Peloton, Ambush and Stoptime present the river why
The River Why Movie
You can fish all your life never knowing
it's not fish you're after ...  
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March 31, 2011

“The Carp” -1959 Rambler Sport

(Sorry for duplicate post – a couple of tech issues the other day!)

“The Carp” , a 1959 Rambler Sport, 2 door, must move from its present location outside of Portland, Oregon. Our production designer, Tyler Robinson, describes its current state this way:

Basically, the current condition is similar to these but with more dirt, cob-webs and maybe a wasp nest or 2. The kitchen is still installed and all of the major elements are intact but some of the dressing is missing. I still have the back seat for it if someone would like to reinstall it. I should probably mention again that it was running and then was parked for a year or two and I tried to start it a few months ago and it wouldn’t turn over. I’m sure its nothing a mechanic couldn’t take car of without much trouble.
It really is a beautiful car and if I had time and money to fix it and space to store it I would love to get it road worthy but I’m short on a few of those things so
Anyway, somebody will be very lucky to have this thing.

Anyone interested, please contact me! Best offer, please! It’s a collector’s item.

October 12, 2010

Some history on making “The River Why”

Hi All,

This was recently posted by Atissa Manshouri on the Mill Valley Patch.   It will give you some background on how the film came to life.  Thanks for the post, Atissa.

http://millvalley.patch.com/articles/mvff-the-river-why-runs-back-to-mill-valley

For Tom and Kristi Denton Cohen, the Mill Valley Film Festival is more than just a cherished hometown event. It’s where they first met in 1983 (she as a volunteer, he as a filmmaker), where they live and where they will finally screen their feature film The River Why, a labor of love that’s taken more than 20 years to reach the screen.

The film is based on David James Duncan’s novel of the same name, a cult favorite ranked 35th on the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of 100 best books about the American West. The story of young fly-fisherman Gus Orviston’s coming-of-age and his quest for self-knowledge on the banks of a remote Oregon river has developed a wide following in the years since the Sierra Club first published it in 1982.

Bringing the novel to the screen has been a passion project for the Cohens for over twenty years.

A director (Hungry I Reunion, 1981) and producer (Massive Retaliation, 1984), Tom Cohen optioned the novel and wrote his first version of a screen adaptation soon after it was published. By the time he and Kristi married in 1987, it was meaningful enough to them both to include lines from the script in their wedding vows.

But a bad economy in the late 80s and the surprise success of another fly-fishing film, A River Runs Through It, in 1992, derailed the project. Tom moved forward with his career as an attorney and Kristi with hers as a director and producer of documentary, corporate and nonprofit films.

In 2002, she directed and co-produced Vertical Frontier (MVFF 2002), a documentary about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite narrated by Tom Brokaw, winning several awards from outdoor and mountain film festivals. Her success with that film encouraged the couple to give The River Why one more shot.

With a revised script co-written by John Jay Osborn, Jr. (The Paper Chase) in hand, Kristi and Tom set about finding an experienced LA-based production company, a strategy she learned from attending a Sundance Independent Producers Conference.

She met Jun Tan, a producer with Ambush Entertainment, at a film industry gathering in San Francisco, and he connected her with LA-based Matthew Leutwyler, a Redwood High School graduate who just happened to have read and loved the novel while spending time in Australia. He came on board as the film’s director.

A stroke of good fortune followed. Academy Award winning actor William Hurt – a fly fisherman himself who lives in Oregon – agreed to a supporting role in the film.

“He’s been absolutely tremendous,” Denton Cohen said. “When people hear that he’s involved with the film, it gives a certain credibility right away.”

Finding a natural outdoorsman to play the role of lead character Gus Orvitson was vital, and the filmmakers recalled an Outside magazine profile of up-and-coming young actor Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), who led wilderness adventure trips and counted ice climbing among his hobbies.

“There’s a certain movement that you have in the wilderness that just can’t be faked… it comes through in the body language and the eyes,” Denton Cohen said of Gilford’s comfort in the film’s setting. “Zach had that.”

Production took place in July 2008 on Oregon’s Wilson River and Portland, with a cast that includes William Devane, Amber Heard, and Mill Valley native Kathleen Quinlan, and a crew made up of many Marin-based colleagues.

Denton Cohen felt a strong responsibility to shoot the film in the greenest way possible, not only because of the author’s commitment to the wilderness and the novel’s environmental and naturalist themes, but because she had also become painfully aware of the excessive waste produced on most film shoots.

The producers’ sometimes funny and often frustrating efforts are documented in the short film Greenlit, an enlightening companion piece to The River Why that reveals the many obstacles the filmmakers faced in shooting green.

