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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

March 2001

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Thu, Mar. 1, 2001 - Eel River Sunset looking west

Eel River Sunset looking west

Lori and I went out to Cannibal Island in Loleta and this photo and the one I'll feature tomorrow were taken within a few minutes of each other, but looking in opposite directions from the bridge.

Fri, Mar. 2, 2001 - Eel River Sunset looking east

Eel River Sunset looking east

Pretty amazing, two very different sunsets in one night.

Sat, Mar. 3, 2001 - The Diner

The Diner

Work on the movie sets is accelerating as filming is due to start in two weeks. Crews have started on the Diner set, which is being built in front of the old gas station across from the Victorian Inn. The tarps that had covered the Majestic for a few days were removed and extensive work has been done on the facade. The town hall is starting to look like a town hall instead of a big box. The facade for the town hall is on the back side so from the street it doesn't look like much yet. I'll have pictures of the other two set pieces later this week. Tonight we're going to a potluck dinner that the construction crew is putting on. There is one more interior set that is being built at the fairgrounds, which is where the potluck is. The set is in a different building though so I don't know if it will be available to the public. Taking the camera just in case.

I was a bit late in adding shots for the last few days. But I just got my slide scanner installed so I put up a couple of pictures I recently took of a sunset in Loleta. The shots were taken from a bridge that spans the Eel River. The bridge is about 8 feet wide, but you can drive over it onto an island that has a nature preserve. I'm just glad no one was trying to use it while I was taking pictures.

Sun, Mar. 4, 2001 - The Majestic Potluck Table

The Majestic Potluck Table

As mentioned yesterday, we went to a potluck dinner that was put on the by construction crew of The Majestic. The picture shows what happens when you invite an entire town to a potluck. Ok, so the entire town didn't show up, but it felt like it going down the line of food. The desserts were displayed on another 3 or 4 tables, and presented just as many delicious choices. Lori and I had our first taste of Rocky Mountain Oysters, which I have to admit tasted very good. You just have to not think about what you are actually eating. (for those of you who don't know, Rocky Mountain Oysters are what's left after the bulls are castrated). I have a standing invitation to watch and photograph this process later on this year from one of the local ranchers, so I figured I might as well find out how they taste now, rather than out at the ranch surrounded by a bunch of cowboys.

Mon, Mar. 5, 2001 - Town Hall once again

Town Hall once again

Today the crew was supposed to erect the marquee on the theatre but it didn't happen. Probably all of the rain has put them behind schedule. So today's picture is the latest from the Town Hall, and it's actually starting to look like a town hall now. The big doors on the side are for the drive thru. Remember that underneath this shell is a real bank building that remains open for business. Must be a bit noisy in there though. They put the doors on the side so that the drive thru could remain open (how nice). During the actual filming they will be closed though.

Tue, Mar. 6, 2001 - Christmas in March

Christmas in March

Today's photo is from a shoot I did yesterday at the Gingerbread Mansion. It wasn't for the inn though, they just had a conveniently located Victorian mantel that I needed to shoot the stockings for a client in Pennsylvania who found me on the web. It didn't hurt that I had experience shooting velvets and satins for Lori's clothes, and that I loved Victorian stuff. I collected the greenery, the berries and the holly on the way over to the inn. All in all very convenient. Hopefully the photos will appear in a trade magazine for the gift industry.

Wed, Mar. 7, 2001 - S10 Blazer - 1985-2001

S10 Blazer - 1985-2001

We sold the Blazer today so we're down to 8 motor vehicles. That's counting the lawn mower and the KZ400 which isn't currently running. Lori mentioned that she was kind of sad to see the Blazer gone, after all the great vacations we had in it. After I reminded her that she almost died in it on one of those vacations she let it go. The guy that bought it works on a production line carving those redwood bears that you can buy along the side of the road. He spends his whole day doing the rough cuts with a chain saw, and then another guy comes along and does the detail work. Now everytime I hate my job (which isn't very often lately) I'll remember what he does.

Thu, Mar. 8, 2001 - Bull in the flood plain

Bull in the flood plain

Last Sunday, it rained really hard all day, which meant that as usual, a good part of Ferndale was flooded. Tuesday, I took a short motorcycle ride at lunch time and going down the main highway out of town, I went past this field that is very pretty when it floods. There was a lone bull standing out in the middle of the flood plain and I thought it would make a great picture at sunset. Later that afternoon while coming back from Eureka to pick up the last batch of slides I shot, I noticed the bull was still there, so when I got home I grabbed all my camera equipment and rushed out again. I got permission from the land owners to shoot on their property and came away with about a dozen very nice shots. I've had several other ranchers give me permission for areas I've seen and even a few I haven't, so I have lots more places to explore and shoot. Have I mentioned I'm loving it here?

