Horse Previews Magazine website - Posted on 01/07/2001; 2:00:00PM.

Hollywood Visits Careywood, Idaho

The television is full of ads for the new Matt Damon film that is to be released on Christmas day called "All The Pretty Horses."

When you see Matt and his side-kick charging across the Rio Grande, you'll really be hearing Marion O'Connor on Stormy and Tootie Anderson on Choo-Choo splashing across a little inlet in Pend Oreille lake in Farragut State Park. Matt trotting down the road to grandma's house, wheeling and galloping away down in Texas will really be the sound of Marion riding Stormy on our driveway at the Cocolalla Creek Sport Horse Ranch in Careywood.

Marion had a horse buddy named Karen Adams who lived for a while in Sandpoint and she and her husband were trying to commute between L.A. and Sandpoint. Karen's husband is a movie director in Hollywood. After the traveling became untenable, they gave up the North Idaho hideaway and went back permanently to Los Angeles. Karen and Marion kept in touch and when the sound recording people for "All the Pretty Horses" were looking for a quiet place to record the horse sounds for the movie, Karen recommended the O'Connor's Cocolalla Creek Sport Horse Ranch. Hidden away in a small mountain valley in North Idaho, the only extraneous sounds are the eagle's screams - no airliners overhead, no traffic noises, no police sirens or traffic helicopters.

In October of 1999, Marion came home from the Octoberfest Dressage Championships to find the basement of the house filled with sound recording equipment. Hollywood had moved in to the ranch! The recording company wanted to fill the movie with genuine horse sounds, empty horse-barn sounds, a galloping herd, horses munching their feed and very specific activities to match the action in the movie. Normally, with the exception of the "Black Stallion" and "The Horse Whisperer", all of the movies use coconut shells in a sandbox in a sound studio or some other artificial re-creation of the actual horse sounds. This was to be really authentic.

Patricio Liebensohn and Tootie Anderson and their boss came to the Cocolalla Creek Sport Horse Ranch to spend 10 days recording the sounds of the O'Connor horses to dub the movie. Patrick and Marion stole a chance to look at the 14 reels of uncut film that the sound crew had with them to co-ordinate the sounds with the film. It was a really great and touching film, but it ran about 4 hours and the difficulty was how to cut it down to screening length without losing important content. The O'Connors are really looking forward to see how the problem was solved and, also to hear their horses charging around Texas and Mexico.

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