Unbranded, Unclaimed – Wild Horses of the West

Role – Video Production & Post

Personal Project

This is a short documentary about America’s wild horses and one woman's small part in helping solve a huge problem.

Since 1971 the US Federal Government has been tasked with protecting our country’s wild horses. There are now more 88,000 mustangs in the US, 60% more than the land has capacity to support. As yearly round-ups fill ever-expanding holding pens, the government is stuck with an expensive and divisive dilemma.

Shot, edited, and directed by David Bryan
Featuring Sierra Stewart of Double S Mustangs
Music by David Bryan and Lap Steel Guitar by Bryan Daste

To learn more about Sierra and the mustangs she gentles, go to:
facebook.com/doubleSmustangs

All statics are current as of April 2020, data available at:
blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/about-the-program/program-data


Stillframes 

 

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My roles and the process

 

Planning began with months of production research, relying on Bureau of Land Management maps of wild horse heard locations. Also hunting down small towns and sights along my route. I first drove from Portland to Eastern Oregon, on the edge of the Great Basin, then from there, deep into the Nevada Wilderness.

I had a relatively simple camera setup. Filming with a Sony a6400, and a variety of manual focus, vintage lenses.  Also in my kit was a Deity V-Mic D3, a set of very strong ND filters, an old sturdy tripod, lots of dust wipes and extra batteries. 

Filming on the farm with Sierra was a very intense part of the project, getting up close with a completely wild animal gave me new respect for horse trainers and their process. Upon returning to Southern Utah two months later, I witnessed the transformation that Sierra's hard work had achieved, a much more gentle and tame horse.

With footage gathered, I used Final Cut Pro X to edit the film. Although Adobe Premiere is now a much more widely used editing tool, for me, FCPX is a much quicker and more enjoyable editing process. 

With a rough edit in place, I turned to music and sound, for this project I learned the basics of Apple's Logic Pro X, which is powerful digital audio work station. Most of the music in the film I played on several different guitars all with digital effects. I brought in Bryan Daste to play lap steel guitar on a couple tracks and was very glad I did. 

As my first attempt at documentary style film making, this was a great learning experience and a satisfying project to complete. If you have any questions or comments, please send them my way

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Behind the scenes stills, one of my favorite parts of sharing a project

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David Bryan - Freelance Motion Graphics Artist and Designer - ©2019 dcbryan