In January 2013, The Moo Man had its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival It was an amazing time! The Moo Man is a 90-minute documentary film by Trufflepig Films. Film makers Andy and Heike live in Scotland now, but in 2008 they lived locally and had Hook and Son milk delivered to their home. When one of them had a birthday, the other one organised a birthday surprise. This particular year, Heike, who loved the cow stories on the back of the milk bottles, phoned Steve, and asked if she could bring Andy to the farm for his birthday treat. They thoroughly enjoyed the story of the farm, and unbeknown to Steve, once back in their car, they both looked at each other and said, “this has got to be our next film!” A few days later, they phoned and asked if they could come out to the farm as they had a proposition they wanted to put to Hailsham’s only remaining dairy farmers. Phil and Steve couldn’t work out what on earth two milk doorstep delivery customers would propose! A couple of days later, Heike and Andy were sitting in the farmhouse kitchen, and introduced themselves as independent film makers. They asked if they could make a film about the farm. The image of the dairy industry wasn’t very good, and Andy and Heike wanted to make a film about the industry. Not one showing the worst of the industry, but one that showed what dairy farming can be, and what we’re in danger of losing. Phil and Steve felt it would be fine and agreed to the filming.
They had no idea how good Andy and Heike were at filmmaking. There wasn’t any plan other than to film events on the farm as they happened. Steve would phone Andy when the vet was coming out to look at a cow. He would tell Andy what he and the vet were going to do with Ida the cow, and where it would be best for 6ft 7 Andy with shoulder mounted camera to stand. Andy would let us know when he was ready to film. He had to get the sound, light and framing the shot right all in one go, as we couldn’t ask Ida to do it again!
By September 2012, Andy and Heike had spent three years filming and one year editing, reducing 150hrs of footage down to a beautiful 90 minute film. As independent film makers, they were pretty broke. That autumn, they had the choice of filling their car up for £75, or submitting their new film to The Sundance knowing there was only a one in twelve thousand chance of getting in. They took the risk. In early December at two in the morning they had a phone call from the US, to congratulate them, The Moo Man had been selected in the final ten films in the world documentary film competition! Six weeks later, Andy and Heike, Phil and Steve were flown out to Park City, Utah. The experience as two dairy farmers from the Pevensey Levels had at the world’s biggest independent film festival was amazing….too many stories to tell here!
As well as its success at The Sundance, The Moo Man had its European premiere at the Berlinale Film Festival, and UK premiere at the 02 in London. However, the real premiere took place at the wonderful Pavilion cinema in Hailsham, with one of the film’s stars, Ration the cow, on the red carpet in George Street! It then went on to be shown at over 100 cinemas in the UK, appeared on Film4, and also other film festivals around the world including the Food and Wine Festival in Melbourne. In 2014, it was shown by the United Nations in Brussels as part of the UN Year of the Family Farm, with Steve and Claire speaking to an audience of over 300 that included politicians, journalists, students. If you haven’t seen the film, you can currently download it on Amazon Prime and YouTube. It’s a great way to see our farm, how we look after our cows and where your milk comes from!
If you would like to try any of the farms produce or go onto our milk delivery round service, or even if you would like to work for Hook and Son, please contact the office on 01323 449494, or email: email@example.com