2007 2007

Joy Fatooh, design artist of Self Guided Movie Location brochure recognized for work


December 31, 2007:

Two women from the Owens Valley were honored in November at the National Association for Interpretation National Workshop in Wichita, Kansas. Joy Fatooh of Bishop and Gretel Enck of Independence were recognized for excellence in the field of interpretation.

Ms. Fatooh is a wildlife biologist with the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office. The BLM Excellence in Interpretation and Environmental Education award recognizes outstanding employees for their performance in enhancing the public’s understanding of the cultural and natural resources of public lands. Ms. Fatooh was selected as a finalist for this national award for her contributions to the creation of In the Alabama Hills of Lone Pine, California: Movie Road Self-Guided Tour, a guide to 10 locations that served as the setting for classic Hollywood movies. Joy also worked with partner organizations to develop a “Don’t Crush the Brush” campaign to make film crews aware of the fragility of Alabama Hills vegetation. A talented artist, Joy also contributedillustrations for the new Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine.

Ms. Enck is a park guide at Manzanar National Historic Site in Independence. The National Park Service Freeman Tilden Award, named for a pioneer in the field of interpretation, is an annual award recognizing outstanding contributions to the public through interpretation by an NPS employee. Ms. Enck was selected as the Pacific West Region nominee for this national award for planning, coordinating, and installing the special exhibit “GULAG: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom.” Gretel organized the only showing of the traveling exhibit in the western United States, hosting teacher workshops, film screenings, and a companion photo exhibit. The Gulag exhibit was on display at the Eastern California Museum for most of 2007.

Tremors scribe visits Film Museum and Tremors exhibitt


December 22, 2007:

Recently, Brent Maddock, one of the writing partners who created Tremors, stopped by the Museum and enjoyed the exhibits.
When the Director Ron Underwood, writer S.S. Wilson, and Producer Nancy Roberts visited a few years back and did a panel at the Festival, Brent was unable to attend. He is busy with projects, even though the writers' strike has slowed everything down. He comes through Lone Pine from time to time because his brother-in-law lives in Bishop and was surprised by the museum and all it had on display. He also enjoyed the orientation film immensely.

He had very kind words for the Tremors exhibit, which, of course, he had a great interest in. Looking at some production stills on display, he was surprised how much younger he was when he was here working on the film. He was particularly pleased with all the work and enthusiasm our student intern Sage Haithcoate had put into his design of the exhibit. High School Senior Sage is a great fan of the movie series and designed the entire exhibit.

Nancy Roberts facilitated the gift of the graboid puppets and other props from Universal studios. Michael Gross contributed his script, hat and chair back from the location. The Langley collection of Tremors posters from around the world have also added to the quality of the display. The Museum is always interested in more material.

When Executive Director Chris Langley spoke with Maddock about the plans to make one of the themes of the 2008 Festival "Writers of the Purple Sage," he was very enthusiastic about working on a panel focused on the art of adapting prose to movie script. During the chat, he stressed the "discipline of telling the story in 90 pages and getting everything moving quickly but entertainingly." He hopes to be able to attend the Festival October 10-12.

He and his writing partner Steve Wilson have just signed on to adapt a novel called The Adventures of Slim and Howdy, a novel to be published in early 2008, to the screen. The book is written by Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn and Stephen A. Bly. Bly is the writer of Christan westerns and Maddock indicated that the film project would be a western.

Maddock and Wilson wrote many other successful projects including the science fiction film Short Circuit. He has stated that the idea came out of an educational film that Wilson had written called "How to Write a Library Report." "That little film had a small robot (built and stop-motion animated by Steve) as its star. We thought we could use the film as a selling tool to raise money to do a low budget feature film about a robot. We wanted our film school buddy, Ron Underwood, who had directed this particular short, to direct the feature if and when we ever got it written and found funding."

The script turned out to be Short Circuit and everyone wanted it. It was produced but Ron was not hired as the director, so eventually the team wrote Tremors for Underwood to direct. Wilson has explained the idea came from ant lions he had observed while working on an educational film at Ridgecrest.

Brent updated us on Ron Underwood's work lately. He just directed a film for television called Holiday in Handcuffs, which was very well received. He also directed a Reaper episode titled "Magic" and two Boston Legal episodes. Brent said that William Shatner had started calling Ron "The Kid," which gave Ron a "big kick."

Hopefully we'll see this team reunited soon and back in Lone Pine working, who knows, maybe on a western.

Film Museum hosts "Landscapes of the Eastern Sierra Art Show"

landscapesbanner.jpgOctober 24, 2007:

An art show of nearly fifty landscape painters will explore interpretations of the Eastern Sierra at the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History. The show opens November 16th and will run through January 20, 2008.

The Film Museum has taken on the mission of exploring and study the interpretation of the landscape of the mountains and desert of the Owens Valley and Death Valley. Executive Director Chris Langley commented, "Most of the films made in our area rely heavily on the landscape. In fact the land serves as a character in many western films. It is only natural we would develop context for the Museum's focus by exploring what painters and artists have done with the inspiration of the land."

