Oat Mountain, the light-colored series of hills along the top of the shot. Another way to tell the shots are reversed is by looking at the dark triangle shape just above the riders — the Triangle Brand, as I call it, stamped on Oat Mountain. We know from seeing the orientation of the Triangle Brand in modern times — it's made up of a bunch of foliage on the side of the hill, and can still be easily spotted today — that this is the correct orientation for the shot.
Monday, November 23, 2009
One of the tricks used to save money in the old movies and TV shows was flipping shots, apparently to get what looked like different footage but was in fact just the same footage mounted in reverse. In other words, left is right and right is left, like a mirror image. Here's an example from the TV show "Adventures of Kit Carson."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Viewed from its most commonly seen front side (above), GTR is a subtle creature. Even so, it found its way into hundreds of movies simply because of its prominent perch atop a rock wall known as Hole in the Wall, in the Lone Ranger Rock/Nyoka Cliff area, or the the Upper Gorge. Here's one example:
The Yellow Rose of Texas." GTR can be seen in the top right corner.
For a look at GTR's charismatic alter ego (its back side), see the Jaunty Sailor.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
"Jaws": One of the many weird rocks in the Land of Weird Rocks
that is the former Iverson Movie Ranch
that is the former Iverson Movie Ranch
Here's something to sink your teeth into: Jaws, also known as Laughing Boy (not seriously — that's just sort of a pet name I have for it), is a cool rock — and it's one that is seen all too rarely in the movies, at least up close.
"Beauty and the Bandit" (1946)
Above is a rare medium shot of Jaws in a movie, in the Cisco Kid Western "Beauty and the Bandit," from Monogram. Jaws is almost always seen from a greater distance than this, and is usually unrecognizable in its long-distance appearances on screen.
In case you're having trouble seeing it, here's another version of the same shot with Jaws identified.
Jaws, from the "T-Rex" angle
I have also referred to the rock as T-Rex based on its appearance from the angle shown above. I know, it doesn't even look like the same rock. But it is. You may or may not see the Tyrannosaurus rex resemblance, which may depend on whether you had a certain plastic replica of T-Rex in your dinosaur collection when you were a kid. Suffice to say I did have that toy, and I definitely see the resemblance.
Jaws, on the left, and Jaunty Sailor, on the right, as they appear today
Jaws is a close neighbor of GTR, which, like Jaws, has at least two distinct personalities. GTR is also known as Jaunty Sailor when viewed from its back side, as in the above photo.
The heavily filmed movie rock GTR/Jaunty Sailor, as it appears in recent times
Here's a look at the two main personas of GTR/Jaunty Sailor: as seen from the front, as GTR, on the right; and from the back, as Jaunty Sailor, on the left.
"The Saga of the Viking Women" (1957)
The above shot shows what might be considered a traditional angle on the area known as Hole in the Wall, which includes the features GTR, Jaws and the actual Hole in the Wall — all visible in the background near the top of the shot, as seen from the Upper Gorge. I'll identify these features below.
Here's the same shot with some of the key features pointed out. The shot comes from Roger Corman's great 1957 Iverson showpiece with the full title "The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent." I can strongly recommend the movie if you want to see some terrific Iverson location shots — and it's a cool movie besides. Corman spent a lot of time at Iverson early in his career, honing his skills before going on to become one of the great cult movie directors and producers of all time.
Check out these Amazon links to find movies featured in this post: