Bulls are nothing new to Sherrie Frick-Mayo. But having her independent film nominated in two categories for a Golden Drover award at the first Trail Dance Film Festival is more than just a new experience.

Her film, “Unbreakabull,” is up for Best Soundtrack and Best Oklahoma Documentary. The soundtrack credits go to Alan Biffle, originally from Comanche. Biffle, now in Nashville, Tenn., produced and wrote the songs for the documentary, she said.

Frick-Mayo knows she’s got some competition, but she’s more excited that her film will be shown locally.

“We’re really excited about it,” she said.

And, the Trail Dance Film Festival has attracted some attention. It has the seal of approval as an Oklahoma Centennial event.

The festival began today and continues through Sunday night with an awards gala and reception. It is being held in three venues at the Simmons Center and the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. Films are being shown until midnight today and Saturday.

Frick-Mayo of Duncan had an idea about producing a documentary that would delve into the breeding of bulls. She approached Dr. Matt Jenkins, professor of communication at Cameron University, last year with her idea. She decided it was worth a try, even though she knew there was a possibility that it might not be accepted because she wasn’t a senior student — yet. She is a communications major with interest in radio and television. Normally, senior students get the producer’s title, she said.

Jenkins not only accepted her idea, he made her producer of the film and “Unbreakabull” received the complete financial support of Cameron University, she said.

To produce the independent film, Frick-Mayo needed a crew. A class was formed last summer and anyone who wanted to earn credit could join the class. While many of those who joined had never been around a bull, they did have some film-producing experience.

She’s quick to share credit. Jenkins is listed as the executive producer, while Frick-Mayo holds the producer title.

“I had to have a public relations team and a production team. You wouldn’t think there would be so much work involved, but to produce a film like this, it takes a lot of people and work.”

Frick-Mayo and the crew traveled around Oklahoma to interview bull breeders, cowboys and others involved in the rodeo business. They had five weeks in which to accomplish their goals. Not an easy task when the rodeo circuit is in full swing, she said.

So, what made Frick-Mayo’s idea so appealing? Her film reveals an inside look at embryo transfers (cloning) and the business of breeding.

“My idea was to show the facts behind how the PBR is changing and growing. There is a lot of different genetics, so they are selective in the breeding process. You hear about cloning but they don’t really like to talk about it,” she said.

Frick-Mayo had an advantage in producing the documentary. Her father, Dwight Frick, is a leader in the bull business and stock contracting. He’s spent nearly 40 years breeding and selling bulls. Frick-Mayo grew up in Rush Springs and in Marlow. She knew whom to contact and what questions to ask.

Frick-Mayo said that knowing the people her father knew helped her gain access to ranches throughout the state and interview some of the top names in the business — from HD and Dillon Page, to more familiar local people like Jim McClain.

“I probably interviewed 30 to 40 people,” she said. “The industry is growing and even naming rights have become a big deal. The PBR — this is a pro sport that is becoming so big, so quick.”

Besides the interview and filming process, Frick-Mayo said she learned a great deal about working with a team under tight deadlines and delegating tasks. She said it was also fun to watch many of the team members as they had their first experiences around bulls.

“I set out not going to be the interviewer, but I knew so much about the industry and the topic, that it was easier for me to conduct the interviews,” she said.

Frick-Mayo’s goal is to have the documentary picked up by Outdoor Life Network.

“They do all the PBR’s,” she said. “My whole documentary would be about how breeding goes into these PBR bulls. They are stronger, bigger, more athletic and muscular. This (breeding) hasn’t been discussed on TV.”

Other faces in the film are top-ranked PBR bull rider Cody Whitney and PBR announcer Justin McKee.

Anthony Foreman, Trail Dance Film Festival director, said the event gives independent filmmakers an opportunity to have their films viewed by a wide audience. Movie buffs will be well represented, but there’s also the chance of network producers being available.

He pointed out other pluses for Duncan.

“In a sense, this is bringing people into town from all over the state and the country and that’s revenue. Additionally, it adds an art event to Duncan that we haven’t ever had.”

And having the Oklahoma Centennial event designation is another bonus for the filmmakers.

“I think the thing that drew the (Centennial) stamp of approval was, we are promoting Oklahomans,” he said.

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