Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Work...Spring Film Fam

Apologies that this post is soooo long...but thought some of you might enjoy to see these pictures. I'm also going to be posting a couple other posts like this from my work adventures.

Spring 2010, marked my first adventure in my new position. Chad, tourism's senior photographer, his intern Jenna, and I went out to western South Dakota on a film location tour. Part of my role in the the tourism office is also handling the Film Office to promote South Dakota as a film destination. In conjunction with the Black Hills Film Festival, our office invited guests from the film industry out to see what beautiful South Dakota has to offer filmmakers. Here's some of my adventures.

Welcome to the Amiotte Ranch! This ranch is location south of the Badlands. What a beautiful part of our state. Clint, the rancher, was a generous man who certainly went out of his way to make our experience visiting his ranch memorable.

Okay, so maybe the whole time I was secretly wishing I could have married a rancher/cowboy...what of it?! It's kinda this fantasy world that I live it - at least my job brings me close enough to touch it, rather than to just day dream about it! :)

Here is Clint showing off his property, of course, with the help of his dogs. Which were plentiful. According to him, since his property is on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, he should have 10 more dogs. Keep in mind, he probably already has 10! :)

What a character. Clint will forever be remembered by me, what a nice man he was. I certainly hope that I'll be able to visit him again someday, and hopefully bring a film out to his property.

Long horns

Beautiful, beautiful land that Clint has. I think it was at this point that I was really wondering if I should have married a rancher - or turn Cody into one. Hrrmmm...which would be easier?

I absolutely love how on this property you can have great diversity for filming. Turn one direction and you see the amazing Badland's type scenery. Turn around and it looks like you are on the prairie.

Two of our guest location scouts and co-worker of mine.

Clint and I

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.
-James Barrie

So, the biggest adventure of this entire trip...We are out in the middle of nowhere, obviously, probably more than 30 miles from the town of Interior, population 77. Oh, by the way, the entire town was practically closed on this particular day, for a track meet or something. We are probably 20 minutes away from Clint's mothers ranch house. We get out to see the sites, as we have done a half dozen times already. We are all out of the suburban that I brought out there and Chad was driving on the ranch, and have GOT to be kidding me. My eyes met Chad's and we were both in immediate disbelief. Yup, the vehicle locked itself, with the keys in the ignition. Seriously, we are about 100 miles away from any kind of service station that could help us. All cell phones etc. are locked inside...there was no service anyway..But, wow.

We seriously considered using Clint's ax in the back of his pickup, which was not locked up, to break the window open. Oh, but wait, we have a 3.5 hour drive to our destination for the evening. It's cold, drizzly, wet, and miserable out. How embarassing. I decide, that I CAN and WILL unlock this thing. I ask Clint to drive back to his mom's get a hanger, and I'll be able to unlock it, I even promised.

Two of our guests keeping their hands warm on the suburban hood while clint went to find a hanger.

So, Clint came back, and unfortunately the hanger was cut too short to be able to reach the unlock button. Clint and I found a cattle whip in the back of his truck, took the fabric off, and I began shoving that inside the vehicle in hops of hitting unlock. I sat on top of the vehicle, shoes off and all, for about 45 minutes. We could SWEAR that I was hitting unlock, the stinkin thing must have had some silly feature that it wouldn't unlock when the keys were in the ignition. I was about 2 minutes away from giving up, when I decided to try to pull up the unlock tab on the door...unsuccessfully. Until Clint re-bent the hanger just the right way...ALAS - it was unlocked. Praise the Lord, we aren't driving back to Hot Springs with a busted window. The only battle scars were a few scratches on the suburban by the unlock button, and some fiber-glass shards in my hand. Not bad.

(photo by Chad Coppess, senior photographer, Office of Tourism)

Clint was happy that I unlocked it. In his oh-so-charming western South Dakota rancher voice he said, "Gol dang, I was sure glad that you got that unlocked, I could tell by the look of determination on your face you weren't going anywhere til' that truck was unlocked. I was damn near sure I'd be out here with my headlights shinin' on you on top of that thing with the coyotes hollarin' atcha."

(photo by Chad Coppess, senior photographer, Office of Tourism)

Oh, Amiotte Ranch, how I adore thee. I soon will not forget.

Hot Springs, South Dakota.

I knew the rest of the trip would certainly go smoothly. I went to bed that night knowing that I would wake up to a beautiful day. That morning, I pulled the shades open in my hotel room and found....snow.
Yes, snow in mid-May on my location tour with 3 guests from California. Great.

And actually, it was great! Our guests were able to see two very different looks of South Dakota. This gave them a great idea of what the beautiful Black Hills looked like snow covered. A few of the routes we wanted to take were not open due to weather conditions, but we made the best of it.

Wild Horse Sanctuary, Hot Springs, SD

Frawley Ranch, in the northern Hills. This property is absolutely amazing. Check out the history of this ranch. Some of the earliest homesteading practices. This was what the family first built, as they needed to have their homestead finished in order to participate in the Homesteading Act. They next would build a log cabin, probably one story, then a two-story.

Hank Frawley

The Group

Hank telling us about the history of the barn we toured. It is believed that this type of barn might be one of the few in the country like it. It has a court-yard in the middle. The entire upper level of the barn has been re-done so that it is accessible. They have original artifacts from throughout the ranch stored upstairs, like a mini-museum of the property.

It's amazing that people were able to build such lasting structures without our modern technology. I cannot begin to imagine the time and labor that went into something like this. This is just a VERY, VERY small portion of the barn, but I wanted to give you an idea of the detail in this structure.

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