Location: an evaporation pond at a potash mine near Moab, Utah.
The upper photo (a picture of my TV screen) shows a scene from the movie "Spacehunters: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone." In it, actors Peter Strauss and Molly Ringwald are arguing about what to do next after having climbed up a short dirt slope to reach higher ground.
In reality, they are standing on a sloping ramp that runs from a dirt road---out of view to the right---to the bottom of the potash evaporation pond visible behind them. In both photos, the pond has been harvested of its potash, leaving behind small pools of water. (When the pond is full, the water level is somewhere around the top edge of the dirt.) The view is to the west, with Dead Horse Point visible on the skyline.
The lower photo is my re-creation of the movie scene. In my hand is a Mountainsmith fanny pack that I was using as a camera bag then. (Peter Strauss is holding a gun.) The perspectives are slightly different because of the different types of cameras and lenses used. In addition, I think the movie camera was higher off the ground than I could place my camera.
Joe Tripod, who is not an actor, but a real-life photographic assistant, supported my camera during the scene re-creation. He concentrated on the task at hand, ignoring the evaporation pond and the amazing scenery.
"Spacehunters: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone" is about the hunt for three cute women being held captive on a weird-looking planet.
My interest in duplicating scenes from the movie developed after I read a book about movies made in Moab. The book mentioned "Spacehunters" and I remembered watching that movie years earlier. At the time of viewing I had no idea where the movie had been filmed, but the weird landscape was fascinating. The movie was no award-winner.
Later I discovered a photo I had taken during a visit to Moab: it depicted a place that looked just like one of the movie’s shooting scenes. This prompted me to watch the movie again to see the place I had photographed. The film was even worse the second time, but I recognized some of the shooting locales from my trips to Moab. As the movie played, I snapped pictures of the television screen. The color cast of the screen shots was so bad that I had to convert the images to black-and-white. Grainy black-and-white print-outs were adequate for helping me find shooting locations.
All of my "Spacehunters" photography took place on the property of Intrepid Potash. I had permission of the manager of the mine to be on the property.
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