Fri, Mar. 9, 2001 - Lighting the marquee

Lighting the marquee

We happened to be standing on Main Street at the exact moment that they lit the Marquee for the first time. As you can see The Majestic has seen quite a bit of work since my last report. It now has an Art Deco marquee on it that has also been aged. The movie takes place in the fifties and the town is down on it's luck. Jim Carrey's character begins revitalizing the town. I think at some point in the movie this marquee must come down because they also detailed the building's Victorian facade behind it. Other movie news: They dug up a neighbors lawn to use in a scene at the cemetery because it had that neglected look to it. I'm not sure if that is an honor or not, but at least he can watch the movie and say, "Hey there's my front lawn!". The movie guys are going to give him a new lawn so he gets a good deal out of it. I wish they had chosen ours, since we want to get rid of it anyways. In other landscaping news they also have been bringing in madrone and pine trees for the town hall park. The madrone trees are something else. They are real madrone trees that have been stripped of the leaves, and then had silk leaves reattached. Caltrans crews came in and erased the dashed yellow line down Main Street and replaced it with a solid white line. They also got rid of the STOP stencilled on the roadway a the intersections where there are stop signs. I guess they didn't have those in the 50s either.

Sat, Mar. 10, 2001 - Playing on the beach

Playing on the beach

Since the KLX is in the shop getting the kick starter repaired, Lori and I took the ATV down to Centerville beach and took turns on it. While Matt had fun driving like a mad-man, Lori is looking forward to the day when she can ride her horse up and down the beach. This week she's been practicing horse ownership by grooming Barnaby early each morning. Barnaby is the horse that pulls the carriage in town.

Sun, Mar. 11, 2001 - George, Barnaby & Lori

George, Barnaby & Lori

Any day now I expect to find Lori leading a horse into our yard, exclaiming, "Look who followed me home! Can we keep him, please, please please!" In addition to taking care of Barnaby this morning, Lori also got her first instruction in driving a carriage. The horse, carriage, and town are still each in one piece.

Mon, Mar. 12, 2001 - The Majestic, nearing completion

The Majestic, nearing completion

The filming for The Majestic is supposed to start next week, so crews have been extra busy lately. They still have a lot of work to do on some of the sets, but they have started redecorating the shop windows, turning them into 1950s stores. They are also hanging awnings to give Ferndale that period look. Shortly they will be removing all store signs and anything else that would identify the town as Ferndale. The Majestic itself is nearly complete, although I have no idea what the orange paint is about. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the movie.

Tue, Mar. 13, 2001 - Inside Town Hall

Inside Town Hall

Here's the view of town hall from the drive-up window of the bank that has been swallowed inside the set.

Wed, Mar. 14, 2001 - Guthrie Creek headlands

Guthrie Creek headlands

Last week Lori and I went on a tour of the Lost Coast Ranch which is just south of Ferndale. The Coastal Conservancy and a few other agencies are trying to purchase this ranch and turn it into a park. It has some stunning scenery and after the tour I asked who I would need permission from in order to get access to the ranch to take some pictures. The caretaker is none other than George Enos, the owner of Barnaby. So not only do I have access to the property, I have permission to take my ATV down the trail to the lagoon so I don't have to carry all my camera gear down the hill (and more importantly, back up the hill in the dark). So if the weather cooperates, I hope to have some more pictures from here soon.

Mon, Mar. 19, 2001 - Fake Dead People

Fake Dead People

Lori and I were out of town Friday and Saturday so I have a bit of catching up to do. Friday we went down to Fort Bragg to try out a new airbed. Actually, I tried it out while Lori went horseback riding on the beach. The new mattress that we bought just before the move isn't working out for my back, so we're going to try something else. We stayed at the Weller House and then Saturday we went whale watching and took in a car show and then came back. I spent yesterday doing my taxes, so Dad should be pleased that I'm not playing all the time. I figured I'd spare you a picture of my tax forms so no picture yesterday either. Today was supposed to be the last day to finish the sets as filming for the Majestic is scheduled to start tomorrow. I think the crews are going to be pulling an all nighter because even though they made great progress this weekend, they were still starting new projects today. We've seen them build fake buildings, bring in fake trees, and today's shot shows the fake dead people. This memorial plot is actually in the Ferndale cemetery, but they needed a bunch of headstones to represent the boys lost in the war. This is where the lawn I mentioned earlier ended up.

