PBS Film - “Ours to Give”- 2007
“Ours to Give”- 2007 Film Conception Filming Begins Kansas City Shoot
National Awards Film Premiere WA Premiere

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 May 25, 2007

Long Days Filming – The Kansas City Shoot

R. A. Long Historical Society documentary for PBS

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          Director Richard Luckin and cameraman Marc Ricciardi arrived in Kansas City on Saturday, May 19th to begin shooting the Lee’s Summit and Kansas City segments of the film.  On Sunday May 20th the film team began in front of Corinthian Hall, bright and early.

Filming the exteriors of Corinthian Hall – Director Richard Luckin and Cameraman Marc Riccardi.
Filming the exteriors of Corinthian Hall
Director Richard Luckin and Cameraman Marc Riccardi.
          Next stop was Liberty Memorial.  It was a clear, perfect day and exterior filming was exquisite.

          The R. A. Long Building downtown was our next stop.  We conducted interviews of architect Scott Coryell, (who lives in New Longview and was responsible for restoring Mr. Long’s office), and R. A. Long Historical Society President Tim Sullivan.  Mr. Long’s office and board room made for great backgrounds to tell the story of Long-Bell Lumber.

          The group moved next to Longview Farm and captured beautiful establishing shots on a clear, calm evening.  The sunken garden was especially lovely in the declining light.  Mrs. Combs’ iris and peonies were in bloom and the property was perfectly manicured for our visit.

Filming exteriors of Liberty Memorial. The “Big House” on Longview Farm was especially lovely in the declining light of evening.
Filming exteriors of Liberty Memorial. The “Big House” on Longview Farm was especially lovely in the declining light of evening.

          Monday was a full day.  We began filming at Kansas City Southern Headquarters with an interview of Chairman Michael Haverty explaining how the railroad helped Mr. Long amass his fortune.

          After that we returned to Longview Farm and had a chat session with legendary Kansas City Star reporter Laura Rollins Hockaday.  Laura interviewed Loula Long Combs 40 years ago and wrote a memorable feature “Great Lady of A Grand Era.” (To read her article, CLICK HERE.  This link is also on the Loula Long Combs Program Page.)

          Following Laura’s interview, we heard from New Longview owners David Gale and Jeanne Marshall.  They told of their passion for the history and their plans for the community.

          Bev Cathcard was up next.  She was a neighbor of Loula Long Combs, also showed horses and was often invited to the farm for tea.  Bev did a great job describing the horseshow world and life at Longview farm.  Her warm and colorful descriptions of Mrs. Combs were a real treat.

          The film team then went to Longview Farm Elementary School were Director Richard Luckin spoke to the Aspire film class.  Each child had a question for our twice-Emmy nominated filmmaker.  Mrs. Noble later said that Rich’s answers reinforced an entire semester of teaching.  We then moved into the gym to record the Stallion Singers performing their song about the Longs’ Legacy.  The children were thrilled to be involved in a TV production like this.  The Aspire film class was invited to view the action, and cameraman Marc Ricciardi allowed each child to look through the lens of the camera to see how the shot was set up.

Director Richard Luckin speaks to Mrs. Noble’s “Aspire” film class. The Stallion Singers perform a song about the Long Legacy.
Director Richard Luckin speaks to Mrs. Noble’s “Aspire” film class. The Stallion Singers perform a song about the Long Legacy.
          Dr. Ryan Rostine was then interviewed along with some of his Stable Hands.

          Next we moved outside for a truly beautiful re-enactment shot.  “Loula Long Combs Driving Experience” Directors Craig and Robyn Walker brought a phaeton carriage and their champion Hackney Horse Louie.  Louie mesmerized all with his beauty and style and created the perfect scene stealer for two interviews.  First Craig, who is also R. A. Long Historical Society Vice President, told about the driving school.  Next, Dr. Michael Raynor of Longview Community College told us wonderful stories about his youth at Longview Farm.  Michael was a fellow horse lover and has many memories of Mrs. Combs.  He entertained us with his engaging stories.

Robyn Walker with Champion Hackney horse “Louie.” Dr. Michael Raynor is interviewed in front of the Show Horse Barn
Robyn Walker of “The Loula Long Combs Driving Experience” brings Champion Hackney horse “Louie” to Longview Farm Elementary School (former Show Horse Barn). Dr. Michael Raynor is interviewed in front of the Show Horse Barn (Craig Walker of the “The Loula Long Combs Driving Experience” is seen in the background with “Louie” and a Phaeton carriage).

          Tuesday we heard from some additional old time residents of the farm.  Ed and Velma Johnson were interviewed.  Ed was one of Loula’s famous “termites” and he also met his bride, Velma, at Longview.  Velma was generously given a job on the farm by Mrs. Combs, so that she could afford to attend college.  They gave emotion-filled, sincere interviews.

          Dog trainer Suezanne Law then joined us with her darling Boston Terriers “George” and “Humbug.”  These two sweet boys were placed at either side of Linda Newcom Mason, Author of The Longview We Remember.  Linda gave a great interview in the sunken garden.  Her dedication to the history of this farm came through beautifully as she told the stories of Mrs. Combs’ animals and her compassion toward those who worked for her.

Author Linda Newcom Mason is interviewed in the sunken garden with “George” and “Humbug.” Author Linda Newcom Mason is interviewed in the sunken garden with “George” and “Humbug.”
Author Linda Newcom Mason (The Longview We Remember) is interviewed in the sunken garden with “George” and “Humbug.”  Their trainer/owner Suezanne Law gives them hand signals.


This morning my two Boston boys were involved in a film shoot for a PBS documentary about an early animal welfare activist (early 1900s) from our area.  Her name was Loula Long Combs, and she was an original Belle of the American Royal horse shows.  She loved all animals, but had a special love for Boston Terriers (still a very young breed in those days).

Loula had a special “dog room” in her mansion, where the dogs were served home-cooked meals every day, and where they were tucked into soft beds with blankets every night.  In addition, all the livestock barns had cork floors and heating for the comfort of the cattle and horses residing there, and the Long family used no barbed wire throughout their expansive grounds, for fear an animal or a child would become injured!

I am so excited about this project, because it brings to light a great American family, dedicated to living moral lives of stewardship, gratefully sharing their talents, energy, and considerable wealth to better the lives of all the creatures – two legged and four – with whom they came into contact.  I am hopeful that the footage of my boys will make it past the final editing this summer – but regardless of that, this is a terrific story, and I hope everyone will enjoy it.  I see this as yet another way to bring animal welfare and positive training (both of which Loula championed so long ago) into the hearts and minds of the American public!

Suezanne, George and Humbug (the Boston boys)

Suezanne M. Law
Sympawtico Dog Training, LLC
“Living well together.”
  

          Next we took some re-shoots inside the mansion, as wind had become a factor.  All in all, however, the weather behaved quite well.

          Tuesday, afternoon we moved the production to Walkabout Farm in Peculiar, Missouri, home of Louie and the “Loula Long Combs Driving Experience.”  There we recorded horse noises for special effects and had a “wrap party” with cast and crew.

          Many thanks to everyone who assisted in this huge undertaking.  The Board of R. A. Long Historical Society did an outstanding job supporting this complex location shoot.

          We now go into final scripting, post-production and editing.  This process will take place throughout the summer months with a scheduled release to PBS TV in September.

Bonnie Hansen – Film Committee Chairperson

 

“Ours to Give”- 2007 Film Conception Filming Begins Kansas City Shoot
National Awards Film Premiere WA Premiere