• Country: United States
  • Initial release: November 14, 2021 (United States)
  • Film Director: Arik Hess
  • Running Time: 16 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 7.7

The year 2021 witnessed the release of a captivating short film called “Big Iron,” directed by Arik Hess. This remarkable film is based on the iconic 1960 country western song of the same name by Marty Robbins, which adds a touch of nostalgia and authenticity to the storytelling. With a runtime of 16 minutes and a modest budget of $3000, “Big Iron” manages to captivate its audience with its compelling narrative and talented cast.

The Inspiration Behind “Big Iron”

“Big Iron” draws its inspiration from the classic country western song by Marty Robbins. The song tells the story of a lawman named Texas Red and a mysterious outlaw named Ike. The lyrics vividly describe their inevitable confrontation in the town of Agua Fria. Arik Hess, the director of the short film, was deeply moved by the song’s storytelling and saw the potential to bring the characters and their conflict to life on the screen.

The Plot and Characters

The story of “Big Iron” revolves around the clash between Ike, the outlaw with a sadistic enthusiasm for killing innocent people, and Ranger, a determined lawman seeking justice. The tension and atmosphere in the film are expertly crafted, keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats. The young Marty, a curious dreamer kid, adds an intriguing layer to the narrative, reminding the audience of the origins of the idea behind this beautiful short western.

The cast of “Big Iron” includes talented actors who bring the characters to life with their performances. Sam Cunningham portrays the role of the Barkeep, while Arik Hess himself takes on the character of Ike. Brian Holder embodies the Sheriff, and Demian Alan Mancino portrays the Arizona Ranger. The film also features Alexander Matthews as Marty Robbins, Randall Oliver as the Retired Sheriff, Eric Riggs as Texas Red, Lisa Vannatta as the Saloon Girl, and Jason S. West as the Marshal in the Saloon.

The Making of “Big Iron”

To bring “Big Iron” to life, Arik Hess assembled a dedicated team of filmmakers and collaborators. Caleb Stevens served as the cinematographer, capturing the essence of the Old West through his lens. The screenplay was written by Ben Matthews, who carefully adapted the song’s lyrics into a compelling script. The music for the film was composed by Kennon Bellile, adding an evocative and authentic Western sound to the storytelling.

The production of “Big Iron” was a collaborative effort, with Aaron Bandy, Randall Oliver, Joseph Stevens, and Arik Hess himself taking on the roles of producers. Their combined expertise and passion for the project ensured that every aspect of the film, from pre-production to post-production, was meticulously executed.

Recognition and Awards

“Big Iron” has garnered well-deserved recognition and accolades in the film festival circuit. At the fourth annual Billy The Kid Film Festival in Hico, Texas, the film received the prestigious Pine Moore Studios Award. This award celebrates films filmed within a 150-mile radius of Hico and highlights the film’s commitment to capturing the essence of the Western genre. Arik Hess’s direction and the exceptional performances by the cast were acknowledged and appreciated by both the festival organizers and the audience.

Additionally, “Big Iron” was honored with the first-ever Ruth Buzzi Comedy Award. This award recognizes the film’s ability to blend humor with the Western genre, showcasing the filmmakers’ creativity and willingness to push the boundaries of convention. Lisa Belcher, the director of the short film “Terminator: Bad Judgement Day,” was also recognized with the Ruth Buzzi Comedy Award for her outstanding contribution to the comedy genre.

The Impact of “Big Iron”

“Big Iron” has not only entertained audiences but has also served as a platform for collaboration and community engagement. The film’s screening at the Bosque Film Society Showcase event allowed the public to experience the magic of cinema and support local filmmakers. The event, hosted at the historic Cliftex Theater, created an unforgettable atmosphere and provided the perfect backdrop for the award-winning films to shine on the silver screen.

The collaboration between the Billy The Kid Film Festival and the Bosque Film Society demonstrates the power of bringing together filmmakers, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts. It fosters a sense of camaraderie and serves as a platform for aspiring filmmakers to showcase their work, gain recognition, and connect with like-minded individuals.

The Legacy of “Big Iron”

“Big Iron” has left an indelible mark on the Western genre and the filmmaking community. Its success serves as a testament to the enduring appeal of Western storytelling and the creative possibilities that can arise from reinterpreting classic songs and literature. Arik Hess’s vision and the dedication of the cast and crew have contributed to the film’s legacy, inspiring future filmmakers to explore new avenues and push the boundaries of storytelling.

As audiences continue to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind “Big Iron,” it serves as a reminder of the power of film to transport us to different worlds, evoke emotions, and ignite our imaginations. The short film stands as a testament to the timeless appeal of the Western genre and the enduring impact of Marty Robbins’ iconic song.

1 Film Review

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  • “Big Iron” is a testament to the power of storytelling and the collaborative nature of filmmaking. Arik Hess’s vision, combined with the talents of the cast and crew, has resulted in a captivating short film that pays homage to the Western genre while offering a fresh and innovative perspective. The recognition and awards received by “Big Iron” further validate its impact and the talent behind its creation.

    As audiences continue to discover and appreciate “Big Iron,” it is poised to leave a lasting legacy in the world of Western filmmaking. The film’s success serves as an inspiration for aspiring filmmakers and a reminder of the enduring appeal of classic songs and stories. With its compelling narrative, talented cast, and the dedication of its creators, “Big Iron” stands as a shining example of the creative possibilities that can arise when artistry and passion converge.