When Megan Lacelle and Kaitlyn Van De Woestyne needed to tackle a particular project for their fourth year University of Regina journalism course, Megan immediately thought of telling the story of Jim Commodore. While the step-change occurring with the PFRA pastures is an ongoing news story in and of itself, it’s Jim and Jim’s history with the PFRA pastures that was most compelling for the pair of students.
Jim Commodore has — quite literally — spent his entire life living and working on the Val Marie, Saskatchewan, PFRA community pasture. “Jim was our ‘affected person’ and our ‘expert’ all in one,” says Lacelle, who grew up not farm from the pasture and met Jim while in her teens while she worked at a local gas station and coffee shop.
Van De Woestyne did the camera work while Lacelle guided the interview, helping Jim to tell is story of life on the PFRA pastures, what it was like to work them and why they were first developed. Lacelle says the team decided early on to keep their voices out of the film, letting Jim’s recounting of the community pasture’s history stand on its own. The resulting mini-documentary is compelling — a tale told like only a cowboy can.
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