Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Two aging brothers, sheep ranchers with no heirs, must part with their vast Wyoming herds and the land they've known since birth.
164 backers pledged $20,325 to help bring this project to life.

About

Kaycee Documentary Project project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$20,325

164

In August 2013 co-directors Tal Yarden & Jessica Medenbach shot footage in Wyoming for 8 days to create projections for a new opera at the Teatro Real in Madrid. After searching for a sheep rancher to help us with footage we needed of sheep herds in the mountains, we found Don and Peto Meike, whose family has ranched sheep and cattle and homesteaded in the Big Horn Mountains since 1901.

OUR PROJECT 

Our documentary is following the Meike Brothers through the last year of their sheep ranching business. The final product will be an experiential, impressionistic 90-minute narrative documentary that transports its viewers into the remote world of our subjects.

Meike sheep herd in the Big Horn Mountains
Meike sheep herd in the Big Horn Mountains
Original Homestead in the Big Horn Mountains
Original Homestead in the Big Horn Mountains
Peto Meike
Peto Meike

THE MEIKES

Don and Peto Meike, both in their 80’s, have lived their entire lives herding sheep and ranching in the small remote town of Kaycee, Wyoming. Living an iconic American dream of rugged individualism, neither brother has ever settled into family life but they both have remained bachelors, always putting the ranch first. Now that they’re older it is much harder for them to keep up this lifestyle and since they have no one to pass their legacy on to, they will lease out their ranch and sell their herds within the next year. 

Don Meike
Don Meike

We’re following them through this major milestone as they transition into a more sedentary lifestyle and creating a feature length documentary that captures their unique piece of American history and its association with an iconic identity that seems to be fading away. 

Peto Meike
Peto Meike

The Meike story will also shed light on modern small farm practices and will bring into the conversation of food and sustainability the need for education about animal farmers and ranchers, especially about those who truly care for their animals.

Ewe tending her newly born lamb
Ewe tending her newly born lamb
Pregnant Ewe at the Meike ranch
Pregnant Ewe at the Meike ranch

WHY WE'RE ASKING FOR HELP

We have already completed two trips in addition to our first meeting, once in December to visit Don & Peto during their off season and once in March for lambing season and to see the foundation of their new house put in. We are no longer able to self fund these projects and have been applying for numerous grants, but have determined we will need to raise money for trips before the grant awardees are announced. Your donations will help us to fund a trip this summer when the Meikes trail their sheep into the Big Horn Mountains, a trip at the end of the summer for when they bring the sheep back down and a trip in the Fall to follow up on the status of their new life in their new home. 

Newly born lamb at the Meike ranch
Newly born lamb at the Meike ranch
Meike Ranch during lambing season
Meike Ranch during lambing season

 REACH GOALS 

$30,000 : We will be able to hire a sound engineer to accompany us on our last trips and help us to make the best soundscape possible for our film.

$40,000: We will be able to hire an editor on to help us with the editing process, offer an objective eye and make our film that much better!! 

$50,000: We will also be able to pay a film distributor to launch our project and get it into more festivals and venues around the country! 

PLEDGES! 

  • LAMB TIER: With this $5 pledge or more, you will receive exclusive video clips, updates & production notes from our trips!
  • FLEECE TIER: With this $25 pledge or more, you will receive a handwritten postcard from Kaycee, Wyoming! 
  • EWE TIER: With this $35 pledge or more, you will receive a handwritten postcard from Kaycee, Wyoming & a digital download of the film!
  • HERD TIER: With this $50 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film & 1 ticket to the screening in NYC!
  • SHEEP DOG TIER: With this $75 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film and 2 tickets to the screening in NYC!
  • GREAT PYRENEES TIER: With this $100 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening of the film in NYC & a signed blu-ray of the film!
  • RANCH HAND TIER: With this $150 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening in NYC, a signed blu-ray of the film & a poster signed by the filmmakers!
  • RED WALL TIER: With this $250 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening in NYC, a blu-ray & poster signed by the filmmakers & a Kaycee Sheepherder's Rodeo hat or t-shirt! 
  • BIG HORN TIER: With this $500 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening in NYC, a blu-ray & poster signed by the filmmakers & a limited edition photo print! 
  • RODEO TIER:  With this $1000 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening in NYC, a blu-ray and poster signed by the filmmakers, a limited edition photo print and admittance to a private online Q+A with the filmmakers! 
  • SHEPHERD TIER: With this $2500 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening in NYC, a blu-ray and poster signed by the filmmakers, a limited edition photo print & dinner for two with the filmmakers in Brooklyn!
  • PRODUCER TIER:  With this $5000 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening in NYC, a blu-ray and poster signed by the filmmakers, a limited edition photo print, dinner for two with the filmmakers in NYC & a producer credit on the film!
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER TIER: With this $10,000 pledge or more, you will receive a digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening in NYC, a blu-ray and poster signed by the filmmakers, a limited edition photo print, dinner for two with the filmmakers in NYC, an executive producer credit on the film & a clothing item of choice made by a local artist from wool from the Meikes' Sheep!