Although shepherding the film from the page to the screen required over twenty years’ worth of blood, sweat and tears for this Mill Valley couple, Denton Cohen said the struggle has been well worth it.

“If this film makes people stop looking at their handheld devices… just stop and look at a river for a moment, I’ll be happy,” she said. “It’s certainly had its ups and downs, but it’s not just your typical Hollywood film. It takes people to a place they haven’t been before.”

The film had its world premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival in April, but for Denton Cohen and her husband, the hometown screenings here will be “a real celebration… It’s a really good feeling to be here.”

April 1, 2010

Behind-the-Scenes of “The River Why” Green Program

The River Why was managed and produced by Steel Head Films, based out of Marin County, California. Shot on location in Portland, Oregon, the filming took place in areas surrounding Portland, Wilson River and neighboring communities over a 1-month period from June – July 2008.

The River Why was a small size production of approximately 100 people incorporating small crews, cast, extras and other resources including Location & Unit Crews, Production Office, Transport and Logistics, Special Effects, Art and Construction and Catering Services.

The producers of the film made a commitment towards sustainable production practices, so throughout the project, Steel Head Films and Ambush Entertainment granted Reel Green Media consultants access to key departments, shooting locations, waste management monitoring and water management. The outcomes of the green filmmaking program are detailed in a Green Report.

The green program concentrated all departments with an emphasis on water systems and recycling management. Improvements for reducing, reusing and recycling waste types and quantities were recommended for having a smaller carbon and waste footprint. Key changes included:

  • using a film-less digital camera
  • using Biodiesel, bikes and carpooling for transportation
  • serving local/organic food and sharing the leftovers at the end of the day
  • scouting fewer locations
  • and, occasionally, encouraging the crew to camp on location when possible!

As a result, there was approximately a daily 40-50% diversion rate of solid waste throughout the production of The River Why.

The quest to “green” the production of The River Why is portrayed in GREENLIT, a documentary also screening at the Ashland Independent Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival, directed by Miranda Bailey (Executive Producer on THE SQUID AND THE WHALE). Check out the trailer here.

You can purchase tickets to the World Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 14th at 7:30pm and April 15th at 7:00pm.

You can also catch a Special Preview “Thank you, Oregon” screening of The River Why at the Ashland Independent Film Festival on April 9th at 12:00noon and April 10th at 6:oopm.

March 31, 2010

Is it possible to make a film “green”?

Even before production began on The River Why, Producer Kristi Denton Cohen had a vision to make the film as socially responsible and “green” as possible.  Every year thousands of films are produced in the United States, but each production requires transportation, catering, wardrobe, set construction, and lots and lots of paperwork. The California Film Commission wrote the Green Resource Guide to give filmmakers some tips on how to “green” their productions, but few have tried to implement a green policy on set…until now.

Ms. Denton Cohen wanted The River Why, the coming of age the story of Gus Orviston, the “Mozart of fly fishing”, who leaves home to find himself –and fishing bliss–along the banks of a wild river, to be different.

“Every attempt to be as ‘green’ as possible was made during production – which means sustainable production practices were incorporated as much as possible,” she writes. “This doesn’t mean it was easy, but it does mean nearly 6000 plastic water bottles were eliminated from use and there was approximately a daily 40-50% diversion rate of solid waste.” For more information on their Green Report, visit: http://http://www.theriverwhy.com/About/

Kristi’s quest to “green” the production of The River Why is portrayed in a documentary also screening at the Ashland Independent Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival. Directed by Miranda Bailey (Executive Producer on THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), GREENLIT follows the production of The River Why as the filmmakers attempt to keep an environmentally friendly set, thanks to the supervision of a “green” consultant. What starts off with great enthusiasm quickly devolves in this insightful and hilarious film about the difficulties of living up to good intentions. View the trailer here.

You can purchase tickets to the World Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 14th at 7:30pm and April 15th at 7:00pm.

You can also catch a Special Preview “Thank you, Oregon” screening of The River Why at the Ashland Independent Film Festival on April 9th at 12:00noon and April 10th at 6:oopm.

March 23, 2010

The River Why

The River Why is the story of a Gus Orviston, the Mozart of fishing, who leaves his big city home in rebellion from his family to live in a secluded cabin on the banks of a wild river.  Instead of finding fishing bliss, his desolation drives him on a reluctant quest for self-discovery.  Most of all, The River Why is a love story: the love of a man for the wilderness, and for the beautiful woman who comes to share it with him.

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  Contact: Kristi Denton Cohen c/o Peloton Productions
38 Miller Ave. #488, Mill Valley, CA 94941  |  415.699.0697