Bellying up to 'Barstool Cowboy'

Film makes East Coast premiere at Frederick Film Festival

Film makes East Coast premiere at Frederick Film Festival

March 26, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

FREDERICK, Md. - Writer, producer and director Mark Thimijan can thank heartache for what lead to his first full-length feature, "Barstool Cowboy."

The film will have its East Coast premiere at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the Weinberg Center for the Arts, as part of the Frederick Film Festival.

"I was depressed after a relationship ended," he said in a telephone interview from Lincoln, Neb.

He started listening to country music and became interested in cowboys and the loneliness of the cowboy lifestyle. The result was "Barstool Cowboy."

Mick (Tim Woodward) is an unemployed cowboy who's had his heart broken yet again. He vows to stay on a barstool for three months until he finds love. While drinking away his sorrow, he meets Arcy (Rachel Lien), a young art student. Mick hopes for love, but does he find it?


Thimijan wanted to explore love and its possibilities. "I was very interested in how when two people meet there's a real excitement in the air, but it only lasts so long," he said.

And as the relationship grows, the couple must make a decision of continuing it or end the relationship. "I always thought that was strange, why can't that high feeling last longer or forever?" he said. "It's something that has always interested me."

Thimijan said from writing to final edit, the entire process of "Barstool Cowboy" took about a year and a half. "That's from writing the first sentence to the final cut in editing," he said.

Thimijan said it takes a lot of hard work that leads up to the final 90-minute product. There's the writing, the editing of the script, casting, finding the location before any scene is even shot.

"It's been a fast year-and-a-half of my life," he said.

"Barstool Cowboy" was shot over 14 days at 10-hour days, giving Thimijan hours of recorded footage to find the shots he wanted to tell his story.

Then there's the film editing process. His first pass at the film left it at running time of 2 hours and 36 minutes, before he cut it down to 90 minutes. "It's a small, simple story and all of that length was just unnecessary," he said.

Thimijan likens film editing to writing because of the number of drafts to get to the completed product. And, just like writing, he said, there is a time when the film is finished. "You have to be brave and say, 'It's as finally as good as it can be,'" he said.

If you go ...

What: East Coast premiere of "Barstool Cowboy"

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28

Where: Weinberg Center for the Performing Arts, Frederick, Md.

Cost: $20 for a one-day pass to the Frederick Film Festival; $30 for a two-day pass

More: For more information about "Barstool Cowboy" go to

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