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!!! :-)
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:
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.”
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.
- (45 days)