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Old April 23rd, 2013, 04:14 AM   #1
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Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Further to discussions on other threads about collaborative project ideas; I would like to initiate the first one: The Great UWOL Cattle Drive (name to be decided later)!

I am still hammering out all the ideas, and we can post more ideas here as they come in.

Essentially I would like to make a film that revolves around the idea of Cattle farmers. The cattle will be the thread that ties all of the international stories, but the different cultures and methods of doing the same job in varying habitats will be (hopefully) where the interest will be. The habitats should also play a big role, in terms of the landscape that the people work in.

Obviously we could focus on a variety of different farm animals or farming techniques, but I think it would be easier to focus on one specific animal to ground the story, and revolve it around this common theme.

There will be no one 'Director' in this movie; each person that submits a story will be the director of his or her own piece, and credit will be shared equally amongst the submitters. I will be acting as a sort of 'wrangler' just to keep the film focussed during production.

In order for continuity it would be best that all the individual pieces will be edited in one place; for this reason footage will be submitted to me once its complete (either by mail or dropbox - to be decided). However the individual submitters will retain full copyright of their footage, and will be free to make mini movies out of the footage if they wish to. Each submitter would just have to agree to allow their footage to be used for the collaborative project.

The timeframe I am looking at will be about 1 year to film the footage (so all entries should be in around April of 2014), and then the post-production phase will begin. This will allow us to take advantage of all the seasons and give us more contrast between the varying locations.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 04:18 AM   #2
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

So with the overall idea in place (and for the sake of keeping everything tidy) could all interested parties please post their interest to participate in this thread, and then we will start arranging the story once we have a solid idea of the locations available.

If you are aware of any farms in your local area that might be keen to participate, then perhaps we could just list them and the type of farming activity they do (for instance small organic farm, or a large cattle ranch etc). That way we can start building up an idea of the contrast we will have in place, and enable us to focus on what will be needed.

Thanks!
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 04:42 AM   #3
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

So I'll kick off with my proposed stories:

1) The Ankole Cattle: these cattle, arguably, have the longest horns of any living cattle. Whereas in Europe cattle were often selectively bred to reduce horn size, the opposite is true with the Ankole. In the wild, the horns are used for defense, and they can be very intimidating. Ankole cattle are used as currency in many areas of Uganda; a mans wealth can be measured by the size of his herd. The Ankole cow is on some Uganda shilling notes, symbolic of its value as currency. I would aim to travel up to a ranch and interview a farmer about how they are dealing with the the increasingly modern changes to the country; where the symbolic wealth of the cattle is decreasing. Historically, cows were rarely slaughtered and kept for milk production, but these days in order to make a living they have had to adapt to beef production. Most ranchers live in relative poverty by todays standards, in traditional mud houses, so the 'wealth' of the herds is largely symbolic, unless they 'monetize' the herd (by slaughtering it), in which case they become wealthy by modern standards, but poor in the eyes of their peers. Its an interesting conundrum.

2) We have some urban farmers in Entebbe who keep cattle in tiny garden enclosures. Every morning they cycle to the lake and harvest weeds, and then carry these weeds back in large sacks to feed the cows. its very labor intensive. The cows are kept to produce fresh milk, which is put in pots and then the farmer cycles around to various houses to sell the milk. The milk is then boiled by the people buying on charcoal stoves it to make it safe for consumption. Its a very labor intensive job with no rest and little profit.

3) Depending on time and money, I could possibly travel to Tanzania to see if I could make a story about the Maasai tribes.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Iowa ranks sixth in the US for cattle production.
If we're taking a year to get the footage I'd be happy to jump in and take the opposite end of the spectrum on everything that is bad about cattle production and why we should do away with it all.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 01:37 PM   #5
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Hi Kevin that would be great; I'd be looking at contrasting both the good & bad, the rich & poor, small organic and big ranches, as well as the different habitats etc, so the more diverse the better!
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Hi All,

I think that given the timing, I can also look at providing some variation - local to me, small dairy farmers, struggling to make ends meet, medium sized mechanised milk producers, and then it would be remiss of me not to consider the Amazon area, if budget and time allow, to look at the super farms, responsible for large scale deforestation.

In addition, beef farming - also at all scales.

We also have a goodly share of pick up trucks, country music, rodeos, and beers and BBQs.

I will follow Meryem' s advice KISS!

Last edited by Paul Wood; April 23rd, 2013 at 03:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old April 24th, 2013, 01:39 AM   #7
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Great stuff Paul! But yes, I guess we need to narrow down the stories so that the film does not get too overwhelmed with different characters.

I think one of the super ranches sounds like it would benefit the story if you could get it done, plus one of the small farmers making ends meet (theres a lot of variation just between those two stories).

Probably you would not even need to go into to much detail with one of the super ranches. For instance we could start off the Brazil section with an overview of the super-ranches (which is something people know about to some degree) and then contrast this with one of the small scale farmers that people don't really know about when they think of Brazil.

