Told in the cinematic tradition of classic westerns, “COWBOYS - A Documentary Portrait” is a feature-length film that gives viewers the opportunity to ride alongside modern working cowboys on some of America's largest and most remote cattle ranches. The movie documents the lives of the men and women working on these "big outfit" ranches - some of which are over one million acres - and still require full crews of horseback mounted workers to tend large herds of cattle.
I had the privilege of sitting down with none other than Bud Force, co-director and cinematographer of this feature length film. Bud along with his co-director John Langmore, spent two years filming on 8 of the largest ranches in the country. The result is story is steeped in authenticity that explores the rewards and hardships of a celebrated but misunderstood way of life.
Bud says about his idea for the film “So it literally was one day I was sitting on my couch and thinking about it and sort of made that mental switch in my head where it was, okay, I'm going to go forward and, and make a movie about Cowboys”
Bud and I discuss the challenges of filming, the people and friendships made along the way, and the excitement to see it come to its world premiere in hometown Austin Texas.
Bud said of he and John, “I think for both of us taking on this specific project, it was a story we felt needed to be told.”
When asked about logistics of making such a film Bud admitted it was challenging. They filmed for two years, in every season on eight big outfits in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana and Oregon. It took a lot of pre-planning to make sure they could capture all the elements of what these working cowboys had to deal with throughout the year. The hardest challenge for the crew was keeping the gear clean and keeping it functioning.
“It could be rough. We would, we would travel light and fast.”
If you say the word cowboy to a person, it can mean any number of things to them. It could be a working cowboy. It could be a rodeo cowboy, the classic redneck, or even Beau and Luke Duke. According to Bud, the goal of the film was to show the most concentrated value of the contemporary American Cowboy. “And for us that would be defined as, uh, a big outfit working cowboy”, says Bud.
Along with showing the daily work of these cowboys they also wanted to tell the stories of their families and some of the routine and challenges of this type of lifestyle. Imagine having to drive 4 hours to get to town to buy a gallon of milk or having to buy groceries and household supplies for a month all at once.
Bud said it was an honor to be granted access to these ranches and to make this film.
After two years the film is ready for its world premier this month at the Austin Film Festival. Bud said that not only is it being premiered in his hometown but that it’s wonderful to be included in such a respected film festival.
“COWBOYS - A Documentary Portrait” has its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival on October 25, 2019 at the Paramount Theater.
After Austin they will be at the Rockport Film Festival in Rockport Texas in November and then on to Amarillo at the world finals ranch rodeo.
More information on the film https://www.thecowboymovie.com/
For info on Bud Force http://www.budforce.com/biography
To hear the full interview on the podcast go here. http://www.theranchbroker.com/ranchcast/october-10-2019
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