Summer is here, bringing sunshine and perfect weather for a liaison visit to the Methow Valley. This June, Krys Karns, Washington Filmworks (WF) Production Services Coordinator, traveled up beautiful tree-lined HWY 20 to begin scouting locations for WF’s ReelScout Online Location Database. Her first stop was the town of Mazama where she met with Kristen Smith, one of WF’s regional film liaisons and the Marketing Director of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce. Architecturally modern homes surround the town along with a climbing rock and the unique Rolling Huts designed as a contemporary alternative to camping.
Bright and early on day two, WF Executive Director Amy Lillard and Karns gave a presentation to the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce. They shared the important economic impact of film in our state and information about how to attract production to the Winthrop area. A highlight of the morning was a quiet nature walk along the Chewuch River with local artist Paula Christen. In Japan, this type of leisurely visit to take in the forest atmosphere is sometimes known as Shinrin-yoku, or “forest-bathing”.
In the past, Winthrop has hosted still shoots for REI and Eddie Bauer, as well as episodes of American Pickers and Ice Road Truckers. “When you visit Winthrop you are transported back in time to 1890. Its downtown wooden boardwalk leads you to unique shops, restaurants and even Washington State’s first legal saloon,” shared Smith. “If your production involves the outdoors, you will find nowhere more beautiful than Winthrop. It is a mecca for outdoor, year-round activities. It is home of the nation’s largest cross-country ski trail system, an award-winning outdoor ice rink and world-renowned mountain biking, hiking, trail running and fishing.” Karns sampled the beauty of the area through location scouts to the Shafer Historical Museum, Spring Creek and SaTeekwa Pedestrian Bridges, Hancock Springs Ranch, Pipestone Canyon and Falls Creek Falls.
The following day she headed back to Seattle and scouted the historic downtowns of Twisp, Concrete and Sedro Woolley along the way. These are only a small taste of the various quaint downtown areas Washington State offers.
Washington Filmworks would like to thank the Methow Valley for its hospitality and interest in partnering with our organization to attract more film production to the state.