Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Gorn and other spots

The second time 3blackcats and I went out to Vasquez Rocks Park, we hit much of the other side of the park.  After completing the southwestern part of the park, we only have about 3 or four more caches inside the park that haven't been found.

On the western edge of the park, there is a film ranch where film companies can come out to film outdoor type scenes.  We also encountered a cache inside the park that had some filming connections..  The cache, entitled The Gorn's Lair, celebrated an episode of the television series Star Trek, where Captain Kirk is forced to fight the captain of another vessel.  The other captain is simply called the Gorn.

The area around Vasquez Rocks was used as the outdoor setting for the fight sequences of the episode.  Looking at some of the images on the web, it appears as if the principle filming was done near the main parking lot, about a mile away from where the cache was placed.  I hadn't realized that the filming for this particular episode had happened here, but it does make sense that film companies would come out here to film outdoor episodes such as that one.

The area is probably not as quiet as it once was, due to the heavier traffic flow on the nearby freeway.  But it still has a desolate look about it.   I could picture R2D2 moving down a slope heading toward electrical short out by the Jawas in a scene that was actually filmed in Tunisia.  I would be willing to bet that the freeway noise probably keeps many companies away today, although I'm sure there's enough filtering technology out there today, that it might not be as much of a problem as it might have been twenty years ago.

Living in Southern California like I do, it affords me plenty of opportunities to see spots that have been used in movies and television.  I've visited the spot where the Lone Ranger used to rear up on his horse at the beginning or the end of this television show.  The area where this famous rock formation is, now has condominiums surrounding it.  You can still get a feel for what it was like back fifty years or so, but still, civilization has encroached around it.

Even in Central California, there are glimpses of other shows.  Several times, I've visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  This aquarium was used for several outside shots from Star Trek - the Voyage Home.  There is an area, open bay in real life that has been matte painted and blue screened into looking like a humpback whale enclosure, where Spock swims with the humpbacks and finds out that George and Gracie are expecting a "wee" one.

The LA Times posts areas where filming occurs on a regular basis.  It's pretty common place here, so seeing a spot that's been featured in a film, or series or even a commercial can happen on a regular basis.  In other areas, it's not as common, although my daughter has experienced it in Austria when she was there a couple of years ago.  There is even a "Sound of Music" tour where tourists can visit spots in and around Salzburg, Austria where the movie was filmed.  My daughter, although not part of any of those tours did enjoy spending time at the fountain where the Van Trapp family sang Do Re Mi.

Next time you're out caching and the area gives you that Déjà vu feeling, maybe it's because you really have seen it somewhere else.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
Vasquez Rocks Earthcache - by supertbone
The Gorn's Lair - by EMC of Northridge, CA

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1 comment:

chaosmanor said...

I missed this post when it first went up, as I was in pre-prep for my surgery, but I finally worked my way down to it, through all the e-mail that piled up, and I highly enjoyed it :-) We've not yet been to Vasquez Rocks, but I expect to get some of that deja vu feeling when we do visit. I've certainly gotten it at Mormon Rocks, an area of similar topography, which has occasionally been used for filming.

As we live near the Ventura County coast, we tend to see Mugu Rock on TV a lot. It shows up in many car-related commercials. We also see the Big Sur coast a lot, as well, in TV ads. And we got quite a thrill (along with the rest of the audience) when we saw "Little Miss Sunshine" in a local theatre; the hotel for the pageant, which is supposed to be in Redondo Beach, is actually in Ventura, "squoze" in tightly between the beach and the 101 freeway :-) Just about everybody made some, "Hey! I know that place," comment ;-) I could go on, but you get the idea.

Indeed, we SoCalians get to see a lot of local scenery, and oftentimes, without even leaving our homes ;-)

BTW: our little jaunt to see that Lone Ranger spot is still one of my better geocaching memories, and I have a *lot* of good ones :-D