The show is being organized by Albert C. Salton, a Dean at UCLA, and local artist Dan Dickman. The group in this noon-juried show includes members of the Henry Fukuhara workshop that have been working in the area for the last ten years. Dickman states that the artists are all "seasoned and mature," and the results will be varied and undoubtedly exciting. There are many styles and even different media involved in the artwork being gathered for the show.

"We are excited by the idea of the show," Langley stated. "It will be our first in the new museum, and we think the nearly fifty works of art will add an extra dimension to the movie production photos and posters that we display."

Western films are often about the individual against the backdrop of the wide-open vistas of the western viewscape. "We see the value of the background of the films as the 'epic and intimate' landscape and we have a small display that introduces the visitor to this concept. It is part of the answer to why so many films have chosen our area for location."

All the paintings that are presented by the artists will be for sale. Many would make a very special gift for the holiday season coming up and the Museum will appreciate a thirty percent donation of the price of the artwork from the artist upon sale. There are no size limitations on the work, and the exhibit will actually spread out throughout the halls of the museum so people will view it in the context of the Museum's many exhibits.

For additional information on the hours and other questions, call 876-9909 and speak with Rob Barron.

Healthy Communities' group of students work on Alabama Hills project


December 03, 2007:

The Lone Pine Community’s love and respect for the Alabama Hills was again seen in a project sponsored by Healthy Communities and BLM staff working together to make the trail to the famous arch easy to find and follow. Healthy Communities Director Charles James was able to recruit five Lo-Inyo Middle School students from Mrs. Harry’s class to spend time giving back to the land and the community one Sunday, a few weeks back by working on the Alabama Hills Arch Trail Restoration Project.

James explained, While we had anticipated and hoped for more, we did have five very good Lo-Inyo 8th grade students show up to help us with this project: Alicia Niehaus, Rachel Martin, Javier Hernandez, Neil Bhakta, and Robert (a.k.a. Bubba) Hunter.
After having breakfast at McDonalds courtesy of Kevin and Lis Mazzu, the group drove out to the work site. When we arrived  the students received a short safety talk from BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Rich Williams and then instruction on what we were trying to accomplish today from BLM’s Scott Justham. These students hauled a lot of rocks to line the main trail leading to the Alabama Hills’ Arch

James continued, "The purpose was to try to get the foot traffic on the main trail and off the small spider web of trails that have resulted from not having a marked trail. While we got quite a bit done, we’ve discussed rescheduling another day to finish off what we started. The students seem amenable. Despite a forecast of rain, it was actually quite nice as you can see from the photosat least for the first couple of hours, but a storm front came in quickly by 1:00 p.m. as we were knocking off for the day and it started to get a little cool, blustery, and eventually began to rain."

The BLM Regional Office in Bishop has been working with the community of Lone Pine in a Stewardship project (see other stories in this issue) and this was another example of that work paying off.

Charles James reflected the feelings of the entire group when he stated, "The folks from the BLM were great to work with and I think it's safe to say that for the students that participated, that they really enjoyed working with them. The fact that these students were there says much about their character. Thanks for your support in gaining their interest."
As an added incentive for the students, Healthy Communities made a donation to the school for $100 toward the 8th Grade Graduation Catalina Trip or to whatever purpose the school chooses.

Spellbinder Bookstore and Museum team to bring author signing

October 23, 2007:

Spellbinder Books and The Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History are pleased to be teaming up again to bring an author to the Owens Valley. Since Halloween is just around the corner, it's the perfect time for a visit from Gena Philibert-Ortega, author of the new book, Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra. The book, published just last month by Arcadia Publishing, is a treasure trove of local history and photos, and covers a wide range of sites on the East Side, including Lone Pine, Independence, Manzanar, Bishop, Benton, Bodie and even Bridgeport, to name a few.

This is the second in a series of author appearances the Museum and Bookstore have collaborated on. Spellbinder owner Lynne Almeida believes that "part of the mission of the bookstore is to bring interesting cultural and educational events to the area through author visits. We're really pleased to be partnering with the Museum, to be able to offer authors two great locations and communities in which to present their books." "And," adds Chris Langley, the Museum's Executive Director, "the more successful and well-attended events we can put on through both venues, the more authors will find it enjoyable and worth their while to tour the East Side."

Author Gena Philibert-Ortega says, "Cemeteries are fragile windows into the past. Those of the Eastern Sierra trace the area's history back more than 100 years … This book is not meant to be an exhaustive guide to all cemeteries or grave sites in the region … [it] is but a small look at some of the many cemeteries in this region and the people who helped make its history. I hope this book will serve as a catalyst to better understanding our history and respecting those who came before us." She will be giving a presentation on the book in addition to signing copies.


Contact Info

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