I was in a movie one time. All our neighbors had horses for their only form of recreation, as we did. One of the guys had a brother in law who lived in Hollywood and knew a lot of people who had access to film, cameras, projectors, and sound implements. This was at a time before digital cameras, so all of this equipment was rare to the average person.
One day the brother in law decided we who lived in this neighborhood (about 20 of us counting the kids) should make a cowboy movie. Anybody who could ride was dubbed either a “cowboy” or an “Indian.” I was an Indian, so we donned warpaint, took our saddles off the horses and rode on blankets like the real movies. Counting about three families per hill and there being four hills, we had people on all of the unpopulated hills running back and forth on rabbit trails with their scripts, and being filmed with a huge shoulder-held camera. Others threw on anything they thought resembled their “part” and there were very few lines. Like, a lot of “head them off at the pass,” “wash-da,” and “Um, kemosabe.”
I don’t know the plot, if there was one. I just know all the Indians, on signal, came tearing up the hill on our horses and were filmed bursting out from a ravine, in our Indian stampede.
I was 27 years old and both of my small children had their parts on their ponies as well.
The “movie” was shown on a regular 76 millimeter pull down movie screen from Hollywood that was propped in the bed of a pickup truck at night in an arena we’d made by removing the sagebrush from a flat area. We called it “the arena.” Somebody made a huge pile of popcorn and we had cokes as well for that movie. All the houses which were pretty far apart had people walking back and forth in the night with flashlights to use the facilities or avoid the insanity for a little while.
A lot more people than the actors attended the movie out of neighborly curiosity.
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Melody D. Scott | www.MelodyScott.com