Tue, Mar. 20, 2001 - Curious Cows

Curious Cows

All day I've been looking forward to trying out our new airbed. Only when we went to set it up we found out we should have received more than the one box. We're missing a few critical items, like the mattresses themselves and the air pump. So it looks like we'll be sleeping on the floor tonight since we alread took the old mattress off the bed.

Today's picture is especially for Derek. He was tired of The Majestic and requested some cow pictures. Thought about posting a picture of a cow doing what cows often do, to match Derek's taste in humor, but I decided to spare the rest of you.

Thu, Mar. 22, 2001 - Aliens in Ferndale

Aliens in Ferndale

Sorry for not posting yesterday, but Lori and I were abducted by aliens and while they are very advanced, they were not able to establish a reliable Internet connection. Something to do with running Windows 3000.

After returning back to earth, Lori had her first star sighting today, spotting Jim Carrey doing a scene in front of the diner. We're going to play hookie tomorrow and watch the filming for awhile. If we catch anyone famous, we'll be sure to post the pictures.

Fri, Mar. 23, 2001 - Hollywood Dogs

Hollywood Dogs

Lori and I did take the day off to go watch Hollywood in action. Or is that Hollywood inaction? As they say, making movies is hurry up and wait. The crew tried to keep the crowds pretty far away from the actors, but James Whitmore was pretty cool, he walked down the street and checked out the store windows. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the street. Jim Carrey arrived in a big black Cadillac SUV and ducked into a tent they set up for him. We also saw David Ogden Stiers walking down the street, at which point a chorus of "hey, Major Winchester" arose from the peanut gallery.

But all of the stars we saw pale in comparison to this picture I took for Linda. Here is a shot of a dog that was in the scene, and it's stand-in, which was a stuffed toy. So add fake dogs to the list. Also fake was the police car, the sirens and lights that give it that vintage police car look were Hollywood props that stuck on to the car with magnets. Speaking of sirens, if you've been to Ferndale, you know that the volunteer fire department siren goes off every day at 12:00. The film crew hasn't caught on yet to this daily occurence.

Tue, Mar. 27, 2001 - The Lost Coast Ranch

The Lost Coast Ranch

We've started working on Plan B. Plan A was for Lori to have a horse here at the house. However, between her finding out what it's like to take care of a horse every day, and not wanting to spend a fortune to buy the land for it, Lori is looking at maybe leasing a horse instead.

Today's photo was taken from the headlands (not headwaters) of Guthrie Creek on the Lost Coast Ranch. This was my second trip to site, and I now have permission to take my ATV down to the lagoon seen in this picture. I've just been waiting for a day that looks like it will have a good sunset. We've been having a lot of fog and rain lately. I may need to take one of my motorcycle rides to the sun soon.

Wed, Mar. 28, 2001 - Ferndale Cemetery

Ferndale Cemetery

Tonight they were filming at the diner again, so I headed up to the cemetery to take some pictures. Then I headed into town to take some pictures of the action. The security people hate that since they don't want anyone taking pictures of the actors or the filming process. I have to keep reminding them that as long as they are on public streets, they are fair game. They usually threaten to call some one up their chain of command, and several times I've had to explain to two or more people that what they claim is their "movie set" is actually a public street. Some of them are so rude, it makes me want to be a paparazzi just to annoy them.

Thu, Mar. 29, 2001 - Quad at The Lost Coast Ranch

Quad at The Lost Coast Ranch

Made a trip down to the beach at Guthrie Creek with the ATV. I'm going to have to start thinking about taking a tax deduction for the vehicle as it makes a very nice cargo carrier. It was a lot easier just riding down than having to backpack everything down and then back up. I took this shot with the digital, but I should have the real shots next week as I shot them with my 35mm.

Fri, Mar. 30, 2001 - Wildflowers on Platina Road

Wildflowers on Platina Road

One of the promises that I made myself before moving to Ferndale, was that if I got too sick of the fog, I would take the day off and go for a motorcycle ride. Today was that day. Even though it was finally nice and sunny again in Ferndale today, I still felt like getting away and seeing some more of the countryside. I took Hwy 36 up past Bridgeville, out to Hwy 3 and then took that over to Redding where I took Hwy 299 back. The entire route was 250 miles, and those three highways are some of the best motorcycle roads I've been on. Beautiful scenery with the wildflowers and shrubs in bloom. Today was very good for the soul.