In 2003 filmmaker Georg Joutras was visiting the McGinn Ranch, a then 120 year old family ranching operation in the Nebraska Sandhills. While consuming a beverage or two at the Double T Bar in Halsey, Nebraska, Georg casually asked Laron McGinn if he might create a large-format photographic book about the ranch. While not specifically saying “Yes”, Laron didn’t say “No”. As Georg later stated, “That was good enough for me!”.
Flash forward ten years – the book project long ago completed and searching for another meaningful project to tackle, this time in the film and video realm. The lure of the McGinn Ranch, and its magical hold on all who experience it, is a story Georg long wanted to tell in this immersive form. Twenty-two months of filming later, “Ocean of Grass, Life on a Nebraska Sandhills Ranch” was born.
Travel to this hidden, idyllic location as the movie documents the fascinating people, the lands, its creatures, and the daily struggles to maintain a viable family cattle ranching operation. Guided by the hands of 3rd and 4th generation ranchers, OCEAN OF GRASS is a story of perseverance, of rebirth and death, hard work, sacrifice, ongoing stewardship of the land and care for its creatures presented in an lyrical, emotional, and beautifully filmed journey though the past and present. The film slowly peels back the layers of the interesting, heartfelt, and reserved folks who inhabit and coexist with the lands of the McGinn Ranch.
The ranch itself is a very much a living organism, alive in every way. Walk the prairie that encapsulates the ranch property, and one senses the life and energy that emanates from within. It faces constant assault and interaction with the elements of weather, be it storms, drought, blizzards, or one of the many serene and tranquil days that covers the land. The feeling of contentment and being one with our planet on these special days is indeed fuel for the soul.
This documentary film presents the unique visual viewpoint of Producer/Director/Cinematographer Georg Joutras within an immersive, experiential form.