Film crews in the Columbia River Gorge is nothing new, with many films and ads shot on State Route 14 and Interstate 84. It’s not often, however, for those crews to end up shooting a commercial in the heart of White Salmon.
On Aug. 8, the White Salmon Guitar Company, owned by Craig Wilson, played the role as a set location for a commercial shoot for Allen Edmonds.
Allen Edmonds is one of the oldest handcrafted men’s shoe manufacturers in the United States. The company was established in Belgium, Wis., in 1922, and is currently located in Port Washington, Wis.
The company uses a 212-step manufacturing process to make and recraft its custom shoes. The shoe styles range from your basic sneaker to dress shoes to boots. In addition to the shoes, the company has its own clothing line as well. The price of the shoes ranges from $150 to $400, on sale.
So how did a company from the shores of Lake Michigan come to find themselves in White Salmon? A location scout.
According to a film crew spokesman, the Gorge filming sites were picked out by location scouts, one of whom is White Salmon local Jay Gifford. The Enterprise reached out to Gifford for the article but was unable to connect with him.
“Location scouting is a vital process in the pre-production stage of filmmaking. Once scriptwriters, producers or directors have decided what general kind of scenery they require for the various parts of their work that needs to be shot outside of the studio, the search for a suitable location begins, ”according to the Association for Location Scouts and Managers.
Thanks to the help of location scouts, Allen Edmonds and the commercial film crew from Portland had been shooting in different locations up and down the Gorge.
“I’ve been on this project for a few weeks and we have been filming all over the Gorge; we were filming at a farmhouse in Trout Lake yesterday,” said the film crew spokesman.
What was surprising was the amount of setting up and filming time it takes to shoot something that will only end up being about two minutes long. When the film crew showed up in White Salmon, cones had already been placed on the north side of E Jewett Boulevard, blocking off parking for the vehicles carrying the shoot gear. The actual filming processes took about two hours.
“We got off to a slower start than we had wanted and planned for because our grips and lighting guys were stuck on the bridge for about an hour,” said the spokesman.
The grips are people in charge of setting up equipment to support the cameras, and lighting equipment.
While it seemed like there were a lot of people involved in the commercial shoot, the truth was, there was a small crew compared to most shoots.
“We have about 40 people in this shoot, I’ve worked on others where there’s been around 100,” said a young production assistant.
While the film crew did have a craft services team (food service) with them, they were encouraged to support local businesses and patronized North Shore Café and the White Salmon Bakery. The Elks Lodge also hosted the cast and crew for lunch.