For a long time I have been wanted to make a video about the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River set to a cinematic music score. Although the Chattooga is best known for its popular white water rafting and kayaking (been there done that) I chose instead to focus on the natural beauty along the river corridor.

The Chattooga River is one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the eastern United States. Designated a Wild and Scenic River by congress in 1974, it is characterized by dense forests, undeveloped shorelines, whitewater rapids and multiple waterfalls. Its banks and riverbed are riddled with massive boulders and rock formations. In most locations it is extremely difficult to access. Originating in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the Chattooga flows south through the Nanthahala National Forest before crossing into South Carolina and Georgia. Over the course of some fifty miles the river descends 2500 feet in elevation.

This video is the result of several visits during the summer of 2012 starting at the river’s headwaters and following it downstream. Places visited in order of appearance include: Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area, Burrell’s Ford, Earls Ford, Sandy Ford, Thrift’s Ferry, Bull Sluice, and Woodall Shoals . There are many places I bypassed due to time constraints and lack of any type of trail to them. Some of the most interesting places can only be accessed by whitewater raft or kayak. A person could actually spend months exploring the area.

The Chattooga River was made famous by the movie Deliverance which was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1972 including Best Picture and Best Director. Filmed on the river, it is based on the best selling novel by James Dickey. The movie starred Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronnie Cox. It is said that the actors worked without insurance because no company would cover them due to the high risks while filming on the river.

Shot with a Panasonic HPX170, Igus motorized slider and Glideshot jib. Edited with Edius 5.51 and encoded with TMPGEnc 4. The music title is “River” and was generously made available for this project by the composer Luke Atencio .

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