Award-winning Cinematographer, Robert Shacklady, Joins Sacajawea, The Windcatcher!

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an International feature film production about the life of Sacajawea, is proud to welcome award-winning cinematographer, Mr. Robert Shacklady, as Director of Photography.

Robert is an internationally renowned cinematographer with a long track record of awards for the projects he has worked on around the globe. He is a voting BAFTA member and a member of the GBCT (Guild of British Camera Technicians). His wealth of experience comes from years in the film industry. Over his career, he shot for iconic brands such as BMW, McLaren, Ford, Boohoo, Philips, LG and he has worked with A-list actors such as Tom Hardy, Keanu Reeves, Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Craig, at some of the most amazing locations around the world including South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Morocco, Sweden and Mexico.

Robert shot many feature films in the past, and he is currently cinematographer for several upcoming productions. He also worked on blockbusters such as Casino Royale; The World is Not Enough; The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Entrapment; Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and The Beach. He shot several TV series including, Shadows of Death; award-winning, Serial Killer: Angel of Decay and additional photography for the Period series Sanditon. Robert’s diverse work has also included documentaries such as The Queen and the Coup about Queen Elizabeth II. 

Robert has the unique ability to combine classical filmmaking with cutting edge technologies, technics, and innovations. This creative understanding allows him to achieve a sumptuous cinematic look and style for each film.

“Sacajawea’s story is an epic tale set against the backdrop of amazing natural beauty.  I am really looking forward to cinematically translating her emotional journey for audiences to embrace and enjoy.”

~ Robert Shacklady

The Sacajawea team is extremely fortunate to have attracted Robert Shacklady as cinematographer for the production. With its majestic, cinematic locations, its epic scope, and the deeply personal insight of Sacajawea, Robert will capture her relationship with not only nature and her surroundings but also with the Indigenous vision she sees through her own eyes. 

The entire production team is humbled and grateful to welcome Robert Shacklady to this important film that honors the contributions of all women in history, from around the world.  www.warriorwomanspirit.com

ONWARD!

For more about Robert and his dynamic career, please visit IMDB at:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0787117/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr14

Kaären F. Ochoa to Direct the Epic Film, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an International feature film project about the life of Sacajawea, is proud to welcome Kaären F. Ochoa to the production team, as Director.

Kaären is an award-winning filmmaker, with three DGA Award nominations, the New Mexico Women in Film Sage Award for dedication and leadership in the film industry, and induction into the New Mexico Film & Television Hall of Fame this year. Two documentaries she wrote and field directed, as part of the La Raza Series for ABC/McGraw-Hill, were nominated for the Peabody Award.

With over 30 years in the film industry, Kaären has the knowledge and expertise to bring the character of Sacajawea to life – her history, power, perseverance and passion – all seen from Sacajawea’s perspective – on one of the most significant journeys in United States history. 

 “Jane Fitzpatrick has written a compelling and suspenseful script that allows us a window into the life and world of Sacajawea as she might have experienced it. A natural world that was wild and beautiful, capricious and often terrifying. A world that was known by the Native people who lived and died, summered and wintered, hunted and birthed within it, but was ‘unknown’ by late-arriving white men who had not yet travelled and trampled it. In this portrayal, Sacajawea is not defined by Lewis and Clark’s expedition, their expedition is defined by Sacajawea.”

~ Kaären F. Ochoa

A member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) since 1986, Kaären has worked as Assistant Director on such films as Milagro Beanfield War and A River RunsThrough It, both with Robert Redford directing; Crazy Heart, directed by Scott Cooper, with Jeff Bridges; Appaloosa, directed by Ed Harris; Selena, directed by Gregory Nava with Jennifer Lopez; Georgia O’Keeffe, directed by Bob Balaban, with Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons and most recently, the Disney film Stargirl. Her television work includes the mini-series Return to Lonesome Dove, Crazy Horse and Into the West. She AD’d the pilots for Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight and Season 2 of The Girlfriend Experience. As Unit Production Manager for Proof of Life, directed by Taylor Hackford, with Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe, she spent a year in Ecuador in 2000. In 2011, she was the U.S. Line Producer/UPM on the feature Gambit, starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz.

Kaären’s career began in Los Angeles as a writer, co-producer and director on documentaries and children’s films for ABC and PBS. She became a member of the newly formed Women in Film in Los Angeles and later a founder of New Mexico Women in Film, a board member for many years and past president. Since directing three short films, her current writing projects include the rewrite of a feature film in development, which would be her next directing project after Sacajawea, The Windcatcher.

