Highpointing: Mount Davis, Pennsylvania
May 27, 2017
The big secret behind the Mount Davis episode is it was not the one originally scheduled for filming. The original plan was to visit New Jersey, but after taking a realistic look at the time involved to go from DC to High Point State Park and make it back in time for my flight home it made more sense to change it. So I dashed off a script over the course of a few nights in the hotel. Fortunately I had visited Mount Davis before so I had a general idea what to expect. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate as hoped.
This episode had several things that didn’t quite work out. One was finding a good long distance shot of the mountain; the second was the overcast skies and next to zero visibility on the observation tower meaning no panorama shot. That said, improvisation became key, and we cobbled together a scene at the Baughman Rocks and I tried to make something out of nothing at the top of the tower. There was another story about the “Wild Child” that could also have been worked in, but I felt we had enough footage and the wet, cold, and windiness was eating away at our patience and we had still to get to the other location.
That’s right, this was a multi-location shoot, but you can’t tell because all that footage ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor. Just a few miles from Mt. Davis is Casselman Bridge, an amazing National Landmark. I had been there previously and it was too cool to not to film. That said while editing the footage occurred to me it didn’t actually fit with the tone of the episode. In the end it will most likely get reshot and worked into the Hoye-Crest episode at a later date. UPDATE: It didn’t, instead it ended up in the cut scenes in the Season 2 recap.
Music in this episode is three different pieces, an eerie one for the Baughman Rocks section, a dramatic piece for the battle section, and a nice folk western type piece for the rest of it. They are all by Kevin MacLeod of incompetech.com.
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Note in the Mount Davis photo gallery, I have included photos from a previous visit as well.