More Than a Bridge: Pennsylvania Filmmakers Take Focus on Nebraska Bridge
(Photos provided by Jason Trost)
Jason Trost, co-founder of TRT Studios, which is based in Hydetown, Crawford County, said that the inspiration for the documentary, titled “More Than A Bridge — The Nebraska Verses,” came from a Facebook group.
Trost said he was working with Steve Marvin, the founder of TRT Studios; Nick Marvin, co-founder of TRT Studios; and Jay Witosky, of Continuum Creative Media, on a Roku streaming-television channel called Cryptovania when they began kicking around the idea of shooting a festival-ready documentary.
“We took note of the social media phenomena that is Nebraska Bridge and created a Facebook group dedicated to the little bridge that could and called it simply Nebraska Bridge. The group’s membership quickly and organically swelled to near a thousand members from all over the country and daily the group was alive with anecdotes, pictures, videos, and interaction. It didn’t take long to figure out we had our documentary subject.”
The team – made up of Steve Marvin as Executive Producer, Nick Marvin as Field Researcher and Assistant Producer, Trost as Lead Writer and Assistant Cinematographer, and Witowsky as Director and Cinematographer – began production, including writing, research, network, and filming, in August of this year. They plan to continue filming through the spring of 2019.
The story of the bridge itself is interesting. Built in 1933, it later became somewhat famous after the Tionesta Dam was constructed in 1940, causing a rise in the water level in the Tionesta Creek to the point that the bridge usually sits less than two feet above the water.
Precipitation often further raises the water level, leaving the bridge submerged and unusable, sometimes for weeks at a time.
The structural peculiarities of the bridge are really just the beginning of the story for these filmmakers, though.
“There’s something special about this bridge, this valley, this town, and we want to capture that and present it to the rest of the world,” Trost said.
He also noted that the personal connections and the many stories people have shared about the bridge and the special place it holds in so many hearts and lives will be a part of the story told in the film.
“The banner picture for the Nebraska Bridge Facebook group shows a man’s forearm with Nebraska Bridge in the background and on his forearm is a tattoo depicting Nebraska Bridge. The man lives out west but has deep, fond memories of the bridge and valley from summer vacations with his grandfather.”
“Just today I had a Facebook interaction with an out-of-state woman where she shared that her fiance had proposed to her on the bridge while they were vacationing in the area.”
The film will cover everything from the story of the bridge and the stories of the people who love it, to the story of the surrounding communities and their rich history.
“We will be using a variety of camera set-ups, including drones, to capture the visually stunning submergence of the bridge as well as the area’s stunning 4-season beauty,” Trost said.
“Mark Heim has graciously agreed to narrate the feature-length film.”
According to Trost, “More Than a Bridge – The Nebraska Verses” will be completed for a Summer of 2019 release.
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