2006 2006

Wayne Film Program to begin at museum


Feburary 08, 2007:

The Duke would have been one hundred years old this year on May 26th. The Duke was a special kind of American nobility: a movie star. John Wayne is undoubtedly one of the most famous of our celebrities, know world -wide. To commemorate his fame and his connection with Lone Pine, the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History will begin a weekly film series in which all of his Lone Pine films will be shown, along with a few documentaries about his life and career.
The series will screen every Thursday night at the Museum at 7 pm. The series will be a fundraiser for the museum and to help cover costs, a donation of a minimum of $3 is suggested. The series begins on Thursday, February 8th with a John Ford /John Wayne collaboration called 3 Godfathers. A brief lecture with notes for the audience will be presented at the beginning of the evening. Much of this particular film was shot in Death Valley with stories of the cast and crew's stay at Furnace Creek classic Ford/Wayne legend. The Lone Pine sections were made north of the railroad depot and local resident Joy Anderson remembers meeting Ford there as a young girl.


The schedule of other films is as follows
3 Godfathers (1948)
The New Frontier (1935) King of the Pecos (1936)
I Cover the War (1937) A&E Biography of John Wayne
Somewhere In Sonora (1933), The Lawless Range (1935)
Blue Steel (1934) Man From Utah (1934)
Westward Ho (1935) Three Faces West (1940)
Tycoon (1947)
North To Alaska (1960)
True Grit (1969)
MAY 12:
Author Chris Enss, author of The Young Duke Special event
MAY 26:
John Wayne's 100th Birthday
The series will conclude with a presentation by author Chris Enss whose new book The Young Duke was just published. There will be a wonderful dinner at Boulder Creek RV Park on May 12 when Enss will discuss her work and sign first edition copies of her book.
Additional information about any of the events in this program can be obtained by calling the Museum at 760-876-9909.

"The Showdown" combining baseball and westerns will be shown on Saturday

September 26, 2006:

by Chris Langley
showdown_westbaseball.jpgThe western short "The Showdown" filmed in Lone Pine and San Bernardino will be screened during the Lone Pine Film Festival on Saturday October 7 at 4 pm in the brand new Museum Wild West Movie Theatre. After the screening, producer John Mazzarella and directors Fulvio and Antonio Sestito will discuss the project, the new filmmaking methods employed and answer questions.This project is interesting for local residents and Festival fans alike for several reasons. First, it is one of the earliest projects in which the Inyo Film Commission participated and demonstrates the powerful partnership being developed between the Commission and the Film Festival. Filmmakers now can benefit from the assistance of the Commission and then come back and exhibit their film at the annual film festival. Special showings can also be arranged during the year at the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History Wild West Movie Theatre. The theatre has the very latest projection equipment and seats 85.
While many critics and fans have announced the death of the western, the genre keeps returning in new forms and guises. Considered one of the truly original American genres, whether in written or in visual format, the western once ruled the box office and the air waves, but has been absent in the last few decades except in a few unique examples.
This film is an attempt to see the genre in a new way. The production notes state, "'The Showdown' brings together two aspects that are uniquely American, Baseball and the Old West. It is a short action/drama film, about the confrontation between a pitcher and batter in the bottom of the ninth inning of a run-run baseball game, juxtaposed against a deadly duel between two gunfighters in the Old West."
At first glance, the joining of these two very American cultural expressions might seem challenging, but the directors show the parallels both through technical manipulation of the format as well as careful story construction. They state that the film "is about duels and duality, and sets out to explore and challenge the relationship between baseball and the Old West. The film portrays the story of The Batter and Jonathan C. Edwards, two men fighting for their destiny and trying to overcome their fears against the nightmares of their past. It is a story about loss and redemption, and how history can repeat itself." That is a lot of work for a fifteen minute film.Fulvio and Antonio Sestito both studied directing at Cinecita in their native city of Rome, before coming to Los Angeles and studying at UCLA Extension, Film and Television program. Having graduated in 2004 in Directing, Cinematography and Post-Production, they have written, produced and directed several narrative and documentary projects. The idea for "The Showdown" came from producer John Mazzarella. After several drafts, the script was ready but the three men decided on a rather extended preproduction period because of the demands of budget and schedule.


