Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sequoia National Park

Dear Reader

I have lived in California all of my life, California is a state so humongous that it could take a life time to visit every National Park and every tourist destination. Since I have been working in the "entertainment industry" as a provider of motor homes and transportation equipment I have had a chance to visit some prodigious locations.

One of my chances came in 2005 when one of my dearest clients Shotsie from First Shot Productions asked me to come on a location scout for a future shoot in Sequoia National Park, along with her assistant "Selma". The trip took about four and a half hours, including a stop for fuel and snacks, since Sequoia is a National Park there is only one petrol station and the hours of this station is not 24 hours, so top off your tank before you enter the park.

Once we got to the park we stopped at several potential locations including this location, a tunnel carved into a tree. This part of the road is closed to thru traffic but it offered an interesting locale to shoot at. Ultimately the Client rejected this locale because they were shooting a winter edition of their Christmas catalog and the Client wanted locations with snow.

We checked into the Wuksachi Lodge; when we arrived at the parking lot there was nine feet high snow drifts even though it was early March. This was perfect in one way, we needed the snow for our background, but too much snow could cancel our shoot or make it impossible to navigate our large vehicles including the box truck, the horse trailer and the motor home. There was another problem, the General Highway (Hwy 198) is the most navigable road for large vehicles like the RV, but when winter storms blow in from Alaska, 198 is the first road to close because of snow. Highway 65 is always opened throughout the year, but because of the winding narrow passes, vehicles over 30 feet are not advised on this byway. Fortunately for our job, when we shot there in late March, 198 was opened and we had no problem navigating our way to our various locations.

We spent two days in Sequoia scouting various locations including Grants Pass, and Giant Forest. This was a chance for me to determine the best location to park the motor home and other large vehicles and to devise maps for the crew. Since there are no dump stations in Sequoia, I advised my Producer that we should look at alternative restrooms during our shoot. This was no problem, since every location except one had a restroom. The other issue was diesel fuel for our support vehicles, I advised my drivers to top off their tanks before they entered the park, since my RV has a 900 mile range, one tank kept me in business for the four day shoot.

Since my Producer did a lot of pre-planing, the shoot went great. We had a exceptional time, it was cold, the photographer got the shot they needed, and the Client went back to the United Kingdom happy.

If you are planing on shooting in California, Oregon, Washington or surrounding states please call me Mike Green at 818 317 7099, we have the motor homes and portable restrooms for your future productions.