Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our latest film "Dakota 38"

Hello all, It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog yet I’m back on board.
Currently I find myself in rural Flandreau South Dakota with 2,300 fellow residents. Smooth Feather has rented a nice 2 bedroom home on Pipestone Avenue and we’ve got a 1990 Pontiac Bonneville parked out front. :) The Pontiac is courtesy of my great friend Jesse who is letting us borrow the whip for the duration of our time filming here. Jesse, once again, you’re the man.
Our latest film, “Dakota 38” started over 4 years ago after I experienced my first Native American Sweat Lodge at my good friend Jeff Galuzas place in Maine. The sweat was lead by Lakota Spiritual Leader Jim Miller who was visiting Maine from South Dakota. Over a Dinner afterwards Jim asked me if I would help him create a film in 4 years. He said that he wanted to ride 330 miles on horseback to honor a dream that he’d had that would bring healing to his people. I was very intrigued by the opportunity and agreed to help him create a film. And so today, 4 years later, after many hours of travel, contemplation & growth from this project, we’re gearing up to film the ride across South Dakota and Minnesota.

The past couple months have been very intense...That seems to be the best word to describe it. I recently got back from visiting my family for the Thanksgiving holidays in San Francisco and I found it difficult to put my experience living in South Dakota into words. And so I guess I’ll leave that description for the film :) It’s always been the best way that I’ve been able to express my thoughts.
So we’ve got an amazing group that is coming together to create this film. Sarah Weston who is a member of the Santee Sioux Dakota Tribe here in Flandreau, is co-directing the film with myself. We’ve also got Adam Mastrelli who is flying in from New York to assist with camera work & sound. J.B. & Andy Weston will also be filming from the saddle throughout the entire ride and Jay McKay has already fired up the keyboard for an original score. Zach Graber emailed yesterday and will be lending his post production magic during the editing of the film and there are many more members of the Smooth Feather posse who will be taking part in some way.

So as I write, my ears are popping at 20,000 feet as I approach the Omaha Airport. Adam flies in this week and then Sarah, J.B, Andy, Adam & myself will be assembling for a week of pre-production in Flandreau. Then on Friday we head 12 hours north to Manitoba Canada for our first shoot which will be filming a horse ceremony. Because many Dakota elders from Manitoba will not be able to make the long trip south, this ceremony will allow them to offer their prayers and support. After that we’ll head back to South Dakota and gear up for the 330 mile ride. We'll be sure to update both this blog and the one on for the duration of the ride.

Sending big smiles from open Skies,


Maria said...

Does it get this cold in Maine? Nice to meet you in the big town of Howard, SD--happy trails to you and your group--I do hope the weather cooperates from here on out and warms up a bit too! Again, nice to meet you & God Bless!

Jeff Galuza said...

Hi Folks, Snowy and cold here. We do have a few more trees to cut the wind. cozy at the keyboard. We are sending warm thoughts and prayer for all the riders and helpers. Be safe.
Love and respects, Jeff Galuza