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Lopin’, Ropin’ and Hopin’ is a documentary film about four iconic cowboy artists. Read more

New York, NY Documentary
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This project was successfully funded on June 22, 2012.

Lopin’, Ropin’ and Hopin’ is a documentary film about four iconic cowboy artists.

New York, NY Documentary
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About this project

FINAL PUSH AND THANKS!

Thanks to all who've so generously supported the effort so far and I'm truly grateful! The recent shoots in Colorado and South Dakota far exceeded my expectations and I'm now fully confident this film will be unique, compelling, entertaining and downright pretty to watch and listen to. 

In seven days I will look at this money we've raised and take it all in for a fleeting moment - then with a click of the mouse I will press "purchase"and await the gear that will make it all happen - thanks to you all! 

We'll be posting a blog on the official film website to keep everyone updated on the doings out west so please check it out and pass it along. Here's the website link:  http://lopin-ropin-hopin.com/

JUST UNDER A WEEK LEFT, SO ELBOW THOSE FOLKS AT THE COCKTAIL PARTIES AND LOBSTER BAKES ON OUR BEHALF!!!  :-)

What is this film about?

Lopin’, Ropin’ and Hopin’ is a documentary film about four iconic cowboy artists: Gary McMahan, a renowned cowboy singer, poet, and national champion yodeler; Brice Chapman, one of America’s most talented trick ropers and horse trainers; Yvonne Hollenbeck, a third generation ranch wife and champion poet and quilt maker; and Jeff Nourse, prolific cattle rancher, world champion bull breeder, singer songwriter and iron sculptor.


Why make this film?
 - A word from the director, Doug Morrione:

“Last summer in Chama, New Mexico, I found myself exhausted and sore after a twenty-mile ride learning how to handle a horse over rough terrain from seasoned authentic cowboys. At the campfire that night, a cowboy gathered the attention of the group and stepped up on an old tree stump. The cowboy was Gary McMahan, and he proceeded to recite a seven-minute poem he wrote called A Cowboyin’ Day. It was a simple tale of life on the range (coffee and biscuits at a sunrise breakfast, rescuing two injured yearling heifers, riding back to camp through the sage) but Gary’s poem connected those intimate details to a larger story about the frontier and a portrait of the uniquely American cowboy psyche.

A businessman from Santa Fe sitting next to me turned and said, 'I don’t know much about this kind of thing, but that seemed like the real deal right there.' When he discovered I worked in film and television, he said I would be a fool not to make a movie about these people. I agreed; this was something I had to do.

A few weeks later on a ride with cowboys from the legendary Bell Ranch gatherings in Las Vegas, New Mexico, followed by a trip to the Heber City Cowboy Poetry Gathering, in Utah, I got to know a dynamic, fascinating and important group of people. They are authentic cowboys and critical stewards of America’s precious western arts and oral histories.”


Progress To Date

The first big hurdle was to gain the respect and trust of our subjects, which took time (these are not the kind of folks who cling to iPhones checking email every twenty minutes!). We are happy to report that all characters are excited about the project and have great ideas for locations to shoot, trail rides to document, and incredible stories, songs and poems to present.

We have assembled an award-winning crew to help create a film that immerses the audience in this world. Lopin’ Ropin’ and Hopin’ will feature stunning visuals of the American West and will illuminate the personal histories, art and lyrics of these artists. Several historical and academic advisers are also a part of the team, including Hampton Sides, author of the acclaimed history of Kit Carson’s era, Blood and Thunder, and acclaimed artist, William Matthews, whose paintings will be featured in the film.


The Plan Going Forward …

Our immediate goal is to raise enough capital to get back out west in the next couple months and keep the ball rolling.

The accompanying trailer (above) was shot on a shoestring budget with borrowed equipment. Doug, while not the world’s worst cameraperson, would greatly benefit from the purchase of a HD camera, a modest sound and light kit, along with the accompaniment of a solid production team. Doug has taken an unpaid leave of absence from his job teaching at The New School University and will be moving to New Mexico in order to access the central characters more readily; traveling extensively between New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and South Dakota.

In addition to the Kickstarter campaign, our parent non-profit organization, Main Street Media, has applied for a sizeable grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is in the process of submissions to the National Endowment for the Arts and other foundations, both public and private. We hope to receive positive news from these organizations, but as you all know, times are tight and there are no guarantees, which makes this Kickstarter fundraiser so important.

One way or another, we’re going to make this film, but the more help we get the better it will be. These are inspiring Americans whose stories tell of life out on the range in the twilight of the American frontier. It’s a world worth knowing and it may not be around forever. So here I am, making good on that fireside promise from last summer. Let’s bring their stories to as wide an audience as possible.

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    A good ol' fashion thank you email from the filmmakers.

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    7 backers

    3 original photo desktop backgrounds from the trail rides and the knowledge you've contributed to an admirable effort to immortalize "The Cowboy Way."

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    You'll receive exclusive access to periodic bonus video digital downloads from the film production.

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    26 backers

    You'll receive a director signed copy of the final DVD along with exclusive bonus videos and desktop backgrounds.

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    8 backers

    An original Gary McMahan yodeling MP3 for your voice-mail! He's an American original and one of the best! Everyone should have a national champ yodeler greeting folks! Plus everything else from above.

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    7 backers

    Lopin’ Ropin and Hopin’ inscribed rancher shirt! Don't go shirtless, it's tacky! This is a Wrangler (of course) "Painted Desert" design, guaranteed to protect you from errant cacti needles and dive-bombing skeeters on a long ride! Enjoy this amazing shirt plus everything else from above.

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    Keep the sun out of your eyes with a high quality cowboy hat from New Mexico! Wear your new cowboy hat while you enjoy everything else from above.

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    1 backer

    For a thousand bucks you'll get a horseback riding lesson in New York or New Mexico! You never know, cars may become obsolete at any moment, better to have genuine horse-whisperin' skills! Ride away knowing you also have everything else from above.

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    You scored a big one here as a big time producer, making you the ultimate cowboy as Associate Producer credit in the film plus everything else from above.

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    Thanks! What more can I say? See you on the ride! This is the grandaddy of them all: A reserved spot on a 3-day trail ride in New Mexico with free horse rental, meals and accommodation plus everything else above.

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Funding period

- (45 days)