Field cut his teeth working for Zero Point Zero Production on such programs as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. His directorial debut, Let ‘Em Know You’re There, received an Austin Film Society Grant and was broadcast on PBS affiliates across the country. The short documentary received a 2019 Mid-Atlantic Emmy. Next, Field produced, shot and edited The Shake-Up, a feature documentary about the 2013 New Mexico Behavioral Health Crisis. The film was used as an educational tool across the state of New Mexico and received a 2020 Rocky Mountain Emmy. Other credits include The First Rainbow Coalition (Additional Editor / PBS, Independent Lens) and Phi Slama Jama (Editor / ESPN.)
Director StatementInitially, ‘Sheep’ was supposed to be reference material for a larger piece. My close friend John had invited me out to see the work he was doing with Jennif, a 68 year old woman with bad hips, a mean bark, and a big heart. John told me he and Jennif transport sheep around Athens and Atlanta, dropping the herds off at residential and commercial properties so the animals can graze on invasive plant species. Intrigued, I joined Jennif, John, and Katie-Jennifs’ rambunctious pooch-for a day of suburban sheep herding. As the day progressed, I put down my stills camera and began capturing the day with my cell phone, as I was missing too many special moments by taking photographs. After reviewing the footage, I threw together an assembly, and screened it for some friends and family. The reception was overwhelmingly positive.
At the superficial level, ‘Sheep’ is a day in the life of suburban sheep herders. At a much deeper level, the piece is a lyrical look at a sustainable solution for a problem that’s plagued Southerners since the days they were crowning Kudzu Kings and Queens a regional festivals. The film presents images of sheep grazing in front of an industrial back drop. The animals chewing away at residential backyards as gas-powered tools buzz next door.
At one point sheep were prominent in American and Georgian society. However, since the 1940s sheep numbers have dropped from 40 million to “about 7.5 million in the United States and fewer than 10,000 in Georgia.”* As sheep can consume close to five pounds of leafy greens daily, sheep and other livestock should be considered by public and private entities going forward.
Hopefully, audiences can watch this meditative film and experience a holistic solution to a problem southern communities face. Honestly, I’d be happy for the viewers to simply have a moment of relaxation as they witness these intelligent, sweet and silly animals go to town on some ivy! Even if sheep herding isn’t the large scale solution to the management of invasive species, I really just love the idea of animals having roles in our communities, that doesn’t involve the consumption of their milk and meat.
2021 Official #AniFab Monthly Selections
Animalis Fabula Film Festival official monthly selections have the opportunity to compete for monthly attention as well as inclusion in the annual live / virtual film festival in Austin, Texas and the end of year fundraising benefit for animal welfare.