Muhlenberg students arrive July 7 to begin filming FSPW documentary

Three young film makers from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, will get an up-close-and-personal view of the Scotchman Peaks and have opportunity to film in and around the proposed wilderness this summer. Jake Glass, Matt Stauble and Joe Foster will arrive in Montana on July 7, just in time to pack their film equipment and join the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Extreme Pleinair hike for an intimate look at the interior of the 88,000 roadless acres that FSPW is advocating for congressional wilderness designation.

In a continuing process that began last fall with a telephone call from Glass, he, Stauble and Foster are coming to the West to gather footage for a documentary focusing on FSPW as a group and the process of home-grown, grass-roots wilderness advocacy. In addition to spending time shooting the spectacular interior of the Scotchman Peaks, most notably the upper Ross Creek and Blue Creek drainages, they will interview a spectrum of volunteers, neighbors and others who are familiar with the efforts of FSPW and the area itself.

Jared Shear (top) and Aaron Johnson get down to work during last year's Extreme Pleinair. They will find themselves in the movies after the 2010 event.
Jared Shear (top) and Aaron Johnson get down to work during the 2009 Extreme Pleinair. They may find themselves in the movies after the 2010 event.

“We’re excited to view the Scotchmans through the lens of three student documentary film makers,” said FSPW exec Phil Hough. “This is an opportunity to tell our story to the larger world, not only about the Scotchmans, but also about the dedicated group who are our Friends and the grass-roots effort and methods we are using. Part of our hope for this project is that other environmentally-focused groups will be able to learn from what we are doing with somewhat limited resources and primarily volunteer efforts.”

FSPW program coordinator Sandy Compton adds, “I’m looking forward to the privilege of taking these young men into the Scotchmans for the first time. It will be interesting to see how they interpret what they see, hear and learn during their visit with us. Nearly as importantly, I imagine we’ll have a great deal of fun showing them around.”

“We” are the artists and other hikers who will participate in the second annual Extreme Pleinair expedition in the Scotchmans. Perhaps the only pleinair event of its kind, the Extreme Pleinair premiered last summer when Compton led Jared Shear of Thompson Falls, Montana, Aaron Johnson of Moscow, Idaho, and Victor Vosen of Heron, Montana, into the Scotchmans for four days and three nights of what Compton termed “panting and painting.” When they weren’t traversing the challenging terrain of the interior Scotchmans, Shear, Johnson and Vosen produced dozens of watercolors of the upper reaches of Blue Creek, Ross Creek, Spar Creek and Savage Creek, The finished and framed results went on display at the Timberstand Gallery in Sandpoint shortly after the event.

This year’s Extreme Pleinair, July 9 through 13, expands to five days and four nights, and will include Shear, Johnson and a Moscow sculptor, as well as Compton and the film crew. Hough will join the group for a couple of days sometime during the hike.

The 2010 Extreme Pleinair results will be displayed at the Outskirts Gallery in Hope, Idaho, as part of the larger “Paint the Scotchmans” Pleinair event to be held in late September. Glass, Stauble and Foster will be filming in and around the Scotchmans for about two and a half weeks. The final product, which will run 20 to 30 minutes, will be finished sometime in the fall of 2010.

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