“The Roads of Oregon” – a New Addition to the Oregon Film Website

by Bob Schmaling, Senior Project Manager

I was very happy to get an opportunity to work with Nathan to put together a website about Oregon roads.  With a landscape that includes deserts, mountains, forests, prairies and an ocean, there’s ample opportunity for engaging vistas.  Oregon roads have played roles in feature films, TV series, documentaries, travelogues, but most often car commercials.

In an earlier life as a key grip the car commercials were always my favorite jobs, I loved the rigging.  How I fondly remember the Super Grips (Is that a mark on the hood?), hostess trays, ratchet straps, uni-body pinch clamps, speed rail, gutter hooks, hood mounts, all the lead on the floor in the back seat, stop me please.  I still have that little custom Shotmaker wrench hanging in my office.

Oregon has traditionally drawn car commercials not only because of its interesting roads and varied landscape; each state has some of these, but also because of how quickly one can transition between those landscapes.

You can go from

this… to this… to this…
in less than 90 minutes.

Or, if you like, you can go from

this… to this…  in less than 60 minutes.

Being able to give the client a completely different look without making a half day company move has always been a real asset.

While Nathan wrote the code which created an attractive and very functional site and populated it with our photos, I poured through our database for pictures that would capture some of that varied landscape and the roads that ran through them.  While there may be as many ways to categorize that varied landscape as there are people willing to try, I chose the following nine:

desert, coastal, curvy, forest, un-paved, straight, mountain, rolling hills and cities/towns.  Nathan and I decided to include 24 images in each one of those categories.

While our Reel-Scout database holds well over 60,000 digital photos, finding the right ones proved more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  All those photos came from a variety of sources, location scouts, private land owners, vacation photos from Aunt Lila, as well those taken by Film Office staff over the years.  Many of the most desirable locations were populated with photos that were taken at a time before stitching software was as ubiquitous as it is now.  The photos were taped together, often with differences in exposure frame to frame that modern stitching software could mitigate.   Many photos were taken with “Point & Shoot” cameras with fixed focus that do not provide quality images.  While superior photos would be nice, these issues do not really affect our normal use of the database.  We use the database to show a client that what they are looking for CAN be found in Oregon with the hope that they will then hire an Oregon based scout to find THE location.

As a result of these issues you will find some of the categories are not completely filled with the requisite 24 images.  For the purpose of this particular website we chose to be more concerned with quality than numbers.  This project will be an ongoing one with the future inclusion of additional photos and functionality.  To help us improve the site we hope that location scouts and photographers will share their more iconic photos.  As in the past, if we use your photo it will contain credit and contact information.

For a look at the “The Roads of Oregon” project go to http://www.oregonfilm.org/locations/roads/

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2 thoughts on ““The Roads of Oregon” – a New Addition to the Oregon Film Website

  1. Hi Bob and Nathan,
    Great idea and great execution. I would be happy to assist you with any images I have.
    Please let me know how to submit them to you and in what size and format. Thanks,

    • Thanks, Frank!
      You (and anyone else interested in contributing photos) can just email any images (along with location info.) to [email protected]. Jpeg is probably the easiest format (although we can convert if necessary) and larger size is better. We can always re-size smaller if needed, but not the other way around.
      Thanks again. We are looking forward to phase two of “The Roads of Oregon” site.

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