Archive for category Oklahoma

Looking for a kiss at the end of the rainbow…

Mother nature sent us some beautiful pictures this evening. I didn’t even know there was a rainbow. I stepped out to see if it was still raining. Then I ran to get my camera!


This is Elvis week. We lost Elvis 40 years ago today. He was the best of all time. The best there ever was, and the best there ever will be. Late in the night last night, when I wasn’t sleeping, I was surfing youtube. I found this. I had never heard this version before.

This may be the best musical performance in the history of musical performances.

So thank you, sir, for sharing your talent with the world. You are a guardian angel – for those of us mere mortals who aspire to change the world with our song.


Leave a comment

Location, location, location

When you are going to shoot a movie – what is one of the first decisions you make?


Consider this – what happens when the location of the movie is continually on the move?

We are a month out from the filming of the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive. I went out to scout some locations. The organizers of drive have already chosen the places that they stop each night. I didn’t get an exact count, but the cattle drive will cover perhaps six to eight miles per day.

Start from here

I’d like for at least some of the video to seem authentic. I’d like for it to look as it looked 150 years ago. No roads, intersections, street signs…

…no power lines, farming equipment, bales of hay…

No highway, no electricity, no semis driving by at 70mph…

…no windmills, windfarms, cell phone towers, fences, corner posts, or airplanes.

I scouted some of these locations today.

To get any shot without having any modern equipment/influence/technology is pretty much gonna be a miracle!

Fortunately, not every shot has to appear as if it was taken from the late 1800s.

Thank goodness!

As filmmakers – all we can do is to aim a camera. As to the rest of it – everything else is up in the air.

If you make a movie in a studio – or if you make a studio movie – then you have arranged everything: YOU control the action/actors/locations/activities.

In modern filmmaking, it’s reasonable – it’s even expected, to be able to tell people to go back and do it over.

In this instance, with drovers herding cattle; horses pulling wagons; and specific locations that the cattle drive has to take (accommodating things like, river crossings, railroad right of ways, easements, private land, oil wells that you have to stay away from, and who knows what else?!?!)…there are no do-overs!

As filmmakers, all we can do is to…aim a camera.

This isn’t some big studio where we have a sound department who can work the magic of sound in post production.

Nope…my biggest concern is wind. Weather and wind.

We are working to configure equipment in order to ascertain its capabilities and limitations.

But on this shoot – with cattle and people and wagons and horses constantly on the move – and with the flat, wide-open spaces where the “wind comes sweeping down the plains” … managing sound will be my biggest worry.

Leave a comment

Cotton Candy Clouds


Leave a comment

The Trail

The Trail

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!

Leave a comment

The Chisholm Trail

It is the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail. There are all sorts of commemorative events happening in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

There will be a cattle drive in September, and our film company will be making a documentary!

We have already started filming events that lead up to the cattle drive.

Jesse Chisholm marker

The Chisholm Gravesite is located NE of Geary, Oklahoma. I was traveling last weekend and did some filming for the documentary.

Jesse Chisholm is an important historical figure in the development of the American West.

We are thrilled and excited to be able to have the opportunity film the cattle drive. This will be a fun movie to get to be a part of. It makes me think of the line that Colonel Potter said in M*A*S*H: This movie has horses…cowboys…and horses!

Saddle up!

Yee Haw!

Leave a comment

At the end of the rainbow



Leave a comment

Autumn at the Arboretum






, ,

1 Comment