Director of Photography Deland Nuse and the Sestito brothers undertook lengthy discussions and research to establish the visual tone of the film. The filmmakers' intent was to set up a decisive visual style that would play a pivotal and evolving character in the story. It would reflect the arc of emotional subtext that the two lead characters experience during the progression of the film.
The directors explained their technical approach. "The Baseball segment is characterized by a cool and desaturated color palette, longer lenses and faster camera moves. These aspects are juxtaposed against the western portion, which presents warmer tonalities, wider lenses and smooth camera movements. As the story progresses and the similarities between Baseball and the Old West become more apparent, the visual style of the two segments shifts to more natural colors and similar camera angles that bring the two periods closer together."
Another innovation from modern filmmaking relied on was detailed storyboarding and 3D previsualization techniques. Storyboard artist Jim Marquez created more than 300 boards to represent in detail each shot of the movie. The drawings were later scanned into digital files and edited together with a temporary soundtrack into an animated story-reel.
"It was like seeing the flow and rhythm of the film before it was even shot" John Mazzarella remarked. "In addition, illustrator David Zohm collaborated with the directors to render many illustrations that would help establish the look and feel of the film. This extensive preparation was essential to ensure a fast and smooth production process." Stills, the storyboard, script and other materials are on display in the window of the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce.
The directors were drawn to Lone Pine because of the sand dunes of the dry Owens Lake juxtaposed against the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountain range. "Lone Pine is one of the most beautiful and suggestive locations in California. And as soon as we arrived there, while scouting for a desert plateau, we immediately knew we had found what we were looking for."
Film historian and critic Philip French has written, "The western genre is a great grab bag, a hungry cuckoo of a genre, a voracious bastard of a form, open equally to visionaries and opportunists, ready to seize anything in the air from juvenile delinquency to ecology. Yet despite this, or in some ways because of it, one of the things the Western is always about is America rewriting and reinterpreting her own past, however honestly or dishonestly it may be done."
"The Showdown" in fifteen minutes illustrates the ongoing effort of the western genre attempting to reinvent itself. How successful it is will be determined by the audience. The event is free with a Film Festival Souvenir Button, or a ticket costs $5, with limited seating.

Lone Pine community gathers to dedicate Film History Museum


July 10, 2006:

It was all about community and cowboys when Lone Pine and surrounding towns in Inyo County gathered on Friday and Saturday, June 16th and 17th to dedicate the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History.
The event was surrounded by a series of celebrations and fundraisers that culminated in the banquet and concert entitled "A Celebration with Chaparral," held in famous Lone Ranger Canyon. Guests were treated to an elegant sit-down dinner co catered by two restaurants in town, the Merry-Go-Round and Bonanza, which featured a choice of tri-tip with burgundy mushroom sauce, chicken marsala or a vegetarian pasta.
Friday the community of supporters who have worked for more than five years and faced varied obstacles to get the 10,5000 square foot museum built and filled with exhibits, were invited in for a first "sneak peek." The museum is an outgrowth of the Lone Pine Film Festival, which has its 17th annual celebration October 6-8th 2006.
71006_5_5.jpgWhen the doors opened after weeks of intense and frenetic preparation, the crowd saw exhibits, posters, vehicles and artifacts, which told the rich story of filming in and around Lone Pine and Inyo County, California since 1920. The building was made possible by a gift of one million dollars from Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.Jim Rogers also offered his extensive western collection to the museum designers. He has been purchasing additional items over the last several years to inaugurate the museum's collection.
The small desert community, nestled between Mt. Whitney and Death Valley, fundraised an additional $400,000 to buy the land on Highway 395, which will accommodate additional museum construction in the future.
The museum itself has a large lobby, which has the 20th Century Fox stagecoach used in several film features made in the area. The vehicle is fully restored. The lobby walls are lined with huge three sheets and a six sheet for The Hitch-hiker, one of the many non-westerns made in the famous Alabama Hills. The posters introduce the visitor to the diverse films genres that have been filmed in the area. Off one side of the lobby is the brand new Museum Store with western wear and jewelry, movie souvenirs and on the other side down a poster lined hallway is the 85 seat Wild West Movie theater which will keep B westerns flickering on a large screen.
The main exhibit area contains two wonderful vintage cars associated with films of the area. There is the Plymouth coupe that Humphrey drove up to Mt. Whitney as Roy "Mad Dog" Earle to meet his destiny on High Sierra. On the other side is the Buick Eight convertible that contained Peggy Stewart over which Gene Autry (doubled by Joe Yrogoyen) jumped Champion in Trail to San Antone. Exhibits nearby focus on the careers of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, the making of Gunga Din, Villains, and nine other western reel heroes all of whom worked in Lone Pine multiple times.


The large science fiction area contains the actually large worm from Tremors, along with miniatures and artifacts from other Lone Pine films including Star Treks 5 and 7, Crossworlds and the cult classic Bamboo Saucer.
A hat display contains headwear from people who worked in Lone Pine such as Barbara Stanwyck, Tom Mix, Ken Maynard, Hopalong Cassidy, Tex Ritter and many more. The costume wardrobe has the beaded dress given by Ruth Terry and costumes from westerns including Hallelujah Trail. There is also the On Location Wardrobe of Emmy winning designer Joie Hutchinson. The Stuntmen section contains Loren Janes' valise and stunt equipment, and the director's chair, director's script and frames one sheet from William A. Wellman, a gift of the Wellman family.
A Children's Discovery Room rounds out the rooms but many surprises await the visitor for the museum will continue to grow and change.
At the dedication ceremony, Board member Cheryl Rogers Barnett offered the invocation, and Board member Jaque Hickman and Executive Director Chris Langley spoke of the community's work in coming together with many partners to make the museum a reality.


