you can view a video with that frame rate over a monitor or tv with high definition it looks great. The issue though is that most television and cinema movies use a lower frame rate (like 30FPS or 24FPS). The problem is the way you have seen me do this over the past few years with inserting footage from a movie doesn’t work right if I have to render all the footage at 60FPS. In the case of this video, it doesn’t look too bad, but during the panning movement in the clip from Ride Lonesome it stutters some because of this issue. If I want to keep using movie video within a video like I have been doing, then I am going to have to put up with that.

3)Yeah, I edited down the capture scene. James Best does resist a little more if you have not seen the movie. With the footage I took that was all I could get in to make it work right. There was something James says when he realizes his gang's ambush will not work that I imitated his voice for some humor, but this ended up being a case where I thought less is more would be better for the viewer. So, I edited that out as well. Watch the movie if you haven’t.

4)When I originally made a blog and video to this location I said something that the area that you see Randolph Scott comes from is a dead end. That’s partly true in that what seems like a trail ends. It wouldn’t be impossible to take a horse from below to that point, but just not really practical. I say this not that it matters much from a movie standpoint, but if you were in the mood to hike up that way from below or hike down from that spot back to your car then it is just a mild scramble.

5)If you didn’t know what I was referring to with the title of this blog and video then you have to watch this video. My New Agey, neo-nostalgic, quasi-spiritual, archtypical mythic, and tiny bit of humor thrown in is in response to that eternal question. If it doesn’t make sense to you just let it go and don’t worry about it. ;)

Okay, that’s all for what is important about the video, and I was going to throw out some thoughts about nostalgia. I think I will leave those for another blog. The past few weeks have been really annoying to me. Tragedy, major political decisions, and the responses to them have forced me to stay off social media due to some of this.

Since James Best is best remembered for his role in The Dukes of Hazzard, I thought I would mention how annoying it was to hear that TV Land has decided to cut showing episodes of that old series. Then we have golfer Bubba Watson, who owns the car used in the show, deciding he will paint the American flag on the car and remove the Confederate flag.

It is true the Confederate flag has been a symbol of controversy since it goes back to the biggest watershed issue in the history of the U.S.A. At the end of the day, it is just that, a symbol, and like all symbols depends on the meaning given to it. So, on the one hand you have people that react to the symbol seeing something representing slavery and on the other you have people seeing a symbol of state’s rights against tyranny.

I’m sorry to say that I think the recent emotional reactions to this is a bunch of symbolism over substance. The tv show had nothing to do with what the people are reacting to. I hate to tell Bubba Watson that the name of the car is still The General Lee. That symbol is still there.

All of this is people obsessing over the things that do not matter. To get rid of evil you have to destroy it all or change the heart(s). Yet, we don’t live in that type of ideal world where evil will just go away. You can destroy all Confederate flags and it is just a matter of time before another evil, mentally ill person arises.

Be vigilant, yet realistic my friends.

The original blog on did on this location can be found here:
Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott?

The music used from Incompetech is the following: CowboySting, Pale Rider, and In the West.

Until next time…


Tom F said...

Having attended the Lone Pine Film festival several times, I am very familiar with the Ride Lonesome location. In fact, I was just there in May to show a fellow movie buff the various film sites. It always amazes me that after 60 years that nothing has changed! I also enjoyed your very perceptive analysis of the controversy surrounding the confederate flag. If my memory serves me correctly, I think I talked to you during the film festival some years ago. It was at the The Tall T location. You were dressed in outdoor hiking type clothes. At the time I remember being impressed with your detailed knowledge of the film locations that was beyond the average casual festival attendee. Regards, Tom F

The Great Silence said...

Hi Tom. Well, it could have been me, or one of my clones. ;) In a very changing world it is one of the few areas we have that pretty much stays the same. I kind of hope it stays that way. No need to "improve" the area. Let's just keep it the way it is.

brazos bill said...

You turned me on to the Hills years ago, mostly because of your video on the "Tall T" site. I have made several trips there since we talked long ago and was there last winter. I thought I new where the James Best capture site was, but alas.....could NOT find it. I know you posted the coordinates and I will have to do better research before my next visit. LOVE the place.
Thanks once again for your fine blog. Please keep it up.

Bill Hawley - Michigan

The Great Silence said...

Bill, note the coordinates and that should do the job. After you go through Lone Ranger Canyon, pass in front of Gene Autry Rock, and follow the road around. In that next area you'll see Gary Cooper Rock (aka The Hell Bent for Leather ending). As you head to that you turn right. To go there and back from Michigan several times is dedication! Enjoy. :)