2004 2004

Director Frank Green overwhelmes by audience response to "Counting Sheep"


February 34, 2004:

The premier screenings of the documentary Counting Sheep in Inyo County and Mammoth sponsored by the Lone Pine Film Festival are now history. Clearly the response indicates the film’s subject concerning the balancing of two populations of important animals in their natural habitat struck a cord in the local audiences as every screening was sold out and additional screenings had to be offered. Word of mouth has been strong on the quality of the film.

The screenings were held because the Lone Pine personnel of the Festival felt people would be interested in the film and because the film had been made on a shoestring budget and still had remaining debt. Producer, director and cinematographer Frank Green and Chris Langley, president of the Festival, had set an optimistic goal of having GreenTV of San Francisco walk away with $2000 to put towards the final edit and marketing of the film.

Frank Green stated recently that the gross receipts from ticket sales and sales of the vhs and dvd copies of the film exceeded $11,000. Much of that will be profit as the biggest expense for the showings was the rental of the “state of the art” rear view projection system. The cost of that was covered by sponsorship from Wilson’s Sports and Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop and by the Film Festival Board in Lone Pine.

Green summed it up, “It goes without saying I’m flabbergasted by this income. Far beyond my wildest expectations. Profound, heartfelt thanks.”

A great deal of interest has been shown in future showings of the film for all those who missed it. There have been numerous inquires where the film can be purchased. Although discounted at the original screenings, the film is available at Spellbinder Books in Bishop and soon at the Interagency Visitor’s Center and the Drug Store in Lone Pine. It can also be purchased by calling GreenTV at 415 255 4797 or visiting their website at www.Greentv.org.

The Lone Pine Film Festival wants to sponsor inexpensive events for the local residents as well as the fundraising events it needs to do to survive financial. The Festival and its parent organization the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History also intends, when possible, to champion and support little films which need “adoption” to exist. Obviously, local audiences are willing to help.

With the new income, Frank Green intends to do some additional editing and “tweaking” of the film. He hopes to get a “name” actress to do the narration for the film to improve its marketability. The film remains a full-time project for him for the time being.

Future screenings in Independence and Ridgecrest are being discussed. Counting Sheep will also screen Sunday morning of the Film Festival, October 12th as part of a series of nature documentaries all made locally. Other possible films, on the environmental impact of the DWP’s Owens Lake Project, are either shooting now or in the final stages of editing.

The Festival has already seen and accepted a second film entitled 5 Million Footsteps, directed by Jay Chapman, which will screen as part of this nature documentary “mini-festival”in October. This documentary tells the story of John Muir and his work against the story of his ascent of Mt. Whitney which is being reenacted in the film by a group of environmentalists and filmmakers. The modern ascent is de[icted as the story of Muir’s experiences are retold. Again, this film has still not found a home and was written and produced as the first of a series on the history of the environmental movement in the U.S. Other films are pending.

The Festival is now exploring bringing several short films made at the Camp site and about the Manzanar experience “on tour,” in conjunction with the Park store and the Inyo Council for the Arts. Stay tuned for announcements.

Lone Pine chosen "One of the West's Most Western Towns"

January 06, 2004:

Lone Pine's town sign used to say "Little Town, Lots of Charms." Men's Health magazine called it one of the fifty Healthiest Towns last year. Then Lone Pine was one of the one hundred "2003 Tourist Destinations" of the American Bus Association.

Now Lone Pine has earned the title of one of the "West's 100 Most Western Towns." The cowboy bars, western films, ranches and sauntering cowboys have given the town an official new definition. Undoubtedly, the Lone Pine Film Festival has helped. Of course, Lone Pine has always worn its western traditions proudly. We didn't need a magazine to tell us that.

The magazine, True West, made the selection to include Lone Pine in its April 2004 Travel issue. We will have to wait to see what they have to say about the town.

This is not the first time the magazine which says it is "celebrating the American west," has awarded Lone Pine as part of a "best" before. In the December 2003 50th Anniversary Issue, Best of the West section, the magazine editors chose as the best "Scenic Road Trip Under 500 Miles" Yosemite National Park to Lone Pine, California. Anyone who has driven that trip would probably agree.

The editors wrote, "The drive from Yosemite Village alongside the Merced River will have you craning your neck as you attempt to take in the towering granite walls that define Yosemite Valley." The story continues, "Once on U.S. 395, heading south toward Lone Pine, you'll think you're in Switzerland as you gaze at the Sierra Nevada Mountains rugged eastern escarpment."

The magazine has already explained how they choose their most western towns. "We started with the town whose links to western history are so strong, they could pave over Boot Hill and still belong on the list. None have, of course, because they honor and respect their heritage. Many capitalize on their history for the benefit of new generations…. When we talk Western towns, we mean places that are proud of the title."


Contact Info

The Museum of Western Film History
701 S. Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545