Mark Mottershead of Horse Conscious Magazine called in from the U.K. on a teleconference with questions to Jonathan Ratner of Western Watersheds and Mara LeGrand: filmmaker of Wild Horses In Winds of Change.
I was thrilled to be included in the conversation but I especially loved “listening and learning”. Be sure to scroll down to the link posted below. I found myself in a keen listening mode as I sat in front of my computer with my filmmaker head set on. I want to include every voice and every bit of information I hear in my films ~but alas I only have 25 minutes to explain to the world why they want to care about america’s wild horses.
Now with an opportunity to perform some surgery on the film to ready it for National PBS, I have the chance to add and subtract, re-structure and tweak the tone, slightly. So once again, I ponder what are the most important points to cover? What will motivate the viewers to get involved with dollars, hands and hearts? What should I be careful not to say? What numbers should I believe? How do I reach both the minds and hearts of viewers? And how on earth do I cover such a complex topic in 25 minutes? I can’t of course cover the topic – but National broadcast for this film is a golden opportunity to bring the crises facing america’s wild horses into the homes of millions.
Before I write any line of narration for my film I tend to pause and consider if this is the message the horses would like to convey. It’s not hard for anyone to imagine that if a wild horse could speak our language -what they’d have to say. I believe they wouldn’t pit one side of the fence against the other, instead they’d encourage an open range of dialogue and a sharing of resources. They’d chime in on the importance of bio-diversity and how necessary it is for the sustainability of all wild lands and wild life. They’d wonder how their very being as a free roaming survivor conjures up so much love and respect from some yet sheer prejudice and hatred among others? They’d question why people believe the myths that they aren’t native to this land even though bones of their ancestors are found with the most ancient mammoths of this continent. They wonder why humans require more than basics to be happy and fulfilled? I imagine they’d want me to convey in the film – a statement about the beauty and benefits of living simply. I have invited the voices of the horses into my psyche on this journey and I have requested with all sincerity that their energy fuels the progress for this film. I’ve felt myself as the captive horse, separated from my family and free roaming life, subject to a prison of war camp, with no hope for a future beyond the fence and stale straw I’m thrown. I’ve been the mare, guarding my foal, wanting to play with her in the land of the free – but in the pen, there’s no where to go and nothing for me to teach her. I wonder how anyone could turn their backs on these magnificent animals who by nature have simple goals and untroubled souls?
As I sit in front of my Mac gazing out the window into the quiet falling of Colorado snow, I feel a sense of warmth knowing that I’m among not only the energy of the horses who in every sense of the word, accompany humans towards it’s next great frontier, and that I am also in the carriage of courageous, educated, heart- centered companions. I am as always overwhelmed with the magnitude of the issue, yet grateful my hand is free to help. http://horseconscious.s3.amazonaws.com/MemberCalls/HC_Member_Calls/20120212-WildHorses.mp3