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Old 09-06-2005, 02:48 PM   #1
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Lightbulb "Comanche Warrior" documentary

Documentary to Film at Horse Sanctuary
Rapid City Journal - 6 Sept. 2005

HOT SPRINGS, SD - A documentary to be shown on the History Channel will be shot at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in October, according to a spokeswoman for the sanctuary.

Karla LaRive, media liaison for the horse sanctuary, said the documentary, "Comanche Warrior," will be shot at the sanctuary south of Hot Springs by Digital Ranch Productions of Los Angeles.

Digital Ranch is a premier producer of documentaries for both network and cable television, LaRive said.

"Comanche Warrior" will be directed by documentary film director Dan Gagliasso, who is a former Spur Award winner for best documentary script, she said.

"Comanche Warrior" will tell the story of Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief, LaRive said.

The project will employ local American Indian and non-Indian re-enactors, as well as local artisans, said LaRive, who will be the local production coordinator.

LaRive heads Studio West, a public relations, marketing and film and television production development firm based in Hot Springs.

Lloyd Bald Eagle of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation will be the talent coordinator for Indian re-enactors on the project. Jim Hatzel of Rapid City will be the talent coordinator for non-Indian re-enactors, LaRive said.

Digital Ranch's president, Robert Kirk, is an Emmy Award-winning producer and director. He co-created and served as senior producer of "Weapons at War," a 65-hour series on the Arts & Entertainment Network.

Kirk's credits also include the A&E two-hour specials "The Berlin Airlift: First Battle of the Cold War" and "Robots," and a four-hour special on the history of American prisons, "The Big House."
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Old 10-08-2005, 01:56 PM   #2
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Comanche Film Shoot Wraps
by Steve Miller, Staff Writer
Rapid City Journal - 8 October 2005

HOT SPRINGS, SD - Filming wrapped up Friday at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary on a History Channel documentary called “Comanche Warrior,” and local people who worked on the project hope the film company goes back to Los Angeles and spreads the word about its good experience working here.

The documentary, produced by Digital Ranch Productions, will tell the story of the fierce Comanche warriors who roamed the Southwest in the 1800s, including Quanah Parker, a chief who battled U.S. troops, terrorized the Texas frontier and later became a successful businessman and judge. It is scheduled to air on the History Channel on Sunday, Nov. 27.

Moses Brings Plenty, a native of Porcupine who now lives in Omaha, Neb., portrays Parker.

Producer Martha Sloan and co-director Dan Gagliasso of Digital Ranch said they were pleased with their week of shooting re-enactment scenes at the wild horse sanctuary south of Hot Springs and at the 777 Ranch near Fairburn.

They said the combination of good scenery, experienced local actors and crew, and accommodating staff at the sanctuary made for a pleasant, and more importantly, an effective shooting schedule, despite a nasty squall on Tuesday.

“The land out here is just stunning, and it serves multiple purposes for what we’re doing,” Sloan said. The wild horse sanctuary, along the Cheyenne River, provides multiple landscapes in one shooting location, she said.

Gagliasso said the sanctuary has prairies that look much like the Stake Plains of west Texas, and the Cheyenne River Canyon looks remarkably like Palo Duro Canyon where U.S. troops captured or killed the Comanche horse herd in the 1870s.

The company will intersperse its re-enactments with interviews with experts about the Comanches that it has already filmed in Texas and Oklahoma.

But South Dakota was chosen as the shooting location not only for the scenery but also because of the availability of experienced American Indian and cowboy re-enactors, Gagliasso said.

“We came up here because we couldn’t find quality re-enactors in Texas and Oklahoma,” Gagliasso said during a break in shooting Friday afternoon. Because of the ability of the re-enactors, who all bring their own horses, wardrobe and props, the documentary has the quality of a feature film, Gagliasso said. “This is the top echelon of re-enactments.”

Even before editing begins, he said, “We know we’ve got great footage.”

The crew filmed scenes with buffalo at the 777 Ranch on Tuesday, despite rain and snow.

It filmed the 1874 battle of Adobe Walls at a big log bunkhouse built at the wild horse sanctuary for the Turner Network Television movie “Crazy Horse” a few years ago.

On Friday, the crew filmed a re-enactment of a Comanche raid complete with a dash across a river.

Gagliasso said his aim is to capture a realistic portrayal of Comanche warriors. “It isn’t overly politically correct,” he said. “These guys were warriors.” He said women and children were killed on both sides.

Brings Plenty, who plays Parker, also portrayed Crazy Horse in last January’s “Who Killed Crazy Horse,” also on the History Channel.

Brings Plenty said both charismatic leaders were full of fight. The difference was that Crazy Horse never compromised, never gave up fighting for his traditional way of life.

Parker never lost a battle to the whites but surrendered in 1875 when he believed there was no alternative. He learned English, negotiated grazing rights with Texas cattlemen, became a reservation judge and lobbied Congress on behalf of the Comanche Nation. He became friends with President Theodore Roosevelt and noted rancher Charles Goodnight.

He remained controversial in peacetime because the Army appointed him chief of the Comanches, bypassing older chiefs. Some tribal members resented him because he signed an agreement that broke up the reservation in 1892. Parker became a millionaire before he died in 1911, Brings Plenty said.

Brings Plenty said he tried to capture Parker’s competence in his portrayal. “He did everything with such authority,” Brings Plenty said Friday as he prepared for his last scenes.

About 25 Indian and non-Indian re-enactors joined Brings Plenty in filming “Comanche Warrior” this week.

Digital Ranch brought seven of its crew members from Los Angeles and two from Denver, including Gagliasso and Sloan.

Also working on the project were a dozen local people in wardrobe, makeup, catering, horse wrangling and other chores. Many had worked on other film projects.

Larry Belitz of Hot Springs built an authentic buffalo tipi for the set. State Sen. Jim Lintz of Hermosa served as the location emergency medical technician.

Production coordinator Jim Hatzell of Rapid City and locations coordinator Karla LaRive of Hot Springs also have years of television and film experience.

Finding the experienced local crew was a pleasant surprise, Sloan said.

“It’s really come together as a fantastic team,” she said. ”Our hope is that this show launches some others like it and we can come back and bring this team together again.”
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:22 PM   #3
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Quanah Parker was never a chief of the Comanches, only a spokesperson because he knew how to speak English, being that he was half White.
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