Any rodeos, BBQ's and that sort of thing would also add a lot of flair to the piece. Any local flavor will be really helpful, especially if it revolves around the community that has been built up as a result of ranching / farming. It would definitely be interesting to see this contrasted against the Texas ranching culture.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #8
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Hi Simon.
I do not know if I can contribute so much to this project.
Nevertheless, not far from where I live, they have dairy farming as they did in the old days.
If it can be of interest for the project, I can make an effort this summer - just let me know :)

Here is a summary of the information provided on the website of the farm;
"The Herdalssetra Mountain Summer Farm is situated “right in the heart” of The World Heritage Site: The West Norwegian Fjords.
The northern part of this World Heritage Site is almost identic with the Geiranger-Herdal Protected Landscape Area.
The protected waterfalls and landscape is a main reason for this unique status.
The idyllic Herdal Mountain Summer farm in Norddal, has operated continuously for 300 years.
With several hundred goats, it is one of the country's largest joint mountain summer farms.
There are also cows, sheep and fjord horses on the farm.
Thus children can find a genuine playground here.
The mountain area has a unique setting, with over 30 old buildings gathered in a cluster.
Old traditions are kept alive:
brown and white goat cheese and authentic goat's-milk caramels are manufactured."

Link to web site: Herdalssetra

PS
Every second year, the Wildlife Vaasa International Film Festival held in Finland.
I think next will be in November 2014, with the filing deadline in August.
If the time frame for the project is for 1 year, maybe it might be a secondary goals that we try to include both Uwol projects of this festival?
Just a suggestion ;o)
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Old April 25th, 2013, 01:30 AM   #9
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Hi Geir,

That looks like a very nice little farm, and would definitely fall under the idyllic and organic way of doing things.

If you would like to contact them to see if hey would be willing to be interviewed, then we could certainly take it from there.

With regards to the Vaasa Film Festival; that would definitely be something worth aiming for, although being a farm based film I'm not sure if it would qualify as a wildlife film? If not, then we could always aim for some other similar film festival.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 01:35 AM   #10
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Its also interesting that the farmers & animals 'migrate' up to the mountains in the summer, and then 'migrate' back down to the valley in the winter. The fact that it is also an eco-tourist destination, where peple can see how farming was done traditionally just shows how farmers can expand into new areas of interest, and open new revenue streams. There is definitely an interesting story there Geir!
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Old April 26th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #11
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Simon,

I had started collecting footage for a 10 minute short called "Real Canadian Beef". It focused on the all the terrible animal husbandry and hygene in the industry, dead cows left lying and others eating around the decaying corpses, and such. I never went forward with it as I would have been run out of our small community to be certain!!! we practically never eat store bought beef!!!!

If you needed some footage I could get what you want, but coming up with the storyline would be hard for me to do to be honest.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 01:21 AM   #12
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Hi, there are a number of small & medium cattle stations in the Hunter Valley which is about an hour from me:

The Little Black Cow Farm Stay - Surrounds Accommodation - Visit NSW

or this
Middlebrook Station... a venue with a difference

to this
Hunter Valley Real Estate NSW Australia

depending on what you want I'd be happy to contribute.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #13
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Thanks guys!

Dale; that sounds interesting. I understand that the story might be difficult to get, as this theme falls a little out of the normal UWOL territory. If you are willing to provide that footage then we could see if it would fit into the overall story as 'B' roll to the overall environmental impact of cattle farming. Would you need to provide it anonymously so that you don't get run out of town in that case!? Or would it be too contentious for you?

Paul; the first 2 look great. Its interesting to see that so many small farms are also offering B&B type services and petting zoos. This just goes to show how farms are spreading out into new areas of potential revenue. If you would be willing to work on one of those 2 farms then that would be much appreciated!

So just to recap, we currently have the following potential stories:

1) Simon Wood - Uganda - Ankole Cattle (traditional ranching), 'B' roll on small scale urban farming
2) Kevin Railsback - Iowa, USA - Large scale cattle production (negative effects)
3) Paul Wood - Brazil - Small scale farming (milk production), 'B' roll on deforestation, 'B' roll on Brazilian Rodeo
4) Geir Inge - Norway - Historical Mountain Summer Farm (Organic farming)
5) Dale Guthormsen - Canada - 'B' roll on negative side of farming (archive footage)
6) Paul Mailath - Australia - Small scale cattle station (B&B farming)

Additionally, Mike Sims had expressed interest in the other original thread, saying he could potential film the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

So, currently things are looking positive. We have the far Northern Hemisphere covered with Canada and possibly Norway, along with Texas & Iowa. The tropics are covered with Uganda & Brazil, and finally the Southern hemisphere can be covered with Australia. In terms of scale, we have the possibility of large scale production in Iowa & Texas, along with small scale organic style operations in Norway & Australia. Uganda has traditional style farming, and Brazil has an opportunity for a variety of different farms.

Into this we also have the wildcards of eco-tourism (Norway, Australia) and even rodeos (Texas & Brazil).

So there are a lot of different facets here, tied together with a common thread.

From a cultural point of view I think it will be very interesting to see how different the lives of the people are involved in these different locations, doing the same fundamental job.

But we could still use more locations; so please throw your name in the hat if you want to be a part of the international cattle drive!
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Old April 28th, 2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Simon, as I wrote in the other theard, I can visit a local farmer and look at his organic farming and what he is doing for less impact on the environment around him (we got big problems with too much nutrient leaking to the sea).
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Old April 29th, 2013, 02:24 AM   #15
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Re: Collab#1: The UWOL Cattle Drive

Just a thought that crossed my mind,
which I think might make it easier to stitch together a contribution?
Have browsed through some feedback threads, and some tips and advice that are regulars, are cutting in different clips.
Although both Uwol projects are in the early stages,
maybe we should have a preliminary length of our contributions?
Of course it depends on how many people eventually join, but 5 min each as a start, may do the trick?
What do you think?
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