Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I.M. Trailer Preview (The Alabama Hills Series)

(GPS: N36 37.830 W118 07.315)
I have mentioned this a few times, but can finally show the pictures of this one. Most of the movies I have done from this area are the old westerns, but this one will be a blockbuster movie in May, 2008. Originally, when I was working on one my Audie Murphy location pictures I decided I had enough for the day and decided to look at some videos on youtube. I saw the Iron Man trailer and then had a since a deja vu since I was not expecting the following picture:
It turns out it is only about one or two minutes walking distance from the Audie Murphy Showdown Rock location. This was very strange because it is on the northern side of the Alabama Hills and very little had been filmed here. Robert Downey Jr. was standing right next to that pebble rock below:
I was wondering if that pebble rock was something the crew put down there. They only finished shooting there the past May. Chris Langley, the Inyo County Film Commissioner, mentioned that the Iron Man crew kept referring to the area north of here as the "bombing area". That would make sense and it appears they may have even filmed some near the mines in that area. Eventually, I will check up on that for another entry. He said he told them that when they asked for permission for explosions they could kill as many humans as they wanted, but not to hurt any plants or animals. LOL!!!

Here is something interesting. It is further north of this location along the road, but they are heading southeast on it. This is right before the first explosion:
This next picture was actually taken from the car through the window. I may actually redo this or do another entry some other time, but they are traveling this way. If you look really closely in the middle left of the picture you will see a sign. Click the picture and get a bigger picture of it if you can not see it. If you compare pictures you will notice they either took the sign down or edited it out. It tells you that you are entering the Alabama Hills.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eastern Sierra Gold 2007

Actually, because of the drought year, the colors this year were not that great. There was very little red colors where I was at. The areas that had red depended on how close the leaves were to an abundance of water in the past few months. There was an a lot of gold though.
Many leaves were falling down left and right. Check out this stream filled with leaves:
The gold:
I like this shot. This is just outside of Bridgeport, CA. During the summer this is all green with cattle grazing. Sawtooth Ridge, in the background, looks very small compared to the rest of the picture. When you are there the ridge stands out, but in this picture it looks dwarfed by the rest of the landscape. Click the picture to get a better perspective on it:
Sawtooth Ridge as normally seen. Matterhorn Peak (aka the Great Silence), at 12, 279 ft., is at the highpoint at the left of the picture:
Here is a cool looking buck that allowed me to get pretty close to it. During the summer these type of deer have a golden coat. In the fall they coat changes to a darker brown color. They have a much more darker "evil" look to them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Gunfighter Waterhole (The Alabama Hills Series)

(GPS: N36 35.465 W118 11.600)

Here is one that I enjoyed getting to. In Dave Holland's On Location in Lone Pine he shows the location in the book, but doesn't tell you where it is at. It was supposed to be an area you were to find yourself.

I knew the general area of where it was, but the problem I saw was I did not know which road I would take to get to it. If I am not comfortable with dirt roads that could get me stuck I do not enter them, but I am willing to walk on them a long ways if I am sure of the area. Chris Langely, the director of the Lone Pine Film Festival gave me directions to it. It turns out that it is on a road that you do need a high clearance or 4x4 vehicle to get to. We went as far as we could, but then I just got out and walked about 1/2 mile to it. If you do intend to go to this area please be sure you have the necessary vehicle or expect to walk a long distance. Note the road that you will take is near Lone Pine Campground off of Whitney Portal Road. The road is an older one and is not maintained.
In this scene Jimmy Ringo (played by Gregory Peck) surprises three men who are after him. One being played by Alan Hale Jr. (aka The Skipper of Gilligan's Island).
At the very beginning of the scene the horses are drinking out of a waterhole:
The foundations to the waterhole are still here:
Here is Jimmy Ringo's perspective on the rock:
This is pretty close to it:
One thing to note is the area has been burned sometime recently. Most of the trees had the charred look to them.

The Gunfighter Waterhole (Youtube Version)

The Gunfighter Waterhole (Vimeo Version)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Firefight at the S.C. Corral

Today marks the 126th anniversary of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This past week in California it felt like the end of the world was near. The Santa Ana condition, the wind, the fires, the ugly brown and red skies, and the general panic of people not knowing if they would come back to their homes just made this last week pretty miserable around here.

If I could stay inside I did. Of all the weather we have through the year the Santa Ana condition is the one I really have a problem with. I always get sick through it and lack the energy to do very much. Fortunately, I guess you could say, I got sick about three weeks ago, but have had a cough every since. It could be a lot worse.

Say what you will about California, but when trouble happens the average citizen will drop everything to help others. Our fire fighters are doing a good job in all of this.

On Monday I came down Cajon Pass and that was my first encounter with the fires. There were embers all along the mountain sides that a few hours earlier must have been torching the area. The smokey sky felt like I had entered the apocalypse. I was just glad I was not heading to Riverside since they were dead stopped on the freeway compared to the snail pace I was on.

Today I was actually glad to see some blue sky. Things seemed to have cooled off so I hope we are on the way out of this situation for this year.

I tried to clean up some things in this blog today. I added a few links and edited a few older entries. I will do more in the next few days.

I will do another entry or two in the next few days. Unfortunately, there will not be any Halloween related hikes or sites this year like I tried to do last year. I usually like to do something like that this time of year, but the whole fire situation ruined that idea. Some of the areas I had in mind for this year are too close to burned areas. One video I recently did I was going to wait until November to put up, but I might as well put it up this weekend. Stay tuned...

edit: as of 10/27 it was actually raining for a few moments during the day. It is cool now so that should make the fire situation turn real quick. Typical California weather. One week scorching and then the next week cold temps.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Care Bears

Recently, I encountered two bears. One really cared, but the other did not. This one was the scared bear: This one was the chillin' bear:

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.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Out of the Past Locations Index

(Edit (5/28/10): these two video links replace the old youtube version I put up a few years ago. I added a few more tidbits down below.)

Out of the Past Locations (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past Locations (Vimeo Version)

I covered some of these areas in Bridgeport, CA with pictures before:

Out of the Past (Part 1)

Out of the Past (Part 2)

Out of the Past (Part 3)

Out of the Past at Upper Twin Lake (Correction)

Originally, in those entries I decided not to post a picture of one of the historic houses since it is private property, BUT, you will see it in the new is a historic house and there have been tons of pictures taken of it both old and modern. It is even on the cover of a book, so I just "gave in" on the video. However, if you go there be respectful and don't be an idiot. :) Basically, the movie begins and ends in Bridgeport. It has other locations as listed here.

Interesting enough, I had a sense of deja vu with regarding these locations in the past year. I have found out something new that I am not sure many have realized about the director filming this movie here. I will reveal that sometime in the future.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Out of the Past at Upper Twin Lake (Correction)

(GPS: N38 09.245 W119 21.470)

Originally, back in January, I had an entry regarding this movie where the location was not quite right. I did not have a good recent picture of this area so I had to wait until August to get it. As I noted, sometimes I have read and seen that some people say this scene was located at Lower Twin Lake. That is not the case. It is Upper Twin Lake.
Edit: I added slightly better pictures on 10/24

My next entry will be a recap of this movies Bridgeport, CA locations on video.