What if a tough-as-nails, always-gets-his-man U.S. marshal back in the American Wild West was an eco-friendly dude?
A Hanford native filmmaker and documentarian David Dibble let his wild imagination come to life Saturday in the rustic, miniature Old-West inspired town in of all places Hanford.
Dibble and his crew, who are based in Los Angeles, were shooting footage for a trailer and a TV ad for the upcoming Going Green Film Festival, the first event of its kind in Los Angeles that will reward and recognize socially responsible film and documentaries with an ecological message.
The humorous promos by Dibble will show a gunfight between the lawman and a bandit with a "green twist," he says.
Among the vignettes: A marshal and the bad guy will engage in a duel. "Mr. Hanford," Bob Case, as a town elder leading a group of children inside an old rickety church to protect them from the gunfighters. A horse-drawn carriage transports the children, kicking up dust.
Hanford native and filmmaker David Dibble checks his Super 8 mm camera on Saturday during a film festival promo shoot in Hanford.
The green twist? The guys are recycling the shells, guns and cigars.
"It's a typical high-noon Clint Eastwood situation, where you've got a marshal and a bad guy's coming into town," Dibble said.
But why the gunfight?
"I'm trying to set up a Hollywood icon. This is going to be a classic Western, or so I want you to believe when you're watching at first," Dibble said. Then he wants you to come away with something new to go along with the festival's slogan, "Rethink, Replenish, Recommit."
He also chose the theme because of the existence of the Old West-inspired town built by Hanford resident Doug Jacobs on his Iona Avenue property.
"I saw this place in the newspaper two years ago, and I thought if it looks as good as it does in the paper, there's an instant set: I want to make a Western!" said the filmmaker. "I've been waiting for an excuse."
And the excuse emerged this year when he was contacted by the director of the Green film festival, Dibble said.
Jacobs was ecstatic to have the filming taking place in the backyard he had spent 10 years to build. "That's neat," said the 79-year-old retired general contractor. "I think it's a great cause."
Welcome to Horse Shoe County, reads an old sign.
To the right of the sign is a firehouse, brothel, Chinese laundry and doctor's office. To the left is a jail. In the back are a feed store, bank, cantina and a saloon. On the far end to the left is the rustic church.
"I've gone to different old towns on trips, and I just got into this," Jacobs said, explaining how his passion turned into an obsession over time.
It was Jacobs through whom Dibble found the two key characters in his trailer Tim Farpella of Hanford, cast as a marshal, and Randy Carnley of Whitmore, cast as a bandit. Farpella and Carnley are experienced Old West re-enactors who perform skits in their spare time.
Dibble was shooting on Super 8mm film for the authentic, old-film look.
A one-minute trailer, which was being filmed this weekend, will appear on the festival's Web site in a few weeks, and it will also play before every film being shown at the festival in march, Dibble said. The ads will also run in 30-second TV spots in Southern California prior to the festival, he said.
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