35th Anniversary Interview with Jeanne Rosenberg


Here’s a special treat for you, an interview with Jeanne Rosenberg, the screenwriter on the movie of “The Black Stallion” (1979)
She was there in the early days and we all had a very strange trip … at the track, on the Drake and back home again. Thanks to our friends at the Horse Channel and Horse Illustrated. Check out the November magazine for two more articles on “The Black Stallion”!HI nov

Don’t forget to pick up a little piece of history for yourself @ the Gift Shop!

 
The Black Stallion Film’s 35-year Anniversary
Screenwriter Jeanne Rosenberg recalls her unlikely path to the job.
By Elizabeth Kaye McCall | September 2014

Never doubt the impact of a college course on life. Los Angeles screenwriter Jeanne Rosenberg can vouch for it. “I had written a script analysis of my favorite childhood book, The Black Stallion, when I was in film school,” says Rosenberg about the door that opened her screenwriting career. “After I graduated, I found out that they were making it into a movie and Carroll Ballard was directing it. I wrote him a letter. I had done a script analysis. He called and said, ‘I really like what you wrote. We have to get together.’ Time passed, we didn’t get together. I called again. ‘Oh, they’re in Canada in pre-production.’ I called him again. He apologized for not getting back to me.”
Crazy about horses from her earliest girlhood memories in Illinois, Rosenberg grabbed the reins of her own destiny. “I said, ‘Oh, I’m coming your way. Do you mind? Maybe I’ll just stop in.’ I was flying from Los Angeles to the Midwest and they were in Toronto.” She arrived in the midst of chaos. “People were tearing their hair out because Carroll wouldn’t commit to anything,” she recalls. “We were supposed to meet for coffee one morning. He was late. I was making some notes on a napkin. He showed up, grabbed the napkin out of my hand and kept my notes. I went home and got another call. ‘Carroll would like you to come back. We need help on the script.”

Rosenberg’s initiative paid off. “It was total chaos when I arrived in the pre-production phase. Melissa Mathison [who later wrote “ET”] got off another plane and we met and became this writing team as we were about to shoot,” she describes. “Carroll hadn’t committed to a screenplay! All the actors were there. Everyone was. The art department didn’t know where to go to dress the set. They didn’t even know the locations. Do we need a farm house? Do we need a race track? What do we need? Carroll liked to keep everything open and see what developed. To have an entire film crew that had to be told [what to do] at every moment and to get that information from a guy who doesn’t like to make decisions is tough,” Rosenberg laughs. “He was driving everyone crazy, of course.”

A graduate of USC Film School [now USC School of Cinematic Arts], Rosenberg planned on a documentary film career. “I remember being forced to take a writing class and thinking, ‘This is ridiculous. There’s no way I’m writing.’ And, here I am,” adds the real-life horsewoman and reining competitor, whose scores of film credits include family favorites like “White Fang,” “Bambi II,” and “The Young Black Stallion.”

The date “The Black Stallion” started shooting in Toronto is etched on Rosenberg’s mind. It was 7/7/77. “We shot the second part of the movie first,” she notes. Meanwhile, preparations were underway to move the crew overseas to film the first half of the movie. “Carroll kept refusing to let us write the island sequence,” says Rosenberg. “Of course, we did it anyway. He has an amazing eye and is quite a storyteller. But he was really more used to being a one-man band, making all of the decisions on the fly.”

Now the mother of two grown children, Rosenberg writes from an office with a view of her American Quarter Horses. She revisited the production that launched her career this summer, when film critic Stephen Farber held a 35th anniversary screening of “The Black Stallion” in Los Angeles.

From a personal standpoint, Rosenberg shares that “The Black Stallion’s” magic remains. “It was fun to see again,” she says. If any scenes can be favorites, these made Rosenberg’s list: “The shipwreck sequence is amazing and scary. The whole island scene was everyone’s favorite. When the boy wakes up on the beach and is staring straight at a cobra ready to strike, and The Black comes and saves him—that’s a wonderful scene. Of course, the boy climbing on The Black for the first time is brilliant. But it all goes back to Walter Farley’s novel,” adds Rosenberg. “He wrote such a wonderful, descriptive story.”

Arabian Nights closing – end of an era :{

After 25 years and thousands of shows with millions of cheering fans Arabian Nights is closing it’s doors at the end of the year. We all have great memories and it’s a sad day.
A heartbreak for everyone but the times have changed and been tough on so many horses – as you all probably know too well. See the show one last time before it’s too late.
Here’s the news';

KISSIMMEE, Fla. —Arabian Nights dinner attraction in Kissimmee is closing its doors Jan. 1, owner Mark Miller announced Friday.

After 25 years and more than 10,000 performances for more than 10 million guests, Miller says the local attraction can no longer provide a product cheap enough for consumers.

Despite the closing, Miller says staff will remain dedicated to providing the best show possible for its last scheduled shows.

“Our mission now is to present the best possible product for the rest of the year so that the people who have loved us over the years will be able to come back and experience the magic of our show one last time,” Miller said.  “Then we will be concentrating on how to assist our incredible staff in handling this transition.”

Miller praised his staff, saying, “There is no question that the skill, dedication, work ethic and people skills of our employees have enabled [us] to be the best there is. Anyone looking for an incredible employee after the first of the year should call our human resource department immediately.”

While the staff continues to perform its annual Christmas show, ending Dec. 31, Miller is offering half-price admission to central Florida residents.

http://youtu.be/hGlv7uwweMQ#aid=P9ZzFn3aFWI

 

Fun Horse Tales events!

horse tales glendaIMG_5546

There were some GREAT Horse Tales Literacy Project events this month. Hope you had a chance to be part of the fun.  And for all the hard work from our incredible volunteers a BIG THANK YOU!! Check Out all the photos;  HERE – http://horsetalesliteracy.phanfare.com/2013/

From Old town Tucson to the Wildwoods of Florida with all the cowboys and the mounted police, too! We have a fine time.

