A version... 
I have spent the last couple weeks investing in a new script about the oilfield. Reading articles, watching youtube videos, trying to immerse myself in all things Bakken.

All these interesting stories from journalists across the country who came to the Williston area in search of the Wild West finding exactly what they were looking for because they were looking for it.

The skeptic in me looks at some of these journalists like the writer in Clint Eastwood's 'Unforgiven' who follows the gun slingers and tells a version of their reality. And maybe that's what lead me hear because all these articles that tell a particular story are versions of the writer's reality.

It is the wild west for the writer maybe more then the actual man or woman working in North Dakota's western half. You can fly or drive in on your bosses dime and write whatever you want about whoever you want. Not only that, you need to write something interesting and provocative while being lavished with attention because one thing an oilfield worker doesn't mind, is talking shop. It's never a pissing contest with a journalist because in the story you tell -- your piss always travels the farthest...

Now the guy overhearing the story you told might disagree and that's where the streams cross and alcohol combined with all sorts of depravation and stress play out in physical therapy.

I consider myself an honest guy, but I might embellish a bit for good journalism. I might tell a particular journalist about rigging down in -50 wind chills (true story), but I won't mention cramming into the doghouse in front of the heater a few times every hour to warm up. For a journalist and for myself it is more wild west to stop at 'RIGGING DOWN IN -50 WIND CHILLS' and I feel more rugged for having the power to stop the story there and the journalist feels more rugged for talking to a roughneck over a beer in some wild west saloon and using similar words to describe the setting.

Make no mistake, the job is not easy and I say that with complete brevity because I spent 3 years working in the oilfields of North Dakota. 1 year building tank batteries as a Roustabout and 2 years as a roughneck on a drilling rig.

And that's another reason I'm here now writing this down because a lot of these stories don't resonate at all with me. I never went to a strip club, drank mostly with my co-workers in the rig runner outside the man camp or on a Saturday night over a UFC fight or a game of pool when I was a Roustabout. Never touched a recreational substance and found my bed more enticing then any other extra curricular activity. I'm a father of three and my rig runner was a 2000 Dodge Caravan.

I'm also 34 years old so when I broke out in the oilfield I was a 30 year old married father of three who had just shot a feature film. I can't imagine being a single 18-24 year old, male or female, having the work ethic to maintain a constant and stressful work schedule while also trying to maintain the social energy of youth (from my collegiate days) in a veritable all men's university where you might have started in your car and worked up to the dorms (man camp, buddy's couch, 5th wheel, etc...).

Anyway, this is a selfish post as I try to wittle through the Bakken in order to find my black gold of a screenplay getting further away from the fact that there are many different versions of the same story and I need to tell mine with maybe just a little wild in it...

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An oilfield movie? 
An oilfield movie!

Needs to happen and NoDak Films wants to do it.

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NoDak Films, Flood Fight DVDs and Hope Village 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To all those who purchased a Flood Fight DVD...

We found a home in the Hope Village.

We raised $2,000 towards the effort so again THANK YOU to all those who bought a Flood Fight DVD.

The man in the picture is the Hope Village Area Manager Steve and he told me that the greater Minot area still has 900 families living in FEMA trailers and 300 homes in the 'cue' as he put it that still need work.

I'm honored that NoDak Films is part of the recovery, proud of North Dakota and humbled by all those who purchased a DVD to help give back to the flood effort, which is still ongoing.

To find out more about Hope Village, click on the [RELATED LINK] tab below:

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The most recent me -- or a moment of clarity... 
I'm a filmmaker who moonlights as a roughneck so I have to be away from my wife and kids two weeks a month. My wife got in the habit this hitch (what we call our two week stretch of work that rotates between working 12 hours during the night or 12 hours during the day for 14 straight days).

I worked nights last hitch and our rig requires us to turn in our phones with the power off before our tour (12 hour shift) begins. So every morning at 6am I would turn on my phone and wait to hear the beep letting me know a new message had arrived in my inbox.

I looked forward to these messages every morning.

The interesting part is our debut movie 'Last Summer For Boys' premiered just before my hitch so I spent days off preparing for the event and after party. Our movie premiered Friday, September 21st -- I went to work Monday night September 24th.

I am not a particular believer in light bulb moments or individual moments where individuals say that this is when I decided to do or be such and such. I personally believe those moments are a culmination of many instances that break through to clarity.

Anyway -- it had been a long 14 days of work covered in invert -- oil based mud (I look at North Dakota drilling in three phases -- surface 0-2000 ft / intermediate 2000-10,000 ft / lateral 10,000-19,500 ft). The feet may vary, but the process is essentially the same. During intermediate drilling you drill with invert to maintain your hole's stability.

Invert is a brown, oily specter that get's on everything, including every person in it's way. More than once I had words with the invert on our rig and those words were not pleasant.

Every morning I would drive back to the man camp from the rig or jump in with one of my RTMs (Rig Team Members, which is really just a technical term I use for safety paperwork). This particular morning I hopped in my rig runner and turned on my phone waiting for the beep. When it arrived I eagerly opened the message.

I'm not sure if my wife's message was the last thread that broke through to clarity or maybe those light bulb moments do exist. Either way, something happened.

The message was short, the words were simple:

Tonight Emaline (our 6 year old daughter) yelled 'I'm freezing my ass off!' in the font yard while there were snow flurries. I yanked her inside and said 'where did you hear that?!'

She cried and said 'Daddy's movie!'

As soon as I finished reading the text I thought, without hesitation, 'What if I called myself a filmmaker and not the most recent me?'

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Showtimes week of Sept. 24th... 

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NoDak Films on wood... 

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FALL 2012

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