Hidden Lake – Season 2 Recap

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Season 2 is finished! When this season was originally planned the goals were twofold. The first was to learn from the mistakes of Season 1 and correct or make improvements. The second was to bring the series more in line with what I originally envisioned it to be.

Technically we improved our camera work by doing less with it, though we did try a few new things here and there (Two cameras for Delaware.) The storylines for the episodes improved as I started doing more thorough research and writing longer scripts. We shot more footage that gave us the luxury to be able to make cuts when it didn’t work. I think when I look back at this series when it is finished, this will be the season where I honed in what I actually wanted to do. The mix is now about right with the history, science, and live/ current aspects of the episodes. You can expect this to carryover into Season 3.

Speaking of next season, it will kick off in October, but unlike the last season break I won’t be taking any time off from Rooftops. The tyranny of production is in full swing with Season 3 filming and Season 4/5 planning well underway. You can find out the latest and greatest on the Rooftops of America Facebook page if you want to follow along at home.

Thanks to my wife and son for letting me have the time to pursue this ridiculous endeavor. I also want to thank Matt, Conrad, Spencer, Misty, Ruby, Mateo, Alex, Brian, and Chris for working behind the camera. You all make this so much easier when you are there! A big thanks to Dave for continuing to maintain the site and hold my hand when there are inevitable web issues.

As always thank you to everyone who took the time to watch the videos, leave comments, feedback, and corrections. I always appreciate hearing from you. Believe it or not, you can find us on imdb these days. If you are feeling so inclined please review the series!

A huge thank you to Kevin MacLeod of incompetech.com whose music archive has been the soundtrack for all of these videos. The music for this episode is called “Groundwork.” If you need music for your projects do yourself a favor and check out his site.

If you enjoyed this season please consider contributing to the GoFundMe so we can continue to provide you with episodes of Rooftops of America.

Thanks again and I’ll see you soon!

Welcome back to Rooftops of America!

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It’s time to launch Season 2. The episodes for this season are going to focus on highpoints that are relatively “easy to access,” though I admit I may be stretching that definition a bit with the season finale.

I am also going to start highlighting local sites in Nashville in my season intros and recaps.  Nashville is a fun city with a lot of cool sights. While I sort of did it with Love Circle and Eyrie Point in Season 1, I didn’t really talk about them much. I now am making it an official thing, and plan on going into a bit more depth about each one, and try to tie the various sites in with the theme of the season.

Of course this all sounds good right now, but I realize it may be a bit more complicated after a few seasons. I mention all of this to then tell you in this episode the concept didn’t quite work like I wanted it to.  The transitions are a bit rough between the highpointing parts and the Fort Negley. Part of the reason is I didn’t quite hit upon the idea until three hours before filming so I reworked the script and went and filmed it. Another part is I didn’t shoot this until the last minute.

Fort Negley is one of my favorite places to take people in Nashville. It’s got some very cool history, interesting military architecture, and is slightly off the beaten path.

From a technical standpoint this episode is very straight-forward, I was shooting by myself so there is no fancy camera work or tricks at play here. I filmed it rather quickly on a Sunday afternoon. The music is “Porch Swing Days” by Kevin MacLeod which I have used before in one of the first videos I ever created. (link for created: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SDt9jFHmQs)

(On a side note, finding music for that video was how I discovered incompetech.com)

Thanks again for checking out Rooftops of America. We’ve got a good season planned so stick around. Also don’t forget to support through the gofundme campaign.

See you soon!


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I’ve decided to launch a GoFundMe campaign to assist in the production of Rooftops of America. This was a big decision for me. One of the things I had to come to terms with was asking for help. Up till this point most of Rooftops has been limited to a small group of people. I’ve had no issue with asking my friends and family both for time off to pursue this or to adventure with me to locations to film episodes with me. They have been more than generous with both. It’s safe to say I would have struggled finishing season one without their assistance.

But, like I mention in the video and the campaign page, this production, like any, has costs associated with it. On average it takes about 32 to 40 hours (four to five working days) to produce an episode, which, when I finally took the time to calculate that, surprised me. Add in the cost and time factor for anyone else on crew that day, website support, equipment, and the costs quickly grow. What I am asking for is actually only a part of the total investment associated with this endeavor. (If you want to see the numbers for the entire project let me know.)

A lot goes into an individual episode. Writing, research, travel, filming, and editing are all essential steps I need to do for each one.  Thank goodness I found a good music archive because otherwise I probably would have thought it a good idea to compose my own music and I’d still be working on the Arkansas episode. All this is done on top of my regular job. I’m committed to seeing this through to the end and I hope you will join me for the ride.

Thank you!

Welcome to Rooftops of America!

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I believe introductions are in order…

Hi, I’m Skye Marthaler and welcome to Rooftops of America.  This past spring, during a creative lull, I decided to combine a few of my favorite things, mix them together, and see what comes out.  Turns out combining writing, photography, filming, climbing, adventuring, and hiking, sprinkled with a dash of history, geography, geology, and Americana, yields something like this.

Rooftops of America

A website and video series about visiting state and territory highpoints and me talking to a camera and sharing (or oversharing in some cases) more information than you may care to know about well known, semi-obscure, and off the beaten path points of elevation. Toss in the fact that I am motivated and just crazy enough to have it in my head to visit all of them if possible. There is a good chance you may learn something about your own state’s highpoint or even better share some bit of knowledge with the rest of us.

A little background on the intro video for those interested; this was filmed up on Love Circle. I wanted to have a “highpoint” of some sort in the video to tie everything together. At one point it was the highest point in the old city of Nashville and during the Civil War it was one of the lynchpins of Fortress Nashville. Nowadays it is home to one of the reservoirs for the city.

I had all that information in the script and was fairly well rehearsed with it. It didn’t quite fit, but I’m a big believer in over-filming and thought I could make it work. That didn’t happen. I had planned for my dad to help film this episode but time didn’t permit so I was left in the unenviable position of solo filming. The excess got chopped and you see a more condensed video in its place. The view makes for a nice backdrop though.

Thanks again for checking out Rooftops of America. We’ve got a good season planned so stick around!