The Glitterati of Bozeangeles – Part 1

Jim’s Adventure at the Hatchfest Film Festival, Part 1

Red Oxx Manufacturing co-owner Jim Markel traveled to Bozeman, Montana on his latest adventure, where Red Oxx sponsored the annual Hatchfest Film Festival. There was plenty of excitement and surprises along the way, just as there always seems to be. Of course Jim had the right gear for anything that came his way! Look out Bozeangeles the Red Oxx is heading west!

Also check Part 2 in which Jim kicks the tires of the world’s best sports car.

It was a typical Tuesday morning checking emails and fielding calls from some corporate orders, when the call came. Yarrow Kraner, co-Founder of Hatchfest and he wanted to talk about corporate bags for the new film festival in Bozeman.

"Film festival in Bozeman?" I asked. As I started to learn more about this new film festival I started to get interested.

Hatchfest brings together student directors and mentors from the film industry together for a week of exploration and learning that is crucial to the development of these young directors. Not to mention some great films and music thrown in with a mix of point blank board discussions. Each staffed with seasoned and up and coming film professionals. Throw in some cash and prizes and you have a homegrown Montana film festival.

Our number one go-to bag for corporate gifts has to be the Gator. It fits the bill for a lot of situations. Hatchfest was looking for bags that would match the youthfulness and cutting edge design for the festival. We went through the color options logo positioning and ended up going with two colors on the Gators, Coal with Saffron accents. Each of the juried directors was going to receive a Red Oxx bag as part of the award for making the final cut.

I had never been to a film festival this was looking like an interesting experience. Starting with dinner at a famous movie location, too cool for school. Since Red Oxx was now going to help sponsor Hatchfest, we had some clout. Look out Bozangeles the Red Oxx is heading west!

I pulled the Air Boss out of the armoire and started packing for a single overnight stay. Next I grabbed my Gator bag, which is always packed with my camera gear. I was ready to go in less than ten minutes. Rolling down the highway on a fine October morning, I was taken in by the mist along the Yellowstone River. It looked like something out of a Russell Chatham painting. Cranking some AC/DC on XM radio, I set the cruise to eighty and sat back with my coffee.

There is nothing like hitting the road on an adventure of some sort. Even if it is only a couple of hours away it seems to make your soul lift and all things possible. As if on cue, I spy a Bald Eagle cruising at tree top level along the river. The mist seemed to be getting denser as I headed into the mountains. In Montana water is scarce and for that matter so are overcast days. The sunrise was starting to play with the mist, the effect creating a unique light show that I can only describe as sublime.

My first trip was going to be part fun and part work and I was heading up early in the week attend the VIP dinner. This was kickoff day for the festival and I wanted to be there.

Due to the weather our street party had been cancelled and the Samples would be playing at the Emerson. They made the best out of a tough situation and the festival volunteers pulled through with no deaths reported. Montana has a reputation for unpredictable weather and it is well deserved. Still the chaos of the moment was very low key and staff and crew had everything under control. The show must go on!

Piling into the King Ranch Edition Texas pimp wagon, I clicked the seat heater and we headed up through the snow to the Gallatin fishing lodge. Climbing up through the snowy pass to the lodge, I met actor Huntley Ritter and we traded hunting stories. He told me about his new series for Outdoor Life Network. Arriving at the $4.6 million dollar fishing shack (on the market if you’re interested), we were greeted by the smell of my favorite dish, barbecue. I could write a small story on the barbecue alone! But that will have to wait.

Next we mingled and outside the snowstorm intensified. It was almost surreal to look around the room. I recognized many faces from years of movies and television but I could hardly tell who was who. These were the journeyman actors always out there on the screen taking parts here and there. Maybe not a household name like Morgan Freeman but familiar none the less.

Before the evening was over, I had a chance to the folks behind the scenes of the movie industry. Fascinating to get a back stage perspective.

The drive home was a Montana blizzard. Slowing my pace to a crawl, I notice that I am the only fool out here on a dark and stormy night. "Stimpy, you idiot!"

Well, too late to turn back now so I crept along. Arriving home late, I stashed my kit and headed for the rack. It had been an eventful day and this was just the first of the festival. I drifted off to a sound sleep, imagining what the soundtrack might be lock for Red Oxx: the Movie…

Cheers, Jim CEO

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