Grit. Gumption. Grace.
Their grit is truer than John Wayne could ever imagine. Their gumption equals Temple Grandin’s. Their gracefulness meets no match.
They are Tanya, Lemoine and Dillie: hard-driving, hard-working, sharp-as-tacks ranchers featured in Good Ol Girl.
It’s a documentary Sarah Brennan Kolb, director, and Jessica (Jess) Burgess, producer, are creating with Kyle Kelley, a cinematographer with a cutting-edge style.
Their goal is to chronicle the stages of a ranch’s working life through women’s stories.
Tanya has six kids and beat cancer. She’s moved back to her East Texas hometown to start ranching.
In her thirties, Lemoine balances a law career and the legacy of her family ranch.
A self-described “mean lady,” Dillie deals with family tension, failing health and dreams of passing on her 2,000-acre operation to her grandson.
They’re being documented authentically.
“We don’t create ‘stuff,’” Sarah says. Our equipment is all handheld and quickly movable. We want to be totally unobtrusive. We like being able to go into the pastures, into cafes and peoples’ homes and make as small an impact as possible.”
Kyle says their approach is from a cinematography tradition that captures how people naturally live.
Capture they did. This ain’t Hollywood.
A newcomer to the business, Tanya’s trademark pink boots, hat, house and horse trailer indicate her gumption to buck tradition and build a ranch her way. Lemoine’s grit underlies her success that comes within the realities of small communities. Dillie’s “meanness” helps her nurture the heritage of her family’s ranch.
As important as the truthiness in the film, Sarah and her team captured the spirit of gracefulness in these stories.
You see it in Tanya’s stern homework admonition to her daughter, her admission that being a rancher is the hardest thing in the world and her inability to give up.
You see it in Lemoine’s assessment on marriage and the way it changes how community residents view women.
You see it in Dillie’s attentiveness to her cattle and how she handles them. You hear it in her remembrance of her husband. You see it again in her determination that she’ll keep going until she’s 100 years old. If you doubt that, watch her put feed in the trough at 1:45 in the trailer.
Each of these stories shares commonalities with ranchers, male and female, from around the globe. The ladies in Good Ol Girl represent – with amazing grace – the purposefulness, the gratitude and eternal hope of all of them.
As Tanya says, ” I really don’t have a chance in hell, BUT . . .”
I’ll wager her bright pink horse trailer will morph into a bright pink gooseneck before it’s all said and done.
Send us your Good Ol Girl now!
Tanya, Lemoine and Dillie aren’t the only Good Ol Girls in the business. There are many more. Share your Good Ol Girl story for Jess, Sarah and Kyle in the comments below or with a confidential email here. They’re waiting to create their next adventure. You can also help them tell these stories here.