|Imagine yourself living most of your life on the East Coast of America. It’s mostly all about some pretty wet weather, and how you survive those challenges to go to work, school, or even play. If you were like me as a child, you often went to a Saturday Matinee Movie (then only 35 cents) to escape with a real good Lone Ranger or Roy Rogers/Dale Evans western movie!
Then, as an adult, you realize you’ve been in love with the West (or the attractive cowboys) all along. So you migrate to the Western United States of America, and suddenly it’s still wet, cold, hot, windy, and surprise, there’s even a "fire season" (of all things). To boot there’s a very different social scene. In fact, it’s darn well a "culture shock"!
If you thought life in a large city (e.g. New York City) was fast, you’ve never experienced a drive over the vast land expanses of California in a short amount of time. So, you are either stuck in Los Angeles traffic or you’re trying to make up time by driving fast to get to an appointment; not that I would recommend this to anyone.
This leads me to the constant adventures of the West and the Western people. I’ve found that what I admired in my childhood in Western Film(s) is actually very true. Western people are very family oriented. Couples immediately pair up, and they do attend Sunday church services on a regular basis. I’ve also found that the hardships of life are taken as a "given".
Horses and ranches were once taken for granted, and the magic of life in the West are presently diminishing at an alarming speed. This is due to real estate development to accommodate an ever expanding population.
The "real cowboy" or "cowgirl" is now a rather prosperous person who must constantly worry about financially supporting both their children and the animals they keep on their ranches. I suspect this was always a worry as seen in the older Western Films, but perhaps it’s more obvious these days as new housing developments suddenly spring up.
As for the people… I thought people in New York City were nuts, but there’s plenty of work to be done by psychologists here in the west too. Maybe this is because there is so much life advancing at such a high speed, that one can hardly catch a breath. The Western mentality is to live fast. The Western Film Stars are under constant time constraints to achieve not only for themselves, but for their loved ones. It is almost a "responsibility" to have more than the Joneses or the Smiths. This is all self-imposed of course, but you're back to wondering - Where are all the cowboys?
It’s kind of sad that one is never successful enough. Life is fraught with extreme demands. It’s not just the major film companies, or Feature Filmmakers, but it’s happening world-wide in Independent Film as well.
Now back to the discussion of where cowboys really are. They are in the most unsuspected places. They are all around the City of Angels (another name for Los Angeles). Sometimes they are auditioning for gigs in music or film. Check if they are wearing a gun belt with gun… Yes, you’ll see it.
"Yes, Virginia.." there are people in the west that do manufacture their own guns. Many are highly stylized, and actually work when loaded. These (men mostly) take great pride in their gun making abilities, and who knows if in the spring, when the rattlesnakes descend down the mountainsides (I forgot to mention that's another little nubbins to the list of what you face in the Wild West), if they are even fired; the decorative guns, I mean. Maybe they are. These, then are the real cowboys of the west. They are here.
If the box office doesn’t say that a Western Film is making multi-millions the first week it opens; you can forget if producers will even risk the investment. Therefore, Western films are written with more dynamics of the human condition. It’s mostly concealed in the shoot-‘em-up movies that don’t even pretend to have a western title. I’d say the scripts are more "citified".
So how will the aspiring future of the cowboy genre survive? It’s when there is more of a focus on the value of it. Yes, finding the love of the Western Spirit is within, even if you have to make that film all by yourself.