The movie titled C Bar, will be out shortly and features some of our Arizona history, along with our landscape. That in itself, should bring some curiosity and interest about the film.
It is a western tale about an early pioneer family here in Arizona. The Barnett's are a close knit family. They are really good people that run into a bad situation, that gets worse and worse. They eventually get dragged into these bad situations and through difficult work and perseverance, finally make their way through it.
The Barnett's find ways to deal with all the adventures, which include what most of us encounter in life. The good, the bad, and of course, the ugly. Not to mention a bit of revenge, which always seems to lead us to justice, which ultimately prevails.
As you experience this film, you will fall in love with the characters, and feel scared for them. Every emotion that goes into normal life is a part of this movie. This is a real life adventure that as everybody watches, will find someone to identify with. That is the strength of the film.
Meet and Greet
I was introduced to Mark Baugher at the weekend of the Prescott 150th birthday celebration. He mentioned the C Bar movie and we made arrangements to get together to discuss it further.
It was a nice, hot, summer day when I drove north out of Prescott to go to Mark's ranch. When I arrived, I was greeted by the him, along with director Patrick Ball, cinematographer Aaron Newton, and actress Robin Grande.
We exchanged pleasantries, then sat on the front porch. I was thoroughly impressed by the tall glass of cold lemonade that I was offered. Hitting the spot each and every time I took a sip. Realizing that I was not there to strictly induldge in beverages, I got down to the task at hand. What was the story behind the movie?
Ball and Newton, graduates of Ball State, explained that they had already worked together on projects in college. "Upon meeting Mark Baugher and reading his book "A C-Bar Story," Patrick and I decided it was perfect time and place to partner with Mark and adopt his book to the screen," said Aaron Newton.
Mark Baugher, who had written C-Bar, told the story of how he met Robin. "I was in a feed store, and there she was," Mark said. Robin smiled as Mark described "her discovery" as an actress.
Mark spoke on how the script came about. "I wrote the script. I had it lined up, and Patrick beat it up. I always felt that I could write 70% of a good script. Then Patrick would talk with Aaron to polish it up. The impact from our group was when the magical moments took over. The creativity was very fun, no big egos, it was fun. We all turned into something better than it was before."
Can I Get Some Actors Please
"Casting the actors was the easiest part," Mark said. To film C Bar, it took every one of the 78 actors who spent time on the film. "Whenever we need someone they would just show up. What makes this movie so believable was that we were able to get people to basically play themselves. It is amazing to watch, as the characters in the film very believable."
Filming took nine months, with two months of pre-production, and the past few months being in post production. What took the movie so long to film was that there were actors who had other jobs, that they had to still deal with. "Sometimes we would shoot once a week because of other peoples schedules", said Mark. "The best part about the time between shoots was that it gave us an opportunity to really look at what was done, and perhaps what we could do better," said Patrick.
Besides Mark Baugher and Robin Grande, there was a cast that features Sande Comenzind, Adam Newberry, Norm Jensen, Buck Montgomery, Mike Girard, Jeff McCarroll, Marissa Neel, Rick Wyckoff, Jeremiah Cohn, Clay McClinton, Howard Teets , Lee Anderson. Although you may not recognize the names, you may very well soon recognize some of the faces. Or at least think you do.
Where to Film
Location of filming is a vital part of any film, and C-Bar is no exception. Mark was quick to give a plug and gratitude to a place that many Arizonans may not know about. "The Pioneer Village Living History Museum took us in like family," Mark said. "I don't think we could have made this movie without there generosity. They turn down many requests to film there, but they let us come in, and we shot over half the movie in there. All those historical buildings are amazing and the facility is just great." The Pioneer Living History Museum is located north of Phoenix.
Weather did play a very minor roll by interrupting the shooting just a little bit. Patrick said, "It rained the very first day of the shoot. It just poured, and the next time we went to re-shoot it, it snowed. But other than that one scene the weather was great." Mark said, "It was very hot that second day, the heat just sucked the energy out me, but we had over 60 actors on the set, so we knew we had to make it happen, and we did it."
There were other locations that were used, such as the Sedona area. "A lot of people don't realize that Arizona is such a beautiful state," Patrick said. "Most of us thought of desert, but there are so many aspects to the landscape of this state that make it great to film in."
School Connections To The Film
Aaron and Patrick attended college together. "These guys were all highly trained out of Ball State University," said Mark. "It wasn't just point and shoot with a camera. There are amazing shots of sunrises and sunsets, and all kinds of things that go into making an impressive view of what will be seen on screen. These guys were incredible at doing that. One scene in particular stands out to me, was when you have the son in the film chopping wood. He is silhouetted by the sun, which was just an incredible shot."
Patrick had this to say about what led him to this place and time in his life. "After graduation from filmschool, my film crew and I packed up our belongings and moved out west looking for the opprotunity of a lifetime. To all of our disbelief, we found it. Shortly after living in Arizona fro a couple of months, I came across Mark Baugher's novel "The CBAR Story", and knew it had to become a movie. Pre-production lasted a couple of months, but before I knew it, we were already half way done with the film, and it was turning out better than any of us could have imagined."
Cinematographer Aaron Newton lives in Phoenix, Arizona, but grew up in a small midwestern town. Newton has always been fascinated with history and the wild west. This comes from watching John Wayne movies as a child with his father. He met Patrick Ball at Ball State, where they found a connection, and collaberated on projects. Aaron graduated with honors from the film department with a Bachelor's degree in Video Production.
Look for the second part of the C-Bar story in next Sunday's edition of eNews.