Documentary in works for Nebraska Bridge - Titusville Herald: News

Documentary in works for Nebraska Bridge

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Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 5:00 am

A bridge that is unusable for a quarter of the year might not seem like a glamorous thing. However, two local film studios believe otherwise, and have begun creating a documentary on the Nebraska Bridge, a Forest County roadway which almost completely submerges every winter.

Steve Marvin, co-founder of Hydetown-based TRT Studios, said that the idea for the documentary, titled “More Than A Bridge — The Nebraska Verses,” formed out of a Facebook group he manages dedicated to the bridge. The page experienced a rabid rise in membership, reaching just under 1,000 members in the two months after it was formed.

“It really showed us there was this deep feeling from the population in general towards this bridge,” Marvin said.

Membership among the group isn’t restricted to area residents either. Marvin said that people from across the country have posted with memories about the bridge, including a New Mexico man with a tattoo of the bridge on his arm. According to Marvin, the man used to visit family in the area of the bridge, but has never lived in Pennsylvania.

These kinds of personal and nostalgic stories are the kind of tales TRT Studios and Continuum Creative Media (CCM), which is based in Titusville, are hoping to highlight with the documentary.

“We want to put an emphasis on the human side of the story,” Marvin said. “The affinity for the bridge, the connection of day-to-day life within a span of steel and concrete.”

Marvin believes that the bridge’s resiliency has been a reason the bridge has become some a major draw. Year after year, the bridge is completely covered in ice-cold water, yet remains standing.

“It kind of says something about the human spirit that people are interested in it,” Marvin said.

The two companies began filming on Aug. 29, and are nearing completion on the script, according to Jason Trost, TRT co-founder and lead writer of the film. Unlike traditional film projects, shooting and editing will be done concurrently year-round for the project in order to highlight how the bridge looks across the months.

“One of the focuses of the film will be the seasonal effects on the bridge and the surrounding valley,” Trost said.

The bridge was initially constructed in 1933. However, it didn’t become famous until 1940, when the Tionesta Dam was constructed. The dam made the water levels of Tionesta Creek rise dramatically so that, on average, the creek is only 18 to 20 inches beneath the structure. Rain and snow can easily raise the water, resulting in the bridge being submerged and becoming unusable, especially in the winter.

Despite the bridge’s inaccessibility, it has drawn a lot of attention over the years.

“I bet there’s not many bridges in rural areas, if any, that are photographed as much as Nebraska Bridge,” Marvin said.

The structure’s photogenic quality has actually proved something of a challenge to the film crews. Trost said that the five-man team has been working hard to find unique angles on the bridge and surrounding areas that haven’t been done before, including using drone shots.

Both TRT and CCM have specialties in nature filming. The former has produced videos on the hunt of Bigfoot and other cryptids in forested areas, while the latter has made commercials for tourism boards based around natural features.

However, the bridge won’t be the only focus of the documentary. The film will also put a spot light on the Oil Region in general. Trost said he wants to details the history of Northwestern Pennsylvania’s involvement in the oil and lumber industries, especially as Nebraska, the town the bridge is named after, was a major oil boom town.

Marvin hopes the film brings attention to the Oil Region and turns the bridge into something of a tourism draw to get people to explore the rest of the area.

“We think we’re going to do an effective job of highlighting some of the natural resources and outdoor activity of northwest Pa.,” Marvin said. “All the beautiful scenery and all of the good stuff about the region.”

The film is planned to come out in June 2019, and is currently being pitched to local film festivals for showing. Marvin also said that the documentary will be available on TRT’s Roku channel, Cryptovania, and there is a chance for a physical release as well.

Ray can be reached, by email, at

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • jwmck1 posted at 8:39 am on Fri, Sep 7, 2018.

    jwmck1 Posts: 1

    So is there a way for us to watch this on line??

  • Joe T posted at 7:06 am on Fri, Sep 7, 2018.

    Joe T Posts: 1

    My dad is Trost


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