Kaären has enjoyed mentoring other women and men, including many who are now active, long-time filmmakers. She is most proud of her daughter, 1st AD Chemen Ochoa, and her son, David Ochoa, who are both professionals in the film industry.

A mesa top, near Abiquiu, New Mexico, is home to Kaären and her husband, artist Doug Coffin (Potowatomi/Creek), where they enjoy good wine from their cellar and the beautiful views of Georgia O’Keeffe country. The entire Sacajawea production team welcomes Kaären F. Ochoa to the project, as they continue onward to produce this worldwide, epic film.

The Windcatchers!

Darkness Reveals Light

Darkness revealing light is what Sacajawea’s life shows us… She was a Native American woman from 1805. She was a stolen child, an orphan, a slave – abused and forced in so many ways.

Sacajawea had no voice and she saw hardship throughout her young days. She was sometimes sick and mostly sad, and her husband tried at every turn to control her fate based on his own selfish Will.

Throughout Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, we sense that this young woman’s greater self is at work. Yes, she uses her knowledge of tradition, ceremony and Mother Earth to be an important and valuable member of the expedition. But, we also sense something deeper – she claims a great wisdom in her spirit, even before she knows it. She walks this dark, harrowing quest, until she awakens to the sun and finds it is her own brilliant light.

We are going through the darkness right now in our own lives. But, it is different than usual, because we are all, collectively, walking together with the same pain, sadness, worry and fear… It is a wonder how we can be so at odds, when we could choose to awaken and love each other, no matter what. If we claimed our wisdom, we would find a light to guide us out of this place together.

History tells us, life was not easy or perfect for Sacajawea. And, though she may not have understood it in words, her Elders had taught her from a young age about the darkness and the light on EVERY path. It didn’t matter what was happening around her, she came to believe she was walking where she was called to go. I wonder if she ever imagined that her illuminating light would be seen for generations – that her spirit would be felt, for all time!

Through the darkest spaces, Sacajawea continues to see the sun…and so can we. Come with us, let us walk toward that sun, let us learn through our darkest times that we are all One, and we can get through this together. Let us become aware of our own magnificent and transparent Light.  ~ Spirit Wind

Let Us Shift toward Greatness

Eyes of Sacajawea redA brief moment of history had a powerful effect on a New Age, as a group of individuals, the Corps of Discovery, successfully accomplished something together despite their differences. They were soldiers and traders with diverse backgrounds, a black slave who was virtually free on the trek, and a brave, strong warrior woman who endured over 4000 miles with a child on her back. We are still moved and affected by the choices they made together.

Sacajawea, despite her disappointment and sorrow, brought meaning to the group. She was purposeful and determined, knowledgeable and respectful. She was unselfish, yet she had a mind-of-her-own and was not afraid to speak it. Sacajawea did not know then, but she was walking toward a new paradigm for the world…

As a kidnapped Shoshone girl, a very young mother, Sacajawea had made enormous adjustments and shifts in her personal life up to this point. But she could not have predicted the future, the disillusionment and abuse of Native Americans. And, as the explorers endured this harrowing journey, they had no idea they were on the brink of wider racism, slavery and isolation of a people. A paradigm shift toward the hardening hearts of Humanity.

As with the Universe and all of life, paradigm shifts are moved by positive and negative energy, good and evil forces, light and dark. Humanity plays a key role in how civilizations live and act with each other through time. It is the power of choice that establishes social changes for generations. These choices manipulate and motivate the decisions that define an Era – and not always for the good.

In our time, we are living through unbelievable sickness and death, insufferable economic hardship and intolerable racism. We can be assured the choices we make now, are a pivotal part of our collective journey, vital for Humanity going forward.

We have a great opportunity and purpose to change the conversations of the past, to shine a light on injustice and racism, to stand as One People for All People. What we do now will absolutely set a new and powerful paradigm shift.

It is our time to choose the way ahead, and part of the way is to tell the story of Sacajawea with her life-changing message of Oneness, Peace and Love for Humanity and the Earth. We are privileged to live at this exciting time – indeed, a time of Awakening. Let us press onward to a vision of Truth on the very path Sacajawea and many others were willing to walk – through the darkness, yet always stepping toward the Light.

ONWARD!

Jane

– Digital Art by Marcia K. Moore, Concept Artist

One Woman’s Life

the river June 2019

What will you do in your life? Will you just exist day to day or will you venture out, being a watcher of your heart? What do know, what is written there that you cannot ignore? And are you willing to go the distance?

