Had a mildly surreal experience today. I got a phone call from Golden Era Productions, asking if we had a young child who was in possession of a horse and a pair of cowboy boots. Seems they’re filming a documentary about some old Montana cowboy and they need some footage of a child’s boot in a stirrup. They were having trouble finding a workable child with workable boots (the shot was supposed to be set in the 1920’s, and the only other child they could find wore purple boots, so no good there), until a guy who knew Steve from the Ramona Pageant gave them our number. They just wanted a shot of Luke’s leg and boot, in a stirrup. They wanted to drive up from Hemet today, as soon as he got home from school, and take it. I couldn’t think of any good reason to tell them no, so I said that’d be fine.
They arrived as I was leaving to pick up the kids at the bus stop. Steve met them: two men and a woman, all with various exotic accents and dressed in black. They wanted a darkish horse in the pics, so Steve decided on Sam. They wanted an authentic ranch saddle, so Steve put his own roping saddle on him. When I got back and handed Luke over to them, they gave him an adorable little pair of roughspun brown trousers such a country lad might wear in the ’20’s. He went in the house and put on those and his boots. He put on his hat too, even though it wouldn’t show in the pics.
Even with the stirrups on Steve’s saddle adjusted all the way up to the shortest hole, Luke’s little seven-year-old legs couldn’t reach them. So to get the boot shot right, Luke had to lean way over and stick one foot in the stirrup on the camera side, with the other leg kind of dangling over the seat. He was a good sport about it, but he wasn’t crazy about being on Sam in the first place, and I could see him trembling a little sometimes.
The whole shoot was rather elaborate, with ladders and ginormous cameras involved. The woman, Debbie, gave me a pile of paperwork to fill out, waivers and such, during which I learned that Luke would be paid $100 for the filmographical use of his foot. He was pleased to hear it.
Then they packed up their equipment and left, and Luke’s stint in show biz was over. He didn’t look particularly sorry to see them go. He did ask me if I’d get him a pair of brown pants like that for his own though; I think he kind of dug the look. They did look awfully cute on him.
I’d love to get my hands on a copy of that documentary when it comes out. “LOOK! There’s Luke’s boot, there it is!!”
Maybe we can get it autographed by Tom Cruise. ;^)