Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Out on the Highline

Back in October of 2006, I went to Great Falls to do my first location scout. It was more of a study of the towns and landscape of Eastern Montana and less of a full on scout. I wanted to get a feel for the place with the film in mind. I stayed with Pete Fromm and his family in their home in Great Falls. We put lots of miles on their car as we drove all over. We went from Augusta to Shelby to Havre, Big Sandy, Judith Crossing, Coffee Creek, and back to Great Falls in one long day. We saw some amazing stuff while out on the road.

I was able to put together a group of images that gave an impression of the types of things we'd see in the film. The landscape, the buildings, the clouds and the texture of the Montana landscape. These are just a few of the images I captured.

The small towns on the highline are getting smaller by the minute. They were once happening little towns along the railroad, but today, they are quiet places just hanging on. Names like Inverness, Kremlin, Rudyard, Chester and Galata were some of the ones we explored.

Always keeping a mindful eye on the weather, we'd see some interesting formations, but Virga always alluded us on this trip. Seems like an event more suited to summer heat, than cool autumn days.

One thing we found is that many of these small towns have cafe's and bars and other businesses, but all of them under one roof. You can get away with that in a small town. Espresso, tanning salon and oil changes aren't unheard of in one establishment. We were on the search for a cafe that was just a cafe, not a bar/cafe combo. We found that these kinds of singular businesses were only available in bigger towns. Like this cafe above. We found this one in the town of Big Sandy.

Our mini road trip had us through some of the more scenic areas of central Montana. I hadn't been to some of these places before. Many of these wide expanses are untouched, unmolested. One place that I can't get out of my mind was Judith Crossing. We headed south out of Big Sandy on a high-speed gravel road. After the road plowed through a large bluff, the Missouri river appeared and stretched out in front of us. It was amazing to see. This must be how Lewis and Clark saw this very spot, minus the bridge, of course. The light was gorgeous and the shadows falling perfectly. We had to stop on the bridge and take it in.


Corvair in Denton, Montana.

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