Rain in the Mountains, Day Twenty-three
What is Rain in the Mountains

Those who partook in the lengthy shooting day upon the Nisqually River will forgive my delinquency in writing about it. We all needed a few days to recover. Luckily, a few days were in the cards, since we knocked out three days worth of filming in one, epic day.

If anyone needs more than a few days to recover, it’s

Read more about Day Twenty-three of the Rain in the Mountains movie shootSteve. Our fearless lead actor deserves a few rounds on the house for doing all his own stunts in the middle of a strong current. The script calls for Eric to give a disasterous fly-fishing lesson to Todd, at one point swimming out to loose a snag in his line. As he floats down the river, he succeeds in freeing the snag. “Reel me in, boy!” he calls. “Ow. The hook! Don’t reel me in. Don’t reel me in!”

After each take, Steve had to hike back against the current over slippery rocks. This in itself wasn’t much of a hassle, but the big yellow galoshes that the Eric character constantly wears have been the bane of Steve’s soles, never fitting, and never more difficult to walk in than when water-logged in a freezing river. Danny, the crew’s resident aquatic mammal, leant a shoulder to steady Steve each time he hiked up the river made of (really) recently thawed ice. After he completed the stunt, Steve was shivering. It was 95 degrees out.

While everyone at some time got their feet wet — even me — it was Joel, Christine, Matt and Danny who were out in the water all day, Joel with the camera on his shoulders and the knowledge in his head that a slip on the rocks could cost a mint. I myself had to be careful not to drown my vest-of-many-pockets and stick to the filmmaker’s equivalent of ‘keep your powder dry’ by not letting any packets of valuable lens tissue go down into Davy Jones’ lockbox.

This location was also the longest, or at least most treacherous, hike from the cars on the whole shoot. Everything had to be carried in and out on a trail steep enough that it forced you to run it whether you wanted to or not.

Did I mention that this day was a blast? We finished day twenty-three’s work shortly after lunch and took a little swim-break. A father and two sons happened down the trail. They must’ve thought we were an odd assembly, our rag-tag crew and bedgraggled actors. In my vest I’m sure I looked like a fisherman without a pole. When Lillian sounded the ‘back to work’ call and Joel produced a camera from from a beached aluminum canoe, it clicked for them. “What, are you guys making a movie?” No, a ham sandwich.

A ham sandwich that also happens to be a movie. Joel and Christine dropped the day’s exposed reels off at the lab in Seattle. As much fun as I had on the river, boy howdy I hope it turns out.

These pictures and more uploaded soon to the RitM Flickr album.

BONUS: Video clip of the Nisqually folly