After the symbolic ribbon was cut, a Lone Pine Home and Garden Tour, another fundraiser for the museum, took place.Fundraising continues for the movie theater with seat sponsorship available for $150 and larger donations are welcome. The museum is also interested in obtaining artifacts and memorabilia of the stars and movies that worked in the area to preserve them and use them to tell the unique story of filming done in the area. Nearly 400 feature films have shot in the area and 100 television show episodes. Countless commercials have also used the area and filming continues today.
For additional information on becoming part of this on-going project call 760-876-9909 or go on-line to the websites:lonepinefilmfestival.org and lonepinefilmhistorymuseum.org. You too can become part of the community of fans and western enthusiasts supporting the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History

Film History Museum continues to develop

August 15, 2006:

pouring-sidewalks.jpgA question being asked a lot during this year around Lone Pine is when will the Film History Museum be finished. The answer from the folks behind the project is "Never."
The answer for the question might seem a little facetious but the explanation makes sense. Hopefully, a museum is a living, growing organism, not a static, unchanging building of old dusty artifacts. History is a living story and the Board of Directors and volunteers intend for the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History to be different each time a visitor returns.When the Museum was dedicated in June, many of the exhibits were just prototypes, indications of what material and content items and text would be in that particular area. Already, modifications have begun and Chris Langley, Executive Director and Claiborne Mitchell, the new director of the museum who is now on-board, are changing exhibits, rethinking how to tell the story of filming in Inyo County since it began in 1915.
Actually, the history is also growing as new research continues to uncover more information about the activities of Hollywood here particularly in the early years. Langley's regular columns in The Inyo Register have described this early history, pushing the date of the beginning of filming back to 1915 in the area and uncovering additional films that filmed scenes here before 1920.
As far as the museum building itself is concerned, recently the sidewalks and curbs were poured and this week the asphalt for the parking lots is being added, giving the museum the finished look. Additional neon will be added to the fa├žade as well.
Inside three full-scale resin horses, lifelike in detail, have been added to the exhibit area. They will be used to display silver parade saddles that have been loaned from the James E. Rogers collection. Since the dedication on June 17th, six framed three sheets; a large six sheet and other posters from the Rogers collection have also been mounted in the lobby area. By the middle of August, installation of all the theater projection equipment, screen and curtains will be completed and regular showings of the museum orientation film The Reel West will begin as well as additional movie screenings for locals and visitors alike.
The Museum store will be open Monday through Saturday from 12 until 4 after the parking lot is finished and often there are personnel all day and the doors unlocked for those who want to stop in and take a peek at the exhibit construction often underway.
Besides, the Museum has the best air conditioning in town these hot summer days.

Cars, a stage coach and exhibits move as installations begins in the museum


stagecoach arrives.jpg


June 08, 2006:

The installation process has begun for the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History with the arrival of two movie cars and the Overland Stage. They are all on-loan from the James E. Rogers Collection.
The two cars, one from High Sierra and the other from a Gene Autry film Trail to San Antone were brought by trailer from Mr. Rogers' Las Vegas Car museum which houses nearly 300 vintage automobiles in two buildings.
The Stagecoach, which was actually used in filming here and was restored on Main Street several years ago, has been up at the Sunbelt Communications studio in Pocatello, Idaho. Mr. Rogers has a Tennessee walking horse ranch near there.
museum neon.jpgThe Tremors 14-foot worm, whose actual name is the "exploding head graboid," has also arrived and George Brown welded a frame to support it on exhibition. The "ghost town," nicknamed "Red Dog" after the 1929 set built for Song of the West is also being assembled. The set, which stood for several years after filming was completed by Vitaphone, gave its name to the spot where Whitney Portal Road crosses Lone Pine Creek. Washed out in the floods of 1982, the area is significantly changed from the way it look in earlier years when Clara Bow drove her car off the road there one night.Mr. Rogers is also loaning the Museum several large framed three-sheet posters, artwork, and several pieces from his saddle collection.
The Museum will be dedicated on Saturday June 17th at 10 am on the site at 701 South Main Street and all community members are encouraged to join in the festivities.
There will be a reception and Sneak Preview for the community on Friday, June 16th from 5 to 7. There will be light refreshments and guided tours led by the many volunteers who have toiled so many years to make the museum a reality. Victor Silvas and Bobby Pino will entertain.
A few tickets remain for the western banquet and concert by Chaparral in Lone Ranger Canyon.


Contact Info

The Museum of Western Film History
701 S. Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545