I've always kind of avoided Monument Valley because, well, for locals like me, it's a cliche. It's like going to San Francisco and visiting Alcatraz (done it), or New York and going up in the Empire State Building (done it), or, going to San Diego and staying on Mission Beach (I'm a Zonie, had to do it). So, when we decided to go tape a True West Moment in John Ford Land last Thursday I knew we had to do it but I was kind of dreading it in a I'm-not-a-tourist kind of resistance.
But I have to admit that dang place is pure magic. As I previously reported in my blog, we arrived in a rain storm last Thursday evening with about 40 minutes of sunlight left. We traversed the park in Ken Amorosano's Dodge Ram pickup trying to find a spot to film, but it was overcast, soggy and very tentative in filming terms.
Still, we jumped out at one point and I attempted to do a bit, but the rain was too oppressive for the sound and the background was a little flat. Lucinda Amorosano shot this photo of me doing it and I just love it:
Yes, that's water running in at the bottom and that's a rainbow above the Mittens. Amazing. But the best was still to come.
After a tour of the park we came back up the switchbacks and as we rounded the turn, the sun came out and a double rainbow lit up the sky. Here we are setting up as fast as we can.
That's Sheri Riley with the wombat (a directional microphone with a fuzzy, wind sock absorber). And that's Ken Amorosano behind the camera. We are now editing to upload to the Westerns Channel what we filmed and I swear that background looks fake. It's almost too perfect.
"When the landscape become real, don't tweak it in Photoshop."
—John Ford II