Friday, March 21, 2008

More on Men in Trees

Men in Trees is set in the fictional town of Elmo, Alaska, which I’ve always assumed is intended to represent the real town of Juneau. The TV series is actually filmed in Squamish, British Columbia, which is a lot easier to get to. The best part is that Squamish, which is about half the size of Juneau, has a similar geographic setting and a slightly milder winter climate.

The Chieftan Hotel in Squamish is a real place. They use an exterior shot on the show, but I'm certain that the interior shots are filmed in a studio. The Chieftan is named for The Chief—that looming granite cliff that often appears in the show. In fact, the geology around Squamish is primarily volcanic, and the same is true for Juneau.

For a TV film crew, Squamish is much more accessible than Juneau, and both towns have a similar climate, geography and vegetation, so filming Men in Trees in Squamish really does make a lot of sense.

What does intrigue me, though, is why one of the show’s film editors keeps sneaking in a shot of Peyto Lake. I’ve seen this in two episodes for sure, maybe three. The last time it was used was in “Charity Case.” It was slipped in between the movie night scene and Marin’s visit to Cash’s campsite the following day.

Why am I intrigued? Peyto Lake is in the Canadian Rockies, hundreds of miles from Squamish, just off the Banff-Jasper Parkway. The surrounding mountains all consist of sedimentary rocks, which is why you can see all those lovely layers in them. To the well-trained eye of yours truly—who happens to be a science geek as well as a romance author—the contrasting geology sticks out like a sore thumb.

Still, the Canadian Rockies are one of the most beautiful places in the world, so it doesn’t surprise me that someone affiliated with show would slip in a shot of those majestic mountains and a pristine glacial lake. But I do wonder if anyone else is paying attention!

More later,


Anonymous said...

Had to LOL, Lee, at you noticing the sedimentary vs volcanic geologic formations. I'm sure if I were a geologist, this would bug me, too.
Similar faux pas have bothered me on other TV shows and movies. Anybody see what they made Keira Knightley wear when she was fending off invaders in one of her recent movies (recent being a relative term, meaning anything in the last 10 years). Leather straps kind of wrapped over her bare chest – for an archer, in winter. Oy.

On the other hand, given the outrageousness of developments on MiT, is it really all that odd to have a glacial lake and sedimentary mountains in the middle of a coastal volcanic setting?
Any more unlikely than, say, having a bridegroom struck by lightning and losing his memory and getting locked up in the hoosegow by his mom?


Lee McKenzie said...

Rachel, your comments made me laugh, too!

I'm not so much bothered by the unexpected scenery as I am startled by it. I've been to both places, and the two just don't connect for me.

Their clip of Peyto Lake is only a few seconds long, so maybe they really do think no one is paying attention.

Re: the storylines. This is one of the few shows that makes the outrageousness work.

In "Charity Case," Terri (the hairdresser) was feeling guilty because he put a bobby pin in Patrick's hair when he did it for the wedding. Apparently that's what attracted the lightening!

Gillian Layne said...

My mom is so in love with this show. She was highly disappointed I missed seeing the entire episode. Quite frankly, I've been a bit lost as to when it's on. What I do catch I enjoy.

I wouldn't have a clue as to appropriate scenery for Alaska. When we watch Jericho, however..... yeah, I do expect them to know which part of Kansas they're in (east vs. west is vastly different) and get it right. Seeing as they're blowing up the free world and everything. :)

Lee McKenzie said...

Gillian, ABC has made a lot of scheduling changes for Men in Trees, including a 3-month hiatus over the winter that had nothing to do with the writers' strike.

It's been very frustrating but because it's my favorite show, I check ABC’s website to see when the next episode will be on. Right now it has the Wednesday/10 pm timeslot.