Self Expression Magazine

Home on the Range

By Myfilmproject09

Home on the range
I had bought my trusty 1968 Mustang just like Steve McQueen's except his engine was more powerful. But anyone who had one was hot stuff. It already had taken me from Windsor/Detroit to Toronto and then to Vancouver and nowI had packed up and thanked my ex's sister's home in Vancouver and headed east in the middle of winter. All along I was mixed, I could turn back to beautiful Vancouver but there's money ahead. I had moved around Vancouver but with no real place of my own.
And right now I arrived in Regina and found a motel along the highway and a few minutes to the TV station. I stepped out of the Mustang into freezing cold and put a pizza on the hood and proceeded to put my stuff into the room. When I returned to the pizza it was already cold. Welcome minus - 25F. You don't wanna stay outside too long.
Next morning, I arrived at the TV station and noticed something I'd never seen in Vancouver. These were cords leading to all the cars in the parking lot. They were there so that you could start your car again at the end of a day and go home. My Mustang was having trouble but finally made out.
I met everyone, most of them, some were mad someone from the big city came here instead of a local boy. I'd never had written a commercial and never really told the crew what to do. I found a lot of the crew were helpful, however some were just not friendly. They didn't want outsiders taking their jobs.
I made it through the winter and began to enjoy the green fields and flatlands. After all, I grew up to age 12 in Manitoba,east of Regina and and then went to the Windsor/ Detroit. A long way. But I also had friends and some family about 150 miles away and I would sometimes take a weekend off to see them.
I also found out that a remote cousin who actually owned the biggest bakery in the city. 
So what did I do besides commercials; short documentaries mostly about farms and farming. I learned that there was a small American bar about 100 miles south and that a lot of locals from Regina would drive there. I learned that driving distances in Saskatchewan was normal. We shot short films everywhere. Some of my new friends took me down to the border as at that time, Canada was dry on Sundays. It turned out to be quite the place, a lot of Canadians would come down to drink and shop
One time during the winter we where stopped by a Mountie, the RCMP.  He thought the driver was swaying too much on the highway. He took us to the closest RCMP station where we sat there and finally he let us go. Our friend wasn't drunk, it was really having to fight the winter winds on old highways.
I learned a lot more there even though it was a small market. I must have written and produced at least two or three hundred. It wasn't Hollywood, but it was doing this for real. Ironically I had some of my best sailing just outside of Regina, in deep valleys that gave us fantastic wind in the middle of nothing. My Toronto buddy Jim taught me how to sail.
The product we did wasn't great, it was still video tape and in color and that was just fine with me.I was working. These weren't really good, mostly for local businesses. I  began local car dealers and got help from the "other Jim" had stopped to see a friend and ended up staying there. I also got the Colonel Sanders account wherein we would bring a stack of fried chicken and we filmed chicken.
After a few months I found out how to get a crew happy. If I had a Colonel chicken ad, I noticed that the crew didn't really say anything about a tray of chicken and where it went. One of the video guys said to feed 'em and they'll help you forever.
I can't remember how I discovered another job. I think it was from a friend of a friend in Vancouver. There was an opening in Calgary, Alberta, a larger city and at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It would certainly be a lot more interested, one of my friends, a film camera man who shot news and local commercials had left and I wondered if I should stay or leave. Then a producer from Calgary phoned me. He was returning to Calgary and Regina was right in the middle. With an airport.
He landed and stayed for a fast stopover and asked me about the Cooperage film. I said yes. He said I could come into Calgary as soon as possible. The work was still commercials but it was a little over half a million people. And the mountains not far away for skiing.
Once again -- "1976 Academy Awards".
I was here almost about 2 years and again, have learned more and more. I had a chance and I didn't want to lose it. I left Regina.   
One last thing I hadn't said though, was that my 68 Mustang fastback was showing age and in the winter cold, the car needed work and I knew what I had to do. I called my brother Dave in Windsor/Detroit and said I'd sold it to him. The hitch was our dad was a mechanic and I knew he would fix it up.
I drove it back home in Windsor and bought a brand new 1977 Camaro. Pretty hot. It will take me on adventures a long way.
The deal was made on the cars and the new job was ready. I had come a long way from home and wife and we continued talking about what we were going to do. 
And the Mustang will appear again. 
Home on the range

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog