Archive for category Cowboy Poetry

The end is in sight!

Have you ever put a puzzle together? And I don’t mean one of those easy ones with the picture on the box.

What’s the biggest puzzle you have put together – when you don’t know what the finished project will look like?

The editing on the Chisholm Trail movie is almost done!

Whew!

Woo hoo!

(Sigh of exhaustion).

We didn’t have a script. We didn’t a preset story in mind. We went out to film this, completely blind as to what the finished movie would be.

(See the September 2017 archives for blog entries about the Cattle drive and the filming.)

This is a documentary. We tried to tell a story. Did we capture the story of the 2017 Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive?

When you see the movie, you can answer that question!

Editing a movie isn’t easy.

Let me say that again:

EDITING A MOVIE ISN’T EASY!?!?!?!?!!?!

That statement is not intended to be a complaint. But it is a statement of fact. I keep using the line, “If we were in Hollywood, there would be sixty people doing what we are doing.” In our filmmaking endeavors – we have two.

My partner Don and I work well together. We each have our strengths and they dovetail together.

I have to build the structure of the project. But once there is something there to work with, Don can come in and edit it/work it/tear it apart/make it better….and still have enough energy to make me a cheesecake!

…from scratch!

See…I TOLD you we work well together!! LOL

Once we were properly snacked up, fed, fueled up and ready to go…we dove in.

It took a lot of steps to get to this point. And I am not talking about the filming. This is “after” the filming is done, and we have the movie footage “in the can”.

Then what?

Log the footage. View the footage. Evaluate the footage. Make notations.

Then THINK. Think of what this will be. Think of what to do and what not to do. Sometimes the decisions you make about what not to do, are more important than what you actually include.

Develop an intro that will “grab” the audience.

Find *something* that will touch the human. What tells the story? What makes you care? What makes you want to know more about a cattle drive?

Plan your video shots that tell the story.

You don’t just put a bunch of video clips together and then be done.

Plan, build and create your audio track. This was the big job on this movie. A cattle drive happens outdoors – in the wind and bugs and weather (and the cars, humans, dogs, lawnmowers, planes, drones, trains). We knew that a lot of the on-site audio would be questionable.

Plan your music fills. I have a recording studio, so I worked that and built the smaller music myself.

Write the voice over track. Record the voice over track. Import that into the footage and sync it to the video.

So, let’s say that you’ve done all that. Let’s say that you have put months and months of your life into this project.

Let’s say that at some random point….say today’s random point…you know that you are close to showing this project (which you have carried so close to your heart), to the world.

You have to face the reality: what if the world doesn’t like it? What if I didn’t do my job? What if we didn’t tell the story? What if the audience doesn’t care?

You have to get up your gumption and your courage.

Being an artist is about putting yourself out there. It is standing on your feet and making a declaration: Hello, world! I am a filmmaker and I have something to say!

 

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Cowboy poetry

Things are progressing on the post production of the movie.

A lot of the work involves us at a computer. Not a lot to blog about there, and that kind of work doesn’t seem to make for fun stories.

But…on occasion…you get to work with talented people who sure do make you smile.

Cowboy poet, Sam Wylie, entertained us with cowboy poetry. All along, I thought how neat it would be if we could include some of his poems in the movie.

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I asked Sam, and he said yes, he’d participate. We arranged to meet at 10 am. At 9am, I am out on my porch, and the weather was nice and the wind was calm.

Then the wind hit. And a cold front. And lots of wind noise. We wanted to film outdoors, so we went to Carmen’s (the trail boss) horse barn, and used it to block the wind.

Sam (on the left, above) reads a poem, while Sonny Harrison (right) listens. Both of these men were drovers on the cattle drive.

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Sonny gears up to read a poem.

We made it for an hour, working outdoors in that cold and wind. I didn’t want to stay out that long, but it was so much fun, working with these talented men, I kept asking them to do additional readings and additional locations.

We came back to my home recording studio, to record the cowboy poetry in some sort of controlled audio environment.

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Sam Wylie reads his poetry in studio.

The whole session went well. It’ll be fun to see how all this comes together: video, audio, music, sound FX, voice over, poetry…the list goes on and on.

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Cattle drive! It’s almost here!

In a few more days – I get to go and roam

Me ‘n’ the other cattle – and a bay and a sorrel and a roan

Headin’ to the north – just like in the good ole days

We’ll walk for a few ole miles, then find a pasture and graze

 

We’ll bed down there at night – at daybreak we’re on the move

Lots and lots of hoofprints made – in dirt by many hooves

Drovers ride in the dust – and bed down on the ground

Cattle lowing in the night – fall asleep to the sound

 

Why do we undertake – this task so rare and bold?

Why do it this-a-way – as they did in days of old?

So we’ll remember how it was – in the days before the rail

As we educate and celebrate – the Old Chisholm Trail

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