CLIPS FROM THE PROJECT 

KAYCEE'S CENTENNIAL : https://vimeo.com/97804959 

SHEEP HERDER'S RODEO: https://vimeo.com/98017754

BIOS

Jessica Medenbach, co-director
Jessica Medenbach, co-director

 Jessica Medenbach (Co-Director) is a native to the Hudson Valley and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated with a degree in Film Production & Electronic Arts from Bard College and currently works as a freelance filmmaker, editor & producer in Brooklyn working to produce various kinds of video work and documentations of performances and live events. She has most recently directed, shot and edited music videos for the musician Johanna Warren and is working closely with the theater collective New Saloon on a film noir project, as well as an experimental narrative. She is also currently in production on a number of small music video and experimental projects. 

Growing up in a small town on a farm in Upstate New York, she has a deep appreciation for the work the Meikes do and the importance and need for education of small farm practices. 

Tal Yarden, co-director
Tal Yarden, co-director

 Tal Yarden (Co-Director) is a director, video artist and projection designer creating work for a broad array of media. He has shot, edited and created video designs for numerous live events including dance, theater, opera and music performances. His work has been seen throughout Europe and the USA. He recently designed La Clemenza de Tito (La Monnaie/De Munt), Brokeback Mountain (Teatro Real, Madrid) and is currently in production for The Fountainhead (Toneelgroep Amsterdam).  His previous designs include Der Schatzgräber (De Nederlandse Opera), Mazeppa (Komische Oper Berlin) and Macbeth (Opéra de Lyon), Ludwig II (Münchner Kammerspiele), Edward II, The Misanthrope (Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz), Idomeneo (La Monnaie/De Munt), POP! (Yale Repertory), Husbands, The Russians, Children of the Sun, Cries and Whispers, Antonioni Project, Angels in America, Mourning becomes Electra, Roman Tragedies for Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Wagner’s Ring Cycle (Vlaamse Opera) and Reza Abdoh’s Tight Right White and Quotations from a Ruined City.   He has also created visual designs for Jessica Blank, Daniel Sullivan, Mark Brokaw, Jo Bonney, John Jesurun, Stephen Petronio, Cindy Sherman, Conway & Pratt, Kristen Marting, Mikel Rouse, Patricia Fox, DD Dorvillier, Mark Wing-Davey, Tim Feldmann, Mia Lawrence, Pavel Zustiak, Kyle de Camp, Patricia Hoffbauer and George Sanchez, Circus Flora, Jim Simpson, Jo Andres, Margarita Guergue, Aaron Landsman, Clarinda Mac Low and Nina Martin.  In 1994, he co-founded the theater company Chashama for which he created the site-specific shows Jr. Black's Office and Disease Machine.

Risks and challenges

Once we are funded, we will use the money donated to us to finish filming our project. We anticipate completing our filming by October 2014 when we will begin editing, which is where the real filmmaking begins. This will require time, energy and compiling the right team.

We hope to have our project completed by early 2015 and begin sending it out to festivals and venues for screenings...but you can never predict setbacks such as needing to go back to Wyoming to film more material or taking the time to get the best edit done possible.

Our funding only covers Jessica and Tal's work on the project but if we are able to receive additional funding, this will enable us to hire a sound engineer, an editor and a film distributor, which will make the whole process much quicker and easier!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    LAMB

    A sincere thanks from us, and email updates with exclusive footage and production notes from Kaycee!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    FLEECE

    A personally written thank you postcard from Kaycee, Wyoming!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    EWE

    Thank you postcard from Kaycee, Wyoming & a digital download of the film!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    37 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    HERD

    Digital download of the film & 1 ticket to screening of the film in NYC!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SHEEP DOG

    Digital download of the film & 2 tickets to screening of the film in NYC!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    GREAT PYRENEES

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to screening in NYC & signed blu-ray!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    RANCH HAND

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to screening of the film in NYC, a blu-ray & a poster signed by the filmmakers!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    RED WALL

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to screening of the film in NYC, a blu-ray of the film & poster signed by the filmmakers & a Kaycee Sheepherder's rodeo t-shirt or hat!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BIG HORN

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to screening of the film in NYC, blu-ray & poster signed by the filmmakers & limited edition photo print!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    RODEO

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to screening of the film in NYC, blu-ray & poster signed by the filmmakers, limited edition photo print & admittance to a private online q&a with the filmmakers!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    SHEPHERD

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to screening of the film in NYC, blu-ray & poster signed by the filmmakers, limited edition photo print & dinner for two with the filmmakers in Brooklyn, NY!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    PRODUCER

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening of the film in NYC, blu-ray & poster signed by the filmmakers, limited edition photo print, dinner for two with the filmmakers & producer credit on the film!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    Digital download of the film, 2 tickets to the screening of the film in NYC, blu-ray & poster signed by the filmmakers, limited edition print, dinner for two with the filmmakers, executive producer credit on the film & a clothing item of choice made by local artist knitted from wool from the Meike's sheep!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)