If you ever have a day, or even a minute, and want to join in — please send us an email :    Horse Tales Literacy Project

We’ll always love and miss you Mrs. T !!DSC00080

A dozen stories about horses

Trying to catch up from the weekend … funny how fun can cost so much – here’s the next book / chapter … maybe you’ve already read it but take a look, it’s my favorite;
The countryside through which they were now driving was heavy with green fields of tall cane, but occasionally there would be open pasture land with lush grass upon which cattle, goats and horses were grazing. Steve had thought it best to wait awhile before mentioning his desire to visit Azul Island, but the sight of the horses caused him to consider bringing up the subject at once. What’s the sense of putting it off? he thought. I like Antago all right, but only as a place from which to get to Azul Island. I’ve only a little over two weeks, and I might as well find out now if Pitch knows how I can get there.
Pitch had been quiet for a while but now he turned to Steve. “Steve,” he asked, “are you still interested in horses? I remember that as a youngster you sold me about ten subscriptions to a magazine I never wanted just because you were going to win a pony.” Pitch’s tone was hopeful again, as though he was still striving to find something of real interest to Steve.
“Yes,” Steve replied, “very much so. I’ve ridden a lot during the past year.”
“Good,” said Pitch. “I was hoping you would be.” He paused a moment and Steve noticed an intentness in his pale blue eyes that hadn’t been there before. “I’d like to tell you something,” Pitch went on, “that’s been of great interest to me of late.” He paused again, and Steve waited impatiently for him to continue.
“Yes, Pitch,” Steve had to say finally. “What is it?”
“Do you recall the picture I sent your father several weeks ago? The one of our rounding up the horses on Azul Island?”
Did he remember it! “Yes, Pitch, I do. That’s why I …”
But Pitch interrupted with evident eagerness to tell his story. “It was the only time I’ve been to Azul Island,” he began. “Oh, I’d heard about it, of course; Tom spoke of it occasionally. And before I arrived here he had written me once or twice about wrangling horses on a small island not far from Antago. But,” and Pitch smiled, “you know I’m pretty much of a greenhorn about things like that, and I never really understood any of it. That is, not until I went to Azul Island with Tom and the others.”
Pitch paused and glanced at Steve. Then, as though pleased with the boy’s obvious interest, he went on: “I remember that we all looked upon our visit to Azul Island as very much like a day’s outing. And we spent the time there imagining ourselves as cowboys. I couldn’t help thinking, as we ran after the horses, how strange we’d look to any people from our western states. All of us, of course, were wearing our shorts and had on our sun hats because the day was extremely hot. We had no trouble chasing the horses into the canyon, because the island is very narrow at that point; and twenty of us, walking about thirty yards apart, I would say, easily forced the horses into the canyon. Tom was in charge because he was the only one who knew anything about horses. The rest of us were plantation men, laborers, fishermen and the like with no experience whatsoever in this business of wrangling horses. However, as I’ve said, there was little to it, because Tom told us what to do, and it was he who selected thirty of the most likely looking animals to take back with us to Antago.”
Pitch stopped, thought a moment, then said in an apologetic tone, “I must tell you, Steve, that the horses are small, scrawny beasts and not very much to look at, really. But if you’d seen the desolateness of that small bit of the island, with the sparse grass and only the few, meager fresh-water holes, you’d wonder that they’d survived at all.”
Pitch paused again before adding with renewed enthusiasm, “But they have, Steve! Their breed has survived for centuries on Azul Island!” His words came faster now. “It was on the way back from the island, with the animals crowded into the barge we towed behind our launch, that I first learned of it. I was sitting next to the photographer of our weekly newspaper, and I mentioned that I had been surprised to find so many horses on Azul Island. He mentioned, very casually, that these horses were believed to be descended from the ones that the Spanish Conquistadores rode centuries ago! I tried to learn more, but that was all he knew. His editor had told him, he said. It was just an assignment to him. He wasn’t really interested. It shocked me, actually, because I’ve always been so very much interested in Spanish colonial history that I suppose I assumed everyone else would be. To think that here was a breed of horse the Conquistadores rode, and which had survived all these hundreds of years, and no one—not even Tom, who knew of my interest—had thought it important enough to tell me!

the rest of the story – 12th book chapter

ride on! — tim

On the Road Again


We’re back on the Road with the literacy project. Just finished the Little Rock, Jonesboro, Bentonville, Feyetteville, and Ft. Smith shows and now on to Tucson. Whew …you know Alec and all the hardworking cowboys and cowgirls are getting a bit tired by now, good thing those horses keep ‘em moving! Rolling along is a great place to be sometimes anyway. You might just leave a bit of that “not too important” stuff behind for awhile.

Monday May 2 we’ll be at Children’s Hospital in Tucson visiting some of the kids that can’t make the show the next day at 10:30 am. After all that wraps up we’ll head out to Phoenix for the Friday, May 6, 10:30 am show. We get a little break to watch the Kentucky Derby on May 7 while we drive all the way across country to Lexington, KY for the noon show on May 11 at the HorsePark.

After that everyone needs to head home for more events at Arabian Nights. The school year is coming to an end soon but you’d think it was already summer in Florida, it’s been ninety degrees everyday for a couple weeks already! It’ll be good to be home but always it’s a bit of a happy / sad feeling. Fun but tired … you know what I mean!?

Hope we see you here or there this year or soon. Write us a note anytime, just to say “Hi” and happy trails to you too!

Your friend,
Tim Farley