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher is a journey of one woman’s life, yet as watchers of Sacajawea’s life, we bring her journey to ourselves.

She walked, she talked, she sang, she prayed on smoke to the Great Father. She knew joy and she knew pain… indeed, she had a dream written on her heart that she could see.

Over the last 31 years, I have visited many places where she had been, and I have felt her spirit with me. From Three Forks, MT, where she was kidnapped, to the Hidatsa village site in North Dakota, where cranes danced above my head, to the Oregon beaches where she saw a great whale and sent her prayers to every shore.

Take the visual journey of the places she has been, and as you see each photo, be a watcher of her dream. This is to be an epic film about a brief moment of time in the life of this soul who lived. Yes, she lived and loved… and had a dream we are making real.

ONWARD!
Jane

CLICK to see the images of her walk:

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Higher Ground

Night great water

Boinair (Sacajawea) faced many hardships in her life. Though we have spoken of them before in this blog, we want to look at her life in a different way. It is 1800, in the early morning hours of a dark, sad day. Boinair has been stolen away from those she loves.

20191029_101115When she awakens, she finds her wrists and ankles are bound, and she is tied to a tree. Young women and children sob and cry around her, they are hungry and hurting both inside and out. Through yesterday’s chaos, Boinair remembers catching sight of her mother and grandmother, and wonders if she will ever see them again… Her world has turned dark, and she can only think of one thing – how to escape!

Thoughts for today…

“If Sacajawea’s life had been easy, we may never have seen her spirit revealed to us in our time. She may never have become the icon she is today, to the children’s children of the world.”

If she had grown up on the prairie and the mountains, married her betrothed, had children and lived happily-ever-after, we most likely would never have heard her name – and her existence would have been lost in time.

Saca chief wonderingIronically, it is the darkness around her that made us aware of her light. She was stolen away – and in that terrible moment, our story began…

 

Sacajawea’s trials and tribulations opened doors that she never imaged existed. She knew her Spirit was unstoppable because she was able to recognize a powerful path through the darkness by Being the light, and that is a divine trait.

She was strong to stand her ground, and even though she was a Native American woman in 1805, with all the injustice and prejudice around her, she refused to succumb to it. Sacajawea was “awake and aware.” Her ego did not guide her, for she knew she had a higher calling, from a higher Being, and there was a higher ground to walk.

It is a choice we make when we see something greater in ourselves and in humanity. Though, like Sacajawea’s life, our world seems chaotic at the moment. But, nothing is more powerful than our own choice to change it.

~ Spirit Wind

I remember my vision from when I was a young girl –

From Sacajawea, The Windcatcher – A Novel by Jane L. Fitzpatrick

Sacajawea shell

“I saw myself sitting on a narrow strip of land that seemed to never end, weaving along the edge of the sea. Water crashed and climbed over the sand, again and again, creeping up higher toward me.

A mist hung in the sky and there was no definition between it and the earth. It danced with foggy shades of blue, red and gold. The sound was like the rhythm of wind and rain pounding, crashing through a forest, yet, there were no trees. White birds cried with shrill voices, climbing and diving in freedom, transparent in their existence…

An Elder of my people was with me – though I had never seen him before. We sat together by a roaring fire. He took two diamond-shaped shells from his pouch and gave them to me. I followed his caring eyes and I will never forget his words. He told me, ‘These shells were tossed back and forth for ages in the great sea. The sand and rolling waves made the edges smooth and easy to carve into these shapes. You are like the shell, young one. Remember this, for it is part of your journey.’

I believe in visions. I believe they can mirror our path, but I do not know how. I breathe deeply and my heart begins to pound. I lick the shell and taste the salt… a mystery. There is a remembering, like I know something in my soul, yes, something to come.”

Hope, Faith, Belief in the Path…

Sometimes we get discouraged, we look at others who seem to be getting all the breaks of success. But, most people who reach their dreams have faced “the hard” along the way. The explorers of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were no different…

As Sacajawea and the explorers canoed down the Columbia River, they were exhausted and discouraged. But, hope revived when they began to see driftwood float passed their canoes, despite the piercing wind and pounding rain. The choppy current was strong, forcing them to shore…. a shore that had no bank.

Dismal Nitch

The only thing they could do was climb to the top of a huge pile of gnarly driftwood stuck in the bushes. It bobbed and shifted under them. They tied their canoes and baggage around the edge and that was where they ate and slept. Day after day, night after night – cold and wet in that dismal place. That is why Captain Clark named it “Dismal Nitch.”

