December 23, 2012    

Mushroomy Tree



Niobrara: a geological formation, a county, a town, a state park, a river, a threshold, a destination;
connected by time, people, land, seasons, recreation, agriculture, American life.                             

when we started this project the vastness of this pursuit was not easy to comprehend.
finding clues on location helped define this Niobrara. it was difficult and
exhilarating and just about everything in between.
here we attempt to describe our adventure.

Niobrara A Film Perspective premiered to a sell-out crowd in our local independent theater;
three Niobrara films were screened on August 1st, 2012.
the first, Niobrara sweet! is a musical short; the music was used in the score for documentary
film Niobrara Jewel of the North, which showed second. Finally, whimsical Snow Bound
highlighted some of the 'human adventure' of the filming process, set in a winter's storm.

Tom Bouse has a history of filming nature in Nebraska.
One of his first films was 'Points of View', a short musical visual art presentation
of Spring Creek Prairie, near Denton, NE. He had been enjoying the enchanting scenery,
flora and fauna as a volunteer, photographer, and outdoors man for a number of years.
When his medium shifted to film, Spring Creek Prairie was a logical subject.

Then Tom produced a musical short film called Merzy, featuring the music of the McNeeLees.
Merzy, an original composition, was a Jazzy tribute to a pop song of the 60's by Gerry and
the Pacemakers called Ferry Cross The Mersey. a big hit by another British pop group,
like so many before and after.

Merzy really flowed, both cinematically and musically. it proved entertaining and relaxing.
Tom's production combined river sounds, nature sounds and the music; by now his signature.
it allows the film to take you there, anchor you with a much more intimate experience.
the short film included clips from Bone creek which flows into the Niobrara river,and Smith Falls,
the highest waterfall in Nebraska.

Produced mostly for his amusement, it became an important second step in Tom's future works.
the film also inspired a collaboration with Richard Phillips of Seattle, premier pianist and
general incredible musician. Richard knew Tom's Mother through his wife Carol, first cousin
of M z McNeeLee. this engendered Richard's contribution to Phooled, the McNeeLees' first Album
released in December 2007.

Tom's ability to capture the essence of music with elements of nature led to PN11, an exploration
of Americana post 9/11, featuring the debut of Richard Fraktyle and the blood brain barrier.
The winds of Nebraska create wild motion in the prairies, grass whipping, flowers jerking back and forth,
the business of bees and other creatures continues, while the human world makes commentary.

Work on those prior projects was the basis for our Niobrara film perspectives to follow.
Our personal experiences with Niobrara have been life-changing, yet only a tiny part
of the epic story of this place. Humbling as it is, it only adds to our admiration.

Niobrara named one of America's most endangered Rivers 2013
American Rivers Logo 

Niobrara River bend

The Niobrara River with people floating around a wide bend

Niobrara River




Malmoea News

Nebraska filmmakers set to premiere movie series
shot along the Niobrara River

Free screening at The Ross - Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m.


Contact: Tom Bouse at 402-310-2087; or Rebecca Rose at

(Lincoln, Neb.) Local independent film producers extend an invitation for outdoor enthusiasts and movie fans to experience the beauty of Nebraska's Niobrara River as they premiere a labor of love at Lincoln's independent movie theater, The Ross.

Niobrara, a Film Perspective, will be screened at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, located downtown on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus at 313 N. 13th St. on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. The screening is free and film fans are invited to attend.

These three pieces, shot over the last four years, highlight the natural beauty and scenic landscapes along the 535 mile long river. Running from Wyoming's Niobrara county and joining with the Missouri River in the northeastern part of the state, the Niobrara River crosses iconic Nebraska terrains ranging from the fossil beds & buttes of the panhandle, to the forests and recreational areas popular with visitors.

The film series includes:

Niobrara Sweet! - Be surprised and delighted by the beauty of the Niobrara River and the plants, animals and unique vistas found along its banks.

Niobrara, Jewel of the North - Rich with historical content and accessible to students of all ages, this film highlights the Niobrara's contributions to Nebraska and U.S. history. The Niobrara's complex river system is explored through the scientific prism with interviews from geography, geology and hydrology experts, biologists and planetologists, and stories of how human cultures have relied on the river over time.

Snowbound - The Niobrara is increasingly popular with tourists who enjoy tubing and tanking down the river in the summer months; this film invites viewers to experience a different setting along the Niobrara. Filmed during the winter, it features whimsical music composed for the movie.

The Niobrara film series is produced by Thomas A. Bouse Productions and RichLoamyMusic. Tom Bouse, certified Nebraska Master Naturalist and president of Nebraska Independent Film Projects, provided artistic direction for the series. It was scripted and edited by Rebecca Rose, and features original music by The McNeeLees.

Trailers and related content are available at

watch the trailer now



Niobrara, a film perspective, will be screened at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center

313 N. 13th Street, Lincoln, NE on Wednesday August 1st, at 8pm.
This event is free and open to the public.
Three films will be presented, produced by Thomas A Bouse Productions and RichLoamyMusic. Tom
Bouse, Nebraska Master Naturalist and current President of Nebraska Independent Film Projects, and

local artist, provided artistic direction. Rebecca Rose scripted and edited. Original music by

The McNeeLees.
Niobrara Sweet! Be surprised and delighted by this musical short, featuring the beauty of the Niobrara,
it's plants, animals, and places.
Niobrara, Jewel of the North, rich with historical content and accessible to students of all ages, myriad
elements of this film describe the river's important contributions to Nebraska and US history.
This complex river system is explored through a prism of Natural Sciences: geology and geography,
hydrology, biology, paleontology and anthropology, scientific findings as well as the human record. A
number of interviews are presented, experts from many persuasions, academic and practical, sharing
stories and sentiments about this amazing river system.
Snowbound Venture out in wintertime. M Z McNeeLee's whimsical composition invites you to put on
May 17, 2022