Controversy is the state I’ve learned to live with, a badge of honor that stings. It’s a badge the Bundy family possesses in abundance, because when you stand up for freedom, you will always be attacked by tyrants. My brother and I stood with the Bundy’s in 2014; we saw the truth and we felt the danger. When Oregon happened there was no question that these men and woman deserved the support of all who love liberty. Their message was pure. But much of America did not feel the same. Why?
Like many activists and prisoners, from patriots to the natives. The hate for the Bundy’s comes from lies intent on making the story misunderstood. Our “justice” system goes to great lengths to ensure that the real story does not reach the masses. This works because we don’t really want to know how bad it is. That’s why it’s important to share a man’s story no matter how you feel about him. To hear it and make sure others do the same, sending it to those who know and to those who do not.
People often say, there’s nothing we can do. But I do something, every day, and if you will set aside differences and do something with me, we can set this nation free.
Many don’t know that these men are still in prison. That they are abused and even tortured by prison staff, disregarded by judges, and lied about in media propaganda. This is not a story of privileged white ranchers. This is a story about every falsely imprisoned man and woman, black or white, Christian or Muslim, liberal or conservative. A story about the way they suffer every day.
This is HD version that includes all 3 parts. I’ll want to share a little of how it happened, but more importantly, I want you to do to something. Any of you can make a video, show up somewhere, call a prison, support the suffering or interrupt a meeting of entitled politicians to speak the truth. It’s what America was built on.
When Ammon Bundy asked me to record this story for the world, I knew it was important. Ammon had been working for some time on articulating the real story of his family and those who stood with them. It needed to be open, honest and brief. As always, Ammon had the words, we just needed to do something with them. I figured I would add some stills and video and we’ll push it out. Once I realized what Ammon had poured into this message, I saw a real documentary of America’s darkest times. What resulted took the last three months to finish.
Sound comes first, so I set up the call in over my computer versus cellular because good quality is a problem. Even at that, it took a lot of post production to get the final sound, which still sounds like a phone, but not like the bad jail phone that it is. We had to work to try and restore some of the richness to his voice, but you still know that it’s coming afrom a cement prison.
At times Ammon was frustrated, distracted by jail noise, reading on scribbles notes on top of notes. I have been on the inside trying to get messages out from a jail; it is utterly exhausting in a way that you can only know by being there. But Ammon just kept calling back until we had it all.
Next came video. We needed the story and we needed footage to match the story. The Bundy’s and others had clips of critical moments, but there had to be more, so my family and I went to Nevada and camped out for days trying to capture the essence of the ranch. The crowning moment of that was the last evening, the one where you see the Bundy cowboys riding off into the Sunset and the birds flying over the Virgin river. In my 20 years of filming I have never had a shot like those birds. I was glad Carol pushed the boys to saddle up and me to break out the cameras again that final night.
Then came the hard part. As I reviewed the project I realized how much was required and we started collecting more photos, more footage and more of the key bits that took this from a phone call to a full documentary that we had to mix around with work at my Studio that pays the bills.
Fine tuning a project of this scale and then laying in a good soundtrack takes time. Sometimes people complain about the music in a video, but it’s essential to the emotion of a story because it conveys in part what you lack in the story by not being there. I was at Bundy ranch, I know what it felt like, but many do not and that has to be told not only with words but with sound in order to even partially convey the truth of it.
This is not just a story about the Bundy’s. It’s the story of the struggle every man woman and child in America must face. Freedom, or slavery. I think the finished result is beautiful. I’m always amazed by how well Ammon speaks and even though he could not be here in person, together we managed to defy the evil of our court system in a small way and make a story for the world that is brief, compelling and most of all, the truth.
Thanks for spreading this message.You can share or embed the video and if you need to you can download and re-post it so long as it’s not being sold or used for profit.