To the West
a documentary feature about Western folklife, cowboy poetry, and the American frontier
Equus Caballus (an excerpted short film)
Mining the Mother Lode (an excerpted short film)
Stills from the Film
Stills from Mining the Mother Lode
Before the current post-production stage of development, things kicked off in late 2012, when renowned historian and author Michael Wallis sat for an interview to give his insights on the West, laying a foundation for the West as “not just a place, but a state of mind.” Principal photography began around the annual occasion of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada in January 2013, and continued at the 2014 Gathering. Icons of this culture, like Temple Grandin, Wallace McRae, Joel Nelson, John Dofflemyer, Baxter Black, Paul Zarzyski, Henry Real Bird, Amy Hale Auker, Don Edwards, The Quebe Sisters Band, Dave Stamey, Gail Steiger and many more are now in-the-can.
Taking an incremental approach in this production, “Equus Caballus” was completed as an independent short film in 2014, including a new music score created by this project’s composer Josh Coffey. As an early introduction to audiences, the short film became an official selection in numerous film festivals, and won top honors at the 2015 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival of Worcester, Massachusetts, and the 2015 Equus Film Festival in New York City and Camden, South Carolina. It was also curated into an exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art; and on June 10, 2016, the next and newest module from this film, “Mining the Mother Lode,” was presented there for the first time, then subsequently at over twenty film festivals worldwide. Finally, “Not the Stars” (also this film’s trailer) won the Best Overall Film award at the 2016 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Behind-the-Scenes & Presentation History