Three Years Later: A Reflection


We began shooting THE BULLISH FARMER on this day back in October 2013.  What began as a casual conversation with my friend Ken Marsolais (co-producer) at a local farm market had finally come to fruition. I had never had a burning passion to make a documentary, but the more we listened to John "John Boy" Ubaldo speak about the atrocities of our food system, the more passionate I became about what he was advocating for. It took quite a lot of convincing to get John onboard to tell his story in front of a camera, but once we prevailed, it’s been hard to quiet him down! 


Day 1 of our shoot for The Bullish Farmer:

It’s so hard to believe that we have gotten to this point where a crack team of filmmakers have assembled in a tiny town in upstate New York to begin to tell one man’s fascinating and important story about farming and food.

Since there are no motels and only one or two B&B’s, we had found and rented out a small farmhouse near John’s farm, where we all gathered for most meals and to crash at the end of a long day of trudging across fields and mucking about in the mud with the pigs.  It’s a lovely farmhouse situated on a beautiful piece of land and is often used in season by hunters.  We were just hunting for a good story and perfect light.

That meant getting up very early each day.  Before the sun rose, Ken made John Boy’s bacon for the team, Nancy scrambled John Boy’s eggs while Gerardo brought along his own espresso machine since no Italian worth his coffee grounds can start the day with Dunkin’ Donuts brew!

Finally meeting up with the farmer - long finished with rousing and feeding the chickens and ducks - in the lower field, we find a gauzy morning haze with just a hint of sunshine behind.  The grasses looked lush and the cows were perfectly silhouetted against the hillside.  Behind his lens, Gerardo was in heaven and the shoot, my first, began in a most auspicious manner.

And, while there have been some nerve wracking moments along the way, I have never regretted diving into this project. It’s been a three year learning process and now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m just excited to get through this final phase so that we might share John’s story with the world.


- Nancy Vick,
Co-Producer & Writer