The Zen Ranch www.oceanofgrassfilm.com

"This all started because I went to a bar".

Back in 2003 filmmaker Georg Joutras was visiting the McGinn Ranch, a then 120 year old family ranching operation in the Nebraska Sandhills. While consuming a beverage or two at the Double T Bar in Halsey, Nebraska, Georg casually asked Laron McGinn if he might create a large-format photographic book about the ranch. While not specifically saying “Yes”, Laron didn’t say “No”. As Georg stated, "That was good enough for me!".

Flash forward ten years - the book project long ago completed and searching for another meaningful project to tackle, this time in the film and video realm. The lure of the McGinn Ranch, and its magical hold on all who experience it, is a story Georg long wanted to tell in this immersive form. Twenty-two months of filming later, “Ocean of Grass, Life on a Nebraska Sandhills Ranch” is born.

Travel to this idyllic location as the movie documents the fascinating people, the lands, its creatures, and the daily struggles to maintain a viable family cattle ranching operation.

Guided by the hands of 3rd and 4th generation ranchers, Ocean of Grass is a story of perseverance, of rebirth and death, hard work, sacrifice, ongoing stewardship of the land and care for its creatures presented in an lyrical, emotional, and beautifully filmed journey though the past and present. The film slowly peels back the layers of the interesting, heartfelt, and reserved folks who inhabit and coexist with the lands of the McGinn Ranch, and is presented as a year in the life of the ranch.

The Zen Ranch

Zen: Increased inner clarity. Feeling peaceful and relaxed.

The ranch itself is a very much a living organism, alive in every way. Walk the prairie that encapsulates the ranch property, and one senses the life and energy that emanates from within. It faces constant assault and interaction with the elements of weather, be it storms, drought, blizzards, or one of the many serene and tranquil days that covers the land. The feeling of contentment and being one with our planet on these special days is indeed fuel for the soul. It has a zen-like, meditative effect on those who visit it.

This documentary film presents the unique visual viewpoint of Producer/Director/Cinematographer Georg Joutras within an immersive, experiential form and will surround the viewer with the sounds, sights, and personality of the land and its inhabitants.

PRODUCTION UPDATE: Ocean of Grass showed at theaters throughout the midwest for over a year. The film is now available for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray at www.oceanofgrassfilm.com. Sign up on our website mailing list for future updates, and future viewing options.

The Film Trailer


Images copyright Georg Joutras