From the shovel that digs to plant to the shovel that digs to bury, Eternal Harvest is a short film that chronicles the cycle of life as told by the growing season on my family farm in rural Kansas.
Like farming, my project is dependent on the cooperation of the weather.
So far in this yearlong shoot, I have completed filming the summer and fall sequences of the film.
The summer shoot was on the very hottest day of July. I assembled my team which included: my nephew who operates the drone, two dancer friends I hired, my Dad, my brother, and a friend who served as production assistants. My Dad and I hung up a dual clothesline on the side of our 25′ x 30′ barn to hang my grandmother’s quilts and a green screen. This along with quilts laid out in a picnic style mandala provided our settings for this sequence. I’m really proud to both collaborate with and showcase my long deceased Grandma Prettyman’s beautiful handiwork. It’s a real hands-on family affair, this. Which is awesome.
The fall sequence happened in mid-October on a windy day on the farm. I wanted to create a large scale mandala made of my Dad’s antique tractors, and my grandmother’s quilts. I worked with the director of my high school marching band (the phenomenal John D. Cisetti). We met to draw out a plan and it came together in such a shockingly easy way that it still astounds me.
Seventy-five people (part of a marching band, friends, and family) came out to the farm and we gathered in the barn to lay out the game plan at 3:10 p.m. We orchestrated and filmed several large kaleidoscopic formations taking place in a 150 foot circle. We were finished and packed up by 4:59 p.m. before a harsh thunderstorm/near tornado blew through at 6 p.m.
It was such a stunning day when people of all ages (3-83), political stripes, and sexual orientations gathered together to wear plaid shirts and march my grandmother’s quilts around in formations for this film. I’m still kind of gobsmacked by the magic efficacy of this most awesome day.
A couple weeks ago, I spoke to my hometown Rotary Club about Eternal Harvest and am soliciting sponsorship for additional funding for the film. Later this week, I will be featured in the Miami County, Kansas newspaper for the project. I’m hoping that this helps drum up the additional support to complete the film.
Also, I’m teaching myself to edit video. New skills! I created this trailer/progress report of Eternal Harvest.
I’ll post more updates as the seasons progress.
I should add that I’m planning to have the premiere of this film on the side of my family barn in May as part of the Miami County Farm Tour before it will move into my hometown of Louisburg, Kansas where it will be presented on the side of a community building on the main street as part of the town’s sesquicentennial. This is really meaningful to me as my great-great grandfather was a founding father of Louisburg. After that, I’ll have a showing in KC (tbd) and figure out next steps.
First things first, though, I need to get ready for the winter sequence.
And I need it to snow.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.