AIN’T MY FIRST RODEO
Texas, USA - 2021
The mythical cowboy, whose image has been shaped by history, fiction and folklore, is unquestionably America’s predominant symbolic native son. For many people across the world, a cowboy is the most American thing they can think of. For that we should be thankful. Much better this noun than a Big Mac or even an Apple Mac.
Texas is the home of the cowboy and it is also the home of the longhorn. It was the birthplace of the great cattle drives north to the Kansas railroads in the 1870s and the names of the State’s leading sports teams leave us in no doubt as to the pride in the region’s heritage.
The cowboy and the longhorn remain part of today’s Texas and in West Texas we have built up a strong network of contacts who are now happy to allow us to drop into their daily lives. Filmmaking in my mind is a team sport - we are always reliant on the help and excellence of others. We have invested time in the communities of western Texas and we are now slowly reaping the rewards.
This was not an easy frame to take, as the big steer is turning towards my default flat position on the ground. There is quite an adrenaline rush at that level of proximity and this is not something to try on your own. I had seasoned cowboys on the ground right beside me.
I had no expectation of Ryon Marshall - my go to Texan cowboy - being in pin sharp focus. It was not necessary for the narrative to hold up. What mattered was that the steer was flying and that the face and eyes were pin sharp.
The composition is fortunate, as it does look as if Ryon is flying. Anything is possible with him, as it certainly isn’t his first rodeo.