But, then, the storm passed and they were finally able to move on. Edging the shoreline they worked their way in the rough water to a high cliff jutting out into the river’s mouth. Climbing up loose dirt, brush and rocks, they struggled to reach the top. The salt air and seagulls gave them hope for a view of the Great Water…

Cape Disappointment

 

But, it was not yet to be, for all they could see was a thick wall of fog. Yes, they were disappointed, they had come so far. And, the name of that place mirrored their feelings, “Cape Disappointment.”

Like those hopeful explorers, we are also called to walk a journey with unflinching faith – to believe in things unseen. We’ve been hurt and we’ve had difficult choices to make, sometimes blindly. But those who are “called” to something life-changing, must be willing to go to the edge. It is not for the faint of heart.

Sacajawea has many things to teach us from her incredible, adventurous path.

Caring Heart of a Warrior

Scene Description from Sacajawea, The Windcatcher:
Just as the explorers reach the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers, they are awed by a massive flock of sandhill cranes thundering through the clouds. Captain Clark takes aim from his canoe, shooting a huge crane from the sky. Seaman, Lewis’ black Newfoundland, jumps from the boat to retrieve the bird.

What is she thinking cropWithin moments, screaming and wailing rise from an abandoned village nearby. The men on shore run toward the huts where a group of Snake women and children huddle together – they are terrified that the bird was killed in flight by a loud, unfamiliar blast. They believe the white men will kill them, too.

The captains call Sacajawea to come, and without pause, she enters the hut. She speaks to the women and children with care in her Shoshone language, which is close to the Snake words, and everyone is calmed…

There are so many examples of Sacajawea’s depth-of-character depicted in the screenplay, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher. She never allowed a judgment of color, creed or religion to keep her true heart from being free as she walked the expedition. This scene with the frightened women and children in the abandoned village shows us her true spirit.

sketch WOMEN
Otter Woman and Sacajawea – Concept Artwork by Marcia K. Moore

At this point, the explorers had already encountered many people and dangers along the way. They had seen her caring warrior spirit multiple times and the soldiers had built great respect for Sacajawea. This scene shows how they counted on the peacemaker she embodied. Indeed, she was a bridge for them in their time, and her spiritual story is a bridge for us, in ours. We, as One People, are awakening to hear.

ONWARD!
Spirit Wind

#warriorwomanspirit

Power in Diversity

Scene Description from Sacajawea, The Windcatcher:  As the story of Sacajawea unfolds across this harrowing trek, we get to know the characters. Their spirits and energies move together with surprising unity, despite the circumstances. They are an uncommon and diverse group considering it is 1805, when African Americans and Native Americans are treated as slaves and many of the soldiers are of “mixed blood.” Yet, there is something compelling about this snapshot-in-time and the adventure they find themselves in, together.

Explorers and Native Americans

Instead of focusing on a particular scene, we are embracing the relationship between three unlikely counterparts: Sacajawea, Captain Clark and Clark’s black slave, York. Life’s journey for Sacajawea and York mirror one another as they know what it is like to be abused, sold or traded at a white man’s whim. In their diversity, their relationship is powerful because they have seen much pain, yet they are both compassionate and caring to all, no matter what their race or status.

Sacajawea is a peacemaker and a guide. By finding wild foods and medicinal plants, she cares for them all. Clark is Sacajawea’s protector on several occasions, and York helps her in many ways, especially with her child. York is also Captain Clark’s protector, and Clark trusts him, maybe for the first time in his life, to carry a gun and scout alone to assure the safety of the group. There is great respect between them all and we see it play out even past the end of the journey…

We can learn much from the Corps of Discovery. Certainly, the literal lessons of survival and pursuit, driven by a will to live and the courage to make it over the ominous mountains. But, the character snapshot captured in the Sacajawea film, has so many more implications to who we are as Spiritual Beings.

If this small group of diverse individuals can move beyond their prejudice and ignorance of the time period, even for just a little while, and come together for incredible success, then we absolutely know acceptance of diversity has the power to change the world.

It is our fervent hope that those watching this majestic film one day, will embrace something that goes beyond the literal, something that is not defined by the frail mind of opinion and judgment. But, instead, that we all will recognize the infinite vibration and energy that is already here, waiting for us to AWAKEN, calling for us to come together. Indeed, believing in who we really are and showing us the way – if we will just embrace it and listen.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.