We had a busy weekend here at the Triangle N. I washed five loads of laundry, our family was filmed by a camera crew for inclusion in a documentary on modern-day cowboy life, and I made brownies with the kids.
Wait. What? That’s exactly what I thought when renowned photographer John Langmore called while I was idly browsing through sweaters at a thrift store and asked if his crew come film me and the kids.
“Sure,” I replied. Then I rushed home and scrubbed the baseboards with a toothbrush.
Not really. But when I imagined my home through the lens of a video camera which would later transmit the scene to untold number of viewers, I did notice a few cobwebs I’d been neglecting. I vacuumed the ceiling corners, wiped off the counter tops, and resisted a deeply felt urge to paint an accent wall and refinish the floors.
Because the film company, Ultralite Films, wanted to document a remote ranch wife and her children in their natural setting. For us, this includes plenty of dust and back issues of Western Horseman scattered across the floor.
John, along with Bud Force, Hank Wizrodt and others working hard at 1922 Films headquarters, are making a movie that captures the essence of today’s real working cowboys and their families. To do so, they are traveling to several ranches across the Western United States and filming everyday scenes. Titled “COWBOYS: A Documentary Portrait,” the film is scheduled for completion next fall.
After they got some riveting footage of me taking laundry off the line and the kids roping the dog, we headed up to the wagon camp to visit my husband. Jim, along with the rest of the cowboy crew, had been camped out on the far reaches of the ranch for several weeks, and me and the kids missed him.
Before we left, I had a stern talk with the children about the importance of keeping their clothes on while the cameras were rolling. At one point, Grace took off her shirt and claimed that her belly button was hot. I put her shirt back on, then told her I’d tried the same excuse at a bar one night in Chico, California, and nobody believed me, either.
The guys filmed our little family reunion at the branding corral, then shot the cowboys eating lunch and roping some cattle in a brushy draw. They wanted to film me driving down a crude dirt road through a steep, rocky canyon, but I had put two dirty diapers in a plastic Walmart bag and tied it to the roof, which kind of ruined the shot.
Having a the film crew out was a blast, and not just because it motivated me to deep clean my house and fix beef and potatoes for a crowd. Like my mom said, I’ll do anything for company. We live 2 1/2 hours from town down 50 miles of dirt road, so it was fun to share our unique way of life with others who aren’t able to see it up close and personal every day. The movie is designed to appeal to not only cowboy folks, but also big-city folks, international folks, and all other kinds of folks, so our smiling faces and laundry on the line may one day be seen in countless theaters and homes all across the country and beyond. I’m just glad I had the foresight to remove the Halloween-sized cobwebs from the front window and the children remained fully clothed.
If you’d like to see the movie trailer, click here. Insider info: my husband is riding the bay horse through the beautiful meadow with the mountains in the background during the aerial footage in one of the opening scenes. If you think he looks like a long, tall drink of sexiness in shotgun chaps, then join the club. I may or may not already be the president, secretary and treasurer of that club.
Here, Hank videos two of the cowboys tying a calf down for range branding while Bud crouches down for a different angle and my two kids look on. This picture was taken after the crew ate lunch and before Bud climbed over the fence and almost got taken out by an irate bovine while he had a camera up to his face. Nobody laughed.*
*This is a total lie. We all laughed.