This is a youtube link to a video about the upcoming Chisholm Trail Cattle drive this September.
The governors of Kansas and Oklahoma signed proclamations about the 2017 Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive. Riders have ridden down (south) the Chisholm Trail, taking the ceremonial scrolls with them.
This past Monday, they rode a segment, and I got to go along to film.
[Do you remember that episode of M*A*S*H where they are going to watch an old western movie for movie night – I think it’s “My Darling Clementine”, and Colonel Potter uses the line, “It’s got horses, cowboys and…horses!”]
I smile as I remember that, because on Monday we filmed horses, cowgirls and horses! The ride was approximately eleven miles. It was a nice day, but the wind was high.
When you film something such as this, for a documentary film, as the person with the camera, you take what you can get. You scramble on the fly to find the shot, and you set up and get the shot. Or…not. This isn’t studio filmmaking, where you control every aspect of everything. No…on this one, you try to be as unobtrusive as possible and stay out of the way. Meanwhile, you hope you get some decent shots to use, but there is no guarantee. With this particular shoot, with no environmental control whatsoever…you know you’re going to have wind noise. The audio track from the shoot will be virtually unusable.
Conclusion: we had better come up with something else to use, then.
Tuesday, early, I started working on an idea for the cowboy poetry: The Trail. Cowboy poetry is something I want to explore. I’ve been doing a lot of writing this spring – novels, songs and poems, but not cowboy poetry.
The poem is entitled: The Trail. It came off pretty good. (See previous blog entry.)
Tuesday, I needed the highway shots, so I called a friend who has a utility vehicle that would be much easier to film out of than my car. He was kind enough to help me get the shot I needed, then we drove around in the country, looking for additional shots I wanted.
Wednesday, putting this video together seemed like too big a hill to climb. You know those days…taking on a big project it just too much. I went to lunch and on the way home, I thought of the shot of the Chisholm Trail marker. I drove out to get that, and got a few more shots as well.
Then I started editing it together. Got about 1/3 of the way through, and needed a break. Went to get a coffee and drive around, just as a way to clear my head. Came back, nose to the grindstone, and got the bulk of the video together. It came off well – better than I had hoped. Of course, you always want it to be more. I want more, better, fancier shots. This was what I had, and I utilized it the best I had. I cut the video to the rhythm of the cowboy poetry. I decided I needed some acoustic guitar over the end title cards.
Thursday we had storms. I wanted to run the video by the organizers of the cattle drive. When the first wave of storms went by, I took the computer and we went over the rough cut. I made notes on changes. But, we need more shots. They drove me out to get a shot of some longhorns. In the meantime, the next wave of storms are brewing, and you can see lightning in the background.
We got back before the storms hit, and I didn’t want to be on the computer.
Friday morning, I am not sleeping as usual, and in my head I am going over the list of edits to make. I went to the software and worked on that, and worked to get a render.
This is day five of actual work on the project, but there were perhaps three days before Monday, when I was thinking it through and trying to figure out how to film this.
We will gear up to film a documentary about the Chisholm Trail 150 cattle drive in September. Can’t wait!