The Making Of

The documentary I CAN SAVE THIS HORSE was produced by Camila Shannon for her 8th grade Capstone project at Boulder Country Day School (BCD). The Capstone Project is a year-long, mentor-based project completed by all 8th grade students and allows students to explore an interest or passion. Students work with a faculty advisor and an adult mentor to develop their project over the entire school year, with an April presentation to the school and families.

capstone-day-450For her project summary, Camila wrote:

I am making a documentary at a horse rescue  that I aim to use to help raise awareness about horse abuse/slaughter and helping mistreated horses in need. I chose this because I absolutely love horses and am passionate about saving horses from the horrible abuse that many of them fall victim to. I am working with my mentor, Amber Herrell, who is the owner of Shiloh Acres Horse Rescue where I’m filming. This project has opened my eyes to what really goes on in the horse world, often things that either not many people know about or are misguided/misinformed about. I want to open  other people’s eyes to the things that I’ve learned with this project.

Here’s the equipment she used:

Camila’s dad taught her how to use the gear and she ran with it!

When Camila came up with the idea of doing a horse rescue video, she went to Google and found the Shiloh Acres website and promptly fell in love. Her dad was unable to convince her to find a rescue operation closer to home. Shiloh Acres was over an hour away but Amber and her animals made every trip worthwhile beyond words…

The first video shoot was done in November and the weather report showed warm sunny weather. On arrival, the wind was blowing around 20 mph and the temperature was mid 30s (°F). It looked like the day would be a total loss because there was no home or office to get away from the wind noise for the interview. But Amber saved the day by cleaning out an old trailer full of tack/supplies for the shoot. It turned out remarkably well because that little trailer had a small square window on both sides of where Amber was sitting and in the ceiling above her. Sometimes you get lucky!

Fortune smiled on Camila again one day when Amber canceled a video shoot at the last minute. The car was already loaded so Camila and her dad drove up to the auction house, marched into the office and asked for permission to wander around with their camera “for a school project about a horse bought here a few years ago by a friend”.  The office manager said yes. About every 10 minutes an employee asked if they had permission to be there with a camera and Dad just kept saying ‘yes, we stopped at the office and…’

Another formidable advantage Camila had in making this documentary was the treasure trove of photos/video of horse rescue cases maintained by Amber.  She provided great high resolution materials that made telling her story easy — thank you Amber!

Print Friendly
  1. Linda Marshall
    April 26, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Camila, you did a first rate job on this project! I enjoyed it very much & am so happy that you learned not only about the realities of ‘throw away horses’, but learned so many other things related to the entire project. Dealing with people, learning the technical equipment, what it takes to do such a project & the maturity you surely gained by doing so. I am proud of you! I know your family is also proud. You were lucky to have such a great mentor who also told the story well. Perhaps life will take you into the horse world in some way as a career, or, at least as a horse owner. I have met you, as I am the lady who is your grandmother’s neighbor, & you & your brother came to see our horses when you were much younger. Our beloved horses are gone now & I have a story about them, as a tribute. Best, Linda

    1. Eric
      April 28, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Wonderful to hear from you Linda, thanks for your touching comments!! – Eric


Leave a Reply