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Unbranded the Film is a documentary about a horseback ride. But this is not just any horseback ride, it is a ride that follows the Continental Divide, nearly 3,000 miles. Ben Masters was a sophomore at Texas A&M studying wildlife biology. Over the summer break he and a couple of friends thought it would be a great adventure to ride from Texas to Canada. They needed a few more horses, but didn’t have much money. Their solution was to acquire a few mustangs from the BLM. That ride was in 2010. The group rode for four months, but they did not make it to Canada.
After Ben got home he thought about the ride and how well the mustangs had performed. They had actually out performed their good horses. He also kept thinking about the untamed beauty he saw crossing this great country. This is where the inspiration for Unbranded the Film was born.
If Ben thought crossing the peaks of the Divide at 11,000 feet was difficult, he had no idea what he was getting into with Unbranded the Film. The movie would obviously need money. More importantly he would need a crew that was used to filming in extreme conditions. Ben recruited Phill Baribeau to film and direct. He also tag Korey Kaczmarek for cinematographer. Ben started a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds. With the help of 1200 supporters and an assist from Western Horseman Magazine just 45 days Unbranded the Film raised over $170,000.
Unbranded the Film was picking up momentum as Ben recruited a few friends to ride along. The Mustang Heritage Foundation got behind the project. The group would use 16 mustangs over four months to cover 3,000 miles.
The Unbranded the Film is in “the can” as they say in Hollywood. Ben and his group will be screening it at a variety of film festivals early this year. He is hoping for a theatrical release by the middle of the year. Ben talks about his inspiration for the film and the challenges in making it.
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Welcome to the Whoa Podcast about Horses and Horsemanship. I am your host John Harrer. Along with my wife, Ranae, each week on the show we talk about some aspect of owning a horse. It could be feeding or supplementation. It could be bits and bridles, tack, or cowboy boots. We cover training problems, or competing in shows. We talk to farriers and horse chiropractors. We talk about movies, books and magazine articles. And, we travel to places we think you would like to take your horse. That’s what the Whoa Podcast is all about.
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John & Ranae