Seasons in the Smokies, the second in the Smoky Mountain Explorer Series from Great Smoky Mountains Association, will make its first appearance on the big screen during a premiere showing of the film Thursday, July 17.
Gary Wilson, GSMA's award-winning filmmaker, will discuss what it took to make this project during an hour-long exclusive premiere event at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on July 17.
Wilson spent countless hours hiking in Great Smoky Mountain National Park's backcountry, filming, editing and writing to produce a film that takes viewers effortlessly through the calendar from a frigid winter high atop Mt. Le Conte to a balmy summer day in Cades Cove to the stunning fall landscape seen everywhere in the Smokies each October.
'Gary's willingness to carry his substantial equipment six or seven miles up a steep mountain trail and climb out of his sleeping bag at 3:30 a.m. to shoot time lapses of sunrise sets his images apart,' said Steve Kemp, GSMA's interpretive products and services director.
Wilson has visited some 33 different national parks and spent thousands of hours filming and photographing the backcountry. His first full-length film project for GSMA's Explorer Series, An Island in the Sky, took first-place honors at the most recent Association of Partners for Public Lands media competition. Since its release last summer, the DVD/BluRay has raised thousands of dollars to support park projects.
'Having visited national parks in the west like Yosemite, Mount Rainier and Glacier, I know firsthand that they are renowned for open fields of wildflowers with iconic mountain views,' said Wilson. 'Yet, the Great Smoky Mountains have their own iconic views with flowering plants on heath balds that hug some of the park's most rugged terrain. That's just a small part of what I wanted to show with this film.'
The Thursday, July 17, viewing of Seasons of the Smokies is open to the public free of charge. Following his talk, Wilson will be available to autograph copies of both his Smoky Mountain Explorer films.
Since its inception in 1953, Great Smoky Mountains Association has supported the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and by promoting greater public understanding and appreciation through education, interpretation and research. A non-profit organization, GSMA has provided more than $32 million to the park during its 60-year history. Funds generated through sales of Seasons of the Smokies support the national park.