By Sally Freeman, Producer
Our shoot in the Ozarks is one that will stay with me for a long time. For reasons good and not so good.
I’m not talking about the stark beauty of the landscape or the incredibly warm welcome from the Ozarkians. I’m talking about two unique incidents that I’ve never experienced before and probably (hopefully) never will again.
The first involved a raccoon. This particular one had been shot the night before and left outside in sub zero temperatures. A combination of rigor mortis and the fact that it was frozen solid made this a very hard raccoon to skin, and this is what I needed to film.
So whilst the rest of the crew was off at the next location, I found myself in a garage with three jovial hunters and a frozen coon carcass. They tried their best, and at one point all of them had feet firmly planted in the ground and were pulling the frozen skin off of the frozen body in a violent taxidermy three-way.
Once this was achieved they started to remove a special part of the animal which they wanted to present to Tony at dinner. They called it a “toothpick”, they meant the penis.
Marty cut through something in the undercarriage of the unfortunate coon and unleashed a torrent of very cold urine towards me. I was getting a low shot at the time and my boots and camera got more than a little back-splash. The three guys were laughing their heads off, this was their only direct and very deliberate shot of our raccoon hunt.
The other incident involved a very talented and world famous writer who was taking Tony night fishing. Daniel Woodrell, a West Plains native took us to meet a team of fishermen well versed in “gigging for suckers”.
With the benefit of hindsight, a frozen, fast running river, at night in the middle of nowhere is probably not the place to be with a valuable literary talent, and Tony.
I was in the boat filming at the moment of the accident. The sound and force with which Daniel hit the deck was chilling and terrifying. I felt physically sick, I was convinced he’d broken his neck.
I think its testament to the spirit of the area, that within 10 minutes Daniel was sitting in front of a fire cracking jokes and drinking bourbon from the bottle.
The Ozarks will always inspire within me feelings of terror, hilarity, warmth and awe.
I can’t wait to go back.