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 Walking in their footsteps

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PonyR
Camel Jockey
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Posts : 20
Join date : 2008-03-24
Age : 60
Location : Lancaster, CA

PostSubject: Walking in their footsteps   Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:25 pm

Hi, My name is Pony. I am not only an Indiana Jones fan, but I also work in the TV and movie industry right here in L.A.
Back in late '81 and early '82, when RAIDERS was still running in some theaters, I had an opportunity to visit Kauai, and Oahu. Well, knowing that I was going to be near the places where RAIDERS was shot, I called the offices of Spielberg's company at Universal Studios, and was directly connected to none other than Frank Marshall himself! He was very nice, and when I asked him where they shot the opening scenes, he told me how to find Anahola, the pointed mountain seen in the opening shot, as well as the Huleia River, all near Lihui. Well, I had been practicing with my new bullwhip (a cheap, but sturdy Mexican swivel-handled 8-plait monster I bought on Olvera Street in L.A.) and, along with my friend Russ, my old Resistol fedora, and my Super-8 film camera, we went to Kauai. Well, the first thing that happened was that I got detained in the airport in Honolulu because they thought I was going to do something stupid with my bullwhip, like hijack the city. Finally, after an hour, they let me and my whip go free.
The next day, we got to Kauai, and after a bit of driving, there on our left, big as life, was the mountain - Anahola! We filmed our re-creation of the opening shot the same way Spielberg did - from the side of the road. As I walked up the slope into frame, I paused, put my hands on my hips, descended forward and down into the drainage ditch off-camera... and was IMMEDIATELY covered with gigantic black Cane spiders!!!! These things are terrifying. I'm not afraid of snakes or tarantulas, but certain bugs, spiders included, make my spinal cord look like a seismograph tracing! I flew up out of there so fast the camera almost missed me!
However, the next day, back on Oahu, we got the shot of me running across the meadow with the dust billowing off my jacket. We did it by taping baggies of talcum powder onto the back of the jacket, shooting into the backlight of the morning sun, and PRESTO! Looked a lot like Indy running from the warriors (except we didn't have any warriors). Later, as we were at the airport to go home, I got to run my bullwhip through the X-ray machine, which was kind of cool. We stopped the machine and gave the whip a careful examination. It didn't look like much, but you could see the how the rotating handle was built.
Nowadays, I of course have better gear, including a beautiful Baron fedora, and a Joe Strain bullwhip, which I have become pretty proficient at using.
I'll always be thankful to Frank Marshall for giving me such great info, and to Steven Spielberg for allowing me to say "Hello" to him during the filming of The Goonies, as well as getting to appear as an extra in The Terminal. Props also to my friends Joe Strain and Anthony DeLongis for helping me with my whipwork, and Mark Mejia at Baron Hats for costuming and hatting many of my little films over the years.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking in their footsteps   Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:59 pm

Sounds like you had a blast! I have that same type of Mexican bullwhip, and while they don't look like much, they can make a mean crack.

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PonyR
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PostSubject: Mexican bullwhip   Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:15 pm

Yeah, they can deliver one powerful blow, can't they? Mostly because they're so naturally heavy. The butt end can also make a very formidable club. But, with that weight, and general lack of balance, it's easy to hurt yourself by over-muscling the whip in order to get it to pop. I did it so hard and for so long, that at one point I actually tore the muscles in my shoulder, and had to start to use my other arm.
Of course, now that I've been working at a more professional level, with experts like Anthony DeLongis, Joe Strain, and help from Mike Murphy of Australia, I've become fairly proficient at using both hands. Also, having a well-made whip really makes all the difference. I have one of the cheap rope-core swivel bulls, and one or two Joe Strain bullwhips, and there's just no comparison. A well-made whip will almost crack itself. Look up Northern Whip Company. That's Joe's place; he made some of the whips in the new Kingdom of The Crystal Skull film. His whips are, arguably, even better than David Morgan's, and I've had both for years. Mike Murphy, Murphywhips of Australia, is another great whipmaker, and his instructional videos are quite helpful.

Just as a fun factoid, even though I'm nowhere near as good a whipmaker as Joe Strain, I did get to make bullwhips for THE ICE PIRATES, and that was fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Walking in their footsteps   Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:28 pm

ICE PIRATES! I thought I was the only person that had heard of that movie! Too funny.

I learned cracking on the Jalapeņo Popper, and used it for years. This year, I was able to pick up an aged Morgan. I love it! But now I'm looking for a bullwhip I can abuse a bit, learning new cracks and such.

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