Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Project Update: 2016 is almost over, but the project is still alive...

Filming for #recreatingthehcrh

A photo posted by A. F. Litt (@aflitt) on

Life is messy and strange, and this year has been more messy and strange than most... 

As most people who follow this project have probably noticed, things have been on hold for about a year now.  This project is a labor of love, done in my free time, funded out of my own pocket, and, this year, I could make very little progress.  Clearly, the documentary will not be completed this year, and even the shorts and website have been on hold.  I did film several of the Centennial events, but outside of this, other than sharing relevant posts on Facebook, I was not able to accomplish much this year.

This is a bit more of a personal post than I usually make with this project.  However, I know some folks have some questions, and I do want to assure everyone interested in the history of the highway that I am far from being done with this endeavor.  I am not quitting or giving up. 

I still look forward to completing the film, to fleshing out the history on the website, and to documenting the completion of the state trail, but these goals are pushed back a bit due to the complexities of life…  2016 has been a difficult year filled with major changes in my life. 

So, where do we go from here? 

Over the next few months, I do hope to start releasing some new “web series” shorts and to flesh out the website a bit more.  I’ve got a lot of research and photos waiting go up online.  And there are still some places out on the upper and lower highways that beg for further exploration.  I hope to complete most of that work in early 2017.

After that, I hope to return to work on the documentary.  I’ve not spoken much about this, but the origin of this whole project started with the desire to create a short film exploring the original route of the highway.  Of course, over the years, it has grown into much more.  But the film still is the heart of the project to me.  And I’ve learned so much about the craft of film since this started, and I am so grateful that I’ve had the time to grow in that craft before releasing much video that I’d regret later...

Which also touches on another goal with this film; I truly want this to be a project based in microbudget, Filmmaking 2.0 principals.  Sure, with a ton of money and crew, this film could be made quickly.  And I am sure it would look great and hopefully it would be worth watching.  But when I started this, I decided that I wanted to make this film in a different way, to show what can be accomplished in the medium with non-existent budgets and “prosumer” level gear. 

There have been times when I have been tempted to move back towards a more traditional model on this project, but then I remember what my artistic goals for this film are.  This is not saying that I shun collaboration or help, in fact anyone who wants to help with this is more than welcome, but there is no money to be paid, it’s volunteer work on a labor of love.  So far, I haven’t found many others with the film skills required and a passion for the old highway who’s willing to jump in.  Of course, I haven’t looked that hard, either. The time I've spent on this project so far has mostly been out shooting and exploring, or researching and website building.

Staying true to these goals, though, means that making this film is a very slow process.  A lot, more than a lot, of filming has been done.  Many interviews still need to be done.  And, eventually, in late 2017 or 2018, it all will be done.

Thank you so much to everyone who follows the Facebook page, to everyone who has offered all sorts of help since this all got started back in 2013, and to everyone who comes along in the future.  Things have been a bit slow recently, but will be picking up again eventually, and I hope we can all have a great time together as we see how everything comes together in the end, both for the state trail and for this documentary project.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Antique Auto Tour on the Columbia River Highway

Rowena Crest, Historic Columbia River Highway (2014)
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  Oregon.  July 15, 2014.
Copyright © 2014 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved
Originally posted on Rubble

Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: July 23, 2016

Today is the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway's annual Antique Auto Tour.  Since it is the centennial of the HCRH this year, instead of back and forth from the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM) to Rowena Crest, they will be driving the from Troutdale to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center today, with a lunch stop at Marine Park in Cascade Locks.

This photo, from the 2014 tour, is not new to the world.  It's been bouncing around for a couple year, but this is the first time it's been featured as a Photo of the Day.

(Yes... If you get to the end, you'll notice that the film has been delayed a bit, and the web shorts have been paused for a bit...)


Friends of the HCRH: 2016 Antique Car Tour

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sandy Boulevard

Recreating the Historic Columbia River Highway: Sandy Boulevard from A. F. Litt on Vimeo.

Exploring the Sandy Boulevard, old U.S. 30, alignment of the Columbia River Highway from Milepost Zero in Downtown Portland to the Sandy River Bridge...



"There's Probably No Time" by Chris Zabriskie
Licensed under a Attribution License.

"Isolated" by Kevin MacLeod
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Stark Street - A Rough Draft

Recreating the Historic Columbia River Highway: Stark Street - A Rough Draft from A. F. Litt on Vimeo.

A rough look at the early Stark Street route of the Columbia River Highway from Milepost Zero at Washington and Broadway in Portland to the Stark Street Bridge on the Sandy River...

"Junction" by Kai Engel
Licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Troutdale: Dead Sheep Goo Pit

Eastwinds Development will be building a new hotel and community complex on the site of the old Bissinger Wool Pullery. 
The company is voluntarily removing the remains of thousands of dead sheep buried alongside the iconic water tower from the 1930s. 
The pit where Bissinger buried the dead sheep is now covered in dirt and blackberry bushes. Tests revealed that just below the surface of dirt and blackberry bushes, the pit of dead sheep has turned into a kind of goo.
Sheep goo removal to cause big stink in Troutdale

Monday, November 16, 2015

Timelapse: Multnomah Falls to Dodson

The original idea behind this project was to create a timelapse video of the original Route 2 route through the Gorge... While it has grown a long way from that initial idea, it is still something I am working on.

Of course, my eyes blur after watching a timelapse video for more than a minute or so, which is one of the reasons this project grew into a full documentary. To combat that, I am breaking the timelapse into one minute sections, aligned with the sections on the website.

These are a little rough, but they are what they are. I don't want to take the time to really clean them up at this point, I have more interesting films to make about the highway now!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rubble: Oneonta Falls

Rubble: Oneonta Falls: Oneonta Falls (2015)

A. F. Litt: Public - Not On Site &emdash; Oneonta Falls (2015)

Oneonta Falls (2015)
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Oregon. August 17, 2015
Copyright © 2015 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved
#HCRH http://www.recreatingthehcrh.org http://www.aflitt.com

Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: November 3, 2015
Back on it after being super busy preparing some film festival submissions and fighting the worst cold I've had in years...  Not much time left for anything else between the two!
Just a plain old waterfall shot of Oneonta Falls from last summer.  I'd love to get back there when that thing was really going, but I have no idea how to do that safely!  Makes me cold just thinking about it...