Today in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, as part of weekend event Country Christmas, documentary filmmaker Justin Koehler was in attendance for 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. screenings of The Buffalo King. But it's his conversation and outreach on behalf of another, upcoming project that was the real news.
Koehler's next doc is about Fort Pierre native son Casey Tibbs, who won six world championships in Saddle Bronc riding and was a charter member of Rodeo Hall of Fame. Tibbs also found success in Hollywood in the 1960s and 1970s in various film and TV projects.
Ahead of this weekend's event, Koehler let it be known that he was looking to connect with anyone in possession of Tibbs memorabilia, video or a good story about the late holder, also, of two All-Around Cowboy championships and one Bareback Riding championship (Tibbs passed away in January 1990 while watching the Super Bowl).
Koehler intends to cast folks to recreate famous episodes from the rodeo champ's life, such as his resorting while hitchhiking to lying down in the middle of the road in order to finally get someone to stop and take him to his first, big meet.
Koehler originally wanted to be a sportscaster. But once in Colorado, where he is now based, he became involved with various production companies and fell in love with documentary filming.
As a South Dakotan, Koehler is well-qualified for this new subject matter, having grown up on a ranch.
The Buffalo King, about "original preservationist" James "Scotty" Philip, was shown at the 2013 South Dakota Film Festival. Watch an interview with Koehler about that project here.
[The Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center]