Nothing beats experience of by
January 2009 the Trew Ranch contracted to provide the location for a Western movie
to be filmed on the premises.|
It was a new experience for this old man.
In 1980 we began improving a site in a deep canyon here on the ranch for use in
hosting an annual family reunion on Labor Day each year.
on the Trew side of the family date back to Depression and Dust Bowl days in the
First came a road down into the canyon, a long tin shade
for cooking and meal service. Of course toilets had to be included along with
tables and fireplace. A two-story cabin was built later when we acquired the telephone
poles from a pipeline right-of-way that changed over to satellite controls for
their switching valves.
As our sons also shared our respect for history,
we built along the lines of an old Western town in the period 1870-1900.
Not only was the work fun, the result was satisfying and unusual in appearance
but rustic as in "the old West." Amazingly, the thought of using the site as a
movie location was never discussed.
The years passed, things were added
and the improvements aged. When we were approached in December 2008 to use the
site for a movie location, the place was weathered and ready.
took one look and refined the screenplay to fit the location. The rest was fun
The making of a traditional movie has changed drastically.
digital cameras controlled by computers and editing technology have changed the
ways movies are filmed.
Crime and mayhem in countries such as Mexico have
made many traditional movie locations too dangerous. Cost of production on American
sites such as Old Tucson and Monument Valley have climbed to impossible heights.
Old West movie reruns have been "worn out" over the years to where viewers
The violent, explosive, car wreck, machine-gun shootouts
of modern films are no longer entertaining to older people so a market opened
up for a good Western movie.
The proliferation of commercials has now limited
the average two-hour TV movie to 88 minutes and a 30-minute documentary to 24
minutes of actual film time.
Technology has provided home computers and
software so anyone with a little experience can edit and splice hours of film
into a presentable form.
Merely enter the finished product into a film
festival where critics and movie buyers can see the results and a film either
dies or survives instantly at a much lower cost than the old traditional movie.
the outcome of our eventual movie, we had fun and learned a lot. We know now that
movies are 90 percent illusion and almost anything is possible.
movies are mostly acting naturally and a scene is usually only 10 feet wide and
6 feet deep.
Best of all, it paid better than the current stock market
and is keeping me out of the rest home and going strong.
All Trew" April